Disrespect of Leaders: A root cause of poor Governance in Northern Nigeria – By Ado Umar Lalu


Sometimes in 1995, I was watching Television program of National Teleision of Nigeria (NTA) Jos MAZAN JIYA which is a program that invites the elders particularly the older ones to educates the youths from their vast experiences of life in order to learn something that will shape their world views later in life. At that particular time they invited an elderly man from Birom tribe who narrated his experiences in life which are full of lessons.

At the end of every weekly program, the Anchor of the program usually asked the invited guests which advice is he or she is going to give or offer to the youths. On that very day the parting words of our guest is that “I am calling on our youths to respect their parents and elders regardless of any religious, ethnic and political affliations an elder in the society deserved respect”.

As Almighty Allah makes it, the invited guest for that week died one week after that program. As I am writing this piece in the memories of that program are still fresh in my mind and up to today I am using his last advice as one of my cardinal principles of life to the best of my ability to make sure that ethno-religious, regional or politics and primordial sentiments do not become an impediments to disrespect others.

The emergence of social media in the current political dispensation provides an opportunity for the political class to increase their followership and propagations of their ideals and ideologies to the general public through their Social Media Teams and political programs such as KOWACE GAUTA , SIYASAR KANO SAI KANO  and many others.

These programs opened with a good intentions for public enlightenment endup like a nuisance that produces the so-called SOJOJIN BAKA who were used by their political godfathers to attack their opponents without due regard to decency, cultural and moral values to attack and disrespect others. That is why before I left Kano in 2013, I stopped listening to such programs because they breeds hostilities, enmity and sometimes violence among our people.

Sometimes, I used to follow political events in other parts of the country where I have a lots of friends that we shared many things in common politically and those we differed. If we carefully examined political development there, if there is any political disagreement, misunderstanding and clashes of interests the youths keep mute and watched their leaders resolved whatever differences or political disputes arises among them amicably, diplomatically and peacefully without rancor or involment of the youths to attack each other through print and electronic media.

I also observed that, the disputes among the political heavyweights and their personal interests is a secondary to the collective interests of all particularly the improvement of living standards of their people. Whenever the issues of collective interests arises they quickly buried whatever differences or political clashes they have to speak with one voice.

Unfortunately when we come to the north in the real sense of our collective interests as people we lacked leaders who can command the general public to do or refrain from doing and they polarised our people politically and within the same party divisions were created according to the loyalists of the political godfathers talkless of the opposition party.

I took my time to read many posts, comments, reactions and replies from the camp of Kwankwasiyya and that of APC as a result of booing of Sheikh Isah Ali Pantami PhD by the disciples of Kwankwasiyya.

To me I do not subscribes to the ideas of disrespecting elders and leaders from both camps because is not parts of our cultural and moral background but entrenched by the political class for the advancement of their personal political interests.

To me Engineer Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as a former governor, former minister and former senator is a leader that deserved our respect regardless of any partisanship.

In the same manner Sheikh Isah Ali Pantami PhD a former lecturer, former DG, current minister and a world class Islamic scholar equally deserved respect from all of us without due regards to political differences.

What happened is most unfornate that makes people to lost their senses of reasoning and directions to descend on each other simply because of politics.

This ugly development needs to be curtailed through collective efforts and active collaboration to desist and stop all forms of public abuses and disrespect for each other by calling the politicians to direct and instruct their followers and loyalists to refrain from doing anything that will breed political misunderstanding and clashes among us.

As we stand now the future of the north is at the crossroads which is detrimental to our collective interests in all aspects of life.
To me political differences is not madness but a matter of interests whereby the politicians and their followers propagate the ideologies through advancement of convincing reasons but certainly not by hostilities and disrespect as we are witnessing today.

I advice us to be our brothers keepers. If the current trends of disrespect and political hostilities are allowed to reign in our societies the future of the north is blinking and gloomy that will not produce the desired results.

Northen Nigeria is the only region that lack agenda, focus, targets and objectives that will define the missions and visions on achieving short, medium and long-term sustainable development on human, capital and infrastructural development. The only thing our political elites cares is acquiring power, but with due respect to them they are unable to translate the power to achieve a stated objectives and goals. That is why the north is lagging behind on development in all aspects of human life.

North is the center of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, diseases , crisis and other social problems in the country that left us the most backwards region in terms of human, capital and infrastructural development despite the fact that our leaders were opportuned to rule this country more than any other region and geopolitical zones but instead of maintaining the legacies of our leaders notably Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa the Prime Minister of Nigeria. These two gentle men live a modest lifestyles, but our leaders nowadays are competing in the display of affluence and luxurious lifestyles.

What we need now is cooperation not competition among us. Our political elites are more interested to surround themselves with political sycophants and intellectual prostitutes who always tell them what they wanted to hear by concocting lies whatever they do, they are always right.

My appeal to the northern youths please try and be the masters of your thoughts, actions and decisions, don’t allow yourselves to be used like robots by our politicians, their highest priorities is to continue to manipulate you and incite you against each other by creating sharp divisions among the grassroots to maintain their political dominance and enslavement of the masses.

To our political elites posterity will not forgive you if you do not take a giant steps to stop this madness and laughing stocks in the name of partisanship. This is happening now at the time other states from the south individually and collectively are trying to develop their best to develop their respective states in all aspects of human life, while we are here abusing each other just because of political interests and personal sentiments which is dangerous to our future by building our political empires on hostilities and disrespect for each other that are contrary to our religious and cultural values.

Ado Umar Lalu Esq writes from Kano 


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