PERISCOPE Yari’s moment of truth
Yari’s moment of truth
Last Friday, June 15, 2018, Governor Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara State had his own awakening as to what it means to be in power but without the authority to act.
As the Chief Security Officer of his state, Yari like his colleague governors, is saddled with the responsibility of the security machinery in the state.
That is the law, but the situation on ground is the exact opposite.
Frustrated by the mounting body bags and the seeming inability of the federal government to stem the near-daily killings, the chairman of the Governors Forum had to not only voice his helplessness, but acted on a title he wears but has no bearing whatsoever on his being able to act.
At his hometown, of Talata-Marafa, Yari stated: “We have been facing serious security challenges over the years, but in spite of being governor and Chief Security Officer of the state, I cannot direct security officers on what to do nor sanction them when they err.
“As Chief Security Officer, the nomenclature is just a name.” And with that, the governor dropped the title asking the people to turn to God for their security.
For a man seen as a close ally of President Muhammadu Buhari to loud say “we cannot keep quiet while our people are being killed daily,” is telling enough that indeed the situation is dire.
For those who may think that Yari is up to some political mischief, they should appreciate the fact that the Minister of Defence, Dan-Ali, is from Zamfara state and if the minister is unable, as he has shown he is, to provide security for the beleaguered people of the state what chance is there that he can guarantee security for the whole country.
If anything, Yari should feel justified in the words of Lauren Oliver who opined, “there's always some relief in giving up.”
Adebajo learns the hard way
Universities are considered centres of learning that frees the individual from social limitations and wings for inquiry.
But at the University of Ibadan it is a taboo for its students to interrogate the instution. This is what a 500-level law student, Adekunle Adebajo, learnt too late and has had his fingers burnt.
Adebajo as an aspiring law graduate and had penned a critical newspaper article in 2016 on the infrastructural decay. Like Socrates, he had committed treason and hemlock was his portion.
In the piece, “UI: The irony of fashionable rooftops and awful interiors”, in The Guardian of April 2016, Adebajo decried the poor facilities at the university and drew attention to the deplorable state of the facilities at the university that prides itself as Nigeria’s premier institution.
If Adebajo thought he was being a worthy ambassador of truth and learning, he was mistaken as the authorities of UI were enraged and he was dragged before a disciplinary committee.
Like all truth bearers before him, Adebajo was found guilty and rusticated for two semesters at the end of May.
To fully understand how anti-free press and criticism the university authorities are, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, was quoted as hinting at a more drastic action if the rusticated student takes the matter to social media.
It is unbelievable that in this age and time, a public institution that is supposed to be a pinnacle for advancing social causes is the very one against any sort of activism for public good and accountability.
Dariye, are you indeed Joshua?
As Justice Adebukola Banjoko read her lengthy judgment that was to seal the fate of Senator Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau state, beads of perspiration had formed on the forehead of the accused as he sat in the dock.
At that moment, my mind raced to his Biblical forebear, Joshua, the one that took over from Moses and was destined to lead Israel into the Promised Land.
Instead of the Promised Land, Dariye is at present serving a 14 year jail term for criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.
Had Dariye lived true to his name of Joshua, he would have heeded God’s injunction in Joshua 1:7: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
Somewhat, the Joshua of Plateau was strong and courageous in squandering the commonwealth of the people that had given him their mandate to secure. But it was a misplaced courage and strength as he failed to obey all the law of the land that says; steal not.
Instead of staying the course, Dariye the Joshua of Plateau state turned to the left of the commandments of the state and in the end, he was not successful.
As Justice Banjoko’s gavel landed and tears rolled down Dariye’s cheeks, it was evident that this was no Biblical Joshua, the one that besieged the Hittite country, crossed the River Jordan and led the Israelites to the land God had promised them.
What is now left is if only he had kept the counsel of the first Joshua of “only do not rebel against the Lord,” perchance, he won’t be counting the stars from a prison cell. Just maybe!