By Danladi Danjuma
Criss Jami, author of Kilosophy, opined in his book that, “a rumor is a social cancer: it is difficult to contain and it rots the brains of the masses. However, the real danger is that so many people find rumors enjoyable. That part causes the infection. And in such cases when a rumor is only partially made of truth, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the information may have gone wrong. It is passed on and on until some brave soul questions its validity; that brave soul refuses to bite the apple and let the apple eat him. Forced to start from scratch for the sake of purity and truth, that brave soul, figuratively speaking, fully amputates the information in order to protect his personal judgment. In other words, his ignorance is to be valued more than the lie believed to be true”.
In a clime where the equivalent cost of constructing a kilometre of road is spent in publicizing the commissioning of the same road, Capt. Idris Wada comes across as the unconventional politician. With an unsung performance that rivals many of his counterparts, his decision not to patronize and orchestrate spin machinery might be a proven albatross for him. As nature abhors vacuum, the absence of performance propaganda on his part has given rise to the birth of a well-coordinated negative propaganda engine. The sponsors of this scheme have used a combination of lies that are simply believable as well as fabrications that are ludicrously unimaginable.
For instance, an easily believable falsehood that is popularly peddled is the issue of non-performance. Any true resident and indigene of Kogi will quickly dispel this as laughable. If the governor were given to propaganda, he would have used about 700 pages in different dailies to celebrate the over 700km of road constructed in the state – one page for each kilometre. When he is done with that, he would then go ahead to propagate his achievements using about 20,000 spots on radio to run jingles about the 20,000-hectare pilot rice farm for the confluence super rice farm. Super-sized billboards will adorn every kilometre, singing praises of the Governor’s achievement of a publicly subsidized public transport, the first of its kind in the Nation.
With a 150% increase in internally generated revenue from N200 Million monthly in 2012 to N550 Million currently, through a restructured revenue collection scheme, the state now has some extra funds for pursuing people oriented programs. Unfortunately, the economic outlook of the nation, which has affected about eighteen (18) states in obliging the salaries of her workers, has also badly affected the state in affording its monthly wage bill. Critics that cite this fact, willfully conceal that, out of the affected states, Kogi is one of the few states that only started owing in April when the allocation challenges reached a peak.
The allegations of the questionable mental state of the governor are simply obscene. While it is a longstanding political tactic to mudsling the opponent, epitomizing them as the unwanted other by questioning the integrity of character, the competence of personality and the ideas of the candidates, but certain things are just plain overboard. Political campaigns, no matter how bruising, should not rob us of our essential humanity. Or if not ill intended and prejudiced around the motive of elections, why is this allegation perfectly timed to coincide with the eve of electioneering campaign in the state? The idea that individuals can enthrone themselves as lords of infamy, by greasing the pockets of pen mercenaries to conjure words, is saddening.
Without explaining away the Governor as a Messiah and the best thing to have happened to Kogi since the creation of the state, I believe his weak media apparatus might have condemned him to the league of non-performing governors. That is what I passionately disagree with. As an indigene of the state, and an insatiable member of the electorate, I want the governor to do more. For instance, I would like him to prioritize the speedy completion of the teaching hospital in Ayangba, without sacrificing the monthly take-home of workers on the altar of political expediency. I would also like him to take a critical look at his media strategy, rejig and retool it for effectiveness. Anything short of this will mean that the hope of believers like me will remain dashed, when propaganda triumphs over performance.
Any well-meaning indigene of the state will attest to the fact that Capt. Idris Wada deserves a second term, not because it has become the political norm, but as a result of the many people oriented projects that he has started, and for which, we can’t afford another individual to take us back to ground Zero.
About Danladi Danjuma:
He wrote in from Abuja.
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