I was born and bred in the north but I only understood what it means to be a stranger in the north when I was posted to serve in the northeast. That is when I had time to study, interact and understand the northerner.
Politicians don’t know the power they wield or maybe they do but don’t just care how they use it.
Recently Mallam El Rufai was attributed to have said that there will be violence (I am paraphrasing) if the 2015 elections were not free and fair. This coming from a man who has being at the helm of power and knows how influential he is and how much power his words carry!
We all know that El Rufai is a very loquacious man, not afraid to speak his mind and not scared to step on toes (a trait of a great leader, but a dangerous tool if used carelessly). He has proven that time and again. Time was when I used to look at him as a hero, but nowadays I just see him as a menace that government should endeavor to handle carefully.
Yesterday the SSS went to his house to take him in for questioning, after he had refused an invitation to come in for questioning only to be told he had gone to pray. Same day the SSS procured a warrant of arrest and stormed a second home but he wasn’t there either.
What am I droning on about? Well many statements of the honorable El Rufai can be construed as being misleading, treasonable and downright wrong. We live in a ‘democratic’ society, but we should also endeavor to utilize the freedoms that that gives us without abusing them.
Northerners are passionate about politics and most of all they are passionate about their leaders and will do just about anything when they feel they; their leaders, have being slighted. Case in point when Buhari; a Northerner cried for blood after losing the election. There was blood, as Northerners went on a killing spree; Easterners their target.
Lemme digress a little. There is this fallacy that exists in the mind of the Igbos and Hausas and that is that everybody in the East is Igbo and everybody in the North is Hausa. That assertion couldn’t be any more wrong!
Back to my point, El Rufai should in future watch what he says and how he says it, for the truth is we live in sensitive times and people sometimes take words literally. With power comes great responsibility and El Rufai should know that there are millions who look at him as a hero and at the moment while he is playing victim; which is far from the truth his followers may perceive that he is being punished unjustly; without it being true, and this might lead to bloodshed.
That said El Rufai and our leaders should endeavor to curtail their utterances. Nigeria cannot continue to be a world map for political violences and thuggery! We have to look for a way forward and it starts with our leaders.