Except there’s something discussed somewhere, the most common topic on Kebbi’s cyberspace these days is the petition against the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami by a group called Kebbi Concerned Citizens following allegations of corruption in series of reports by Sahara Reporters which it described as wealthy, extravagant, and political melodramas that followed; counter-petition by another group, Zuru Patriotic Forum, dissociation from the petition by KCC’s erstwhile Director-General who obviously holds no executive post in the organization, and accusations and counter-accusations within the KCC.
The HAGF had, in reports by many national dailies demanded a public apology and retraction of the publications he tagged defamatory and libelous to his personality as a Senior Lawyer and 2-term Chief Law Officer of the Nation and threatened to take legal action against the online medium if it fails to retract and apologize within 7 days from the 18th of July, whether he is or has taken action against Sahara Reporters since it refused to neither apologize nor retract its report is yet made public knowledge.
Whatever be the case, Malami rode to the OAGF on the crest of a party which was critical and constantly ridiculing past government officials even after winning elections in 2015 and lauded efforts by many media houses to expose corruption in past governments and activists that demanded good governance. One can even say Sahara Reporters is doing the same to the incumbent as it did to the previous though it sometimes shies away from discharging its duties as enshrined in the constitution, and the ethics in holy books of journalism.
The ultimate duties of Civil Society Organizations are not only to organize protests or rallies but to mobilize societies to articulate demands and voice concerns to
ensure good governance and masses welfare. In Kebbi however, activists have turned to e-beggars, while the state is facing numerous challenges in governance, agriculture which it hopes to be the hub, education with poor performance in national exams.
Activists always look for lifeline whenever there’s a feud between politicians in quest of food for their empty reticulums.
While KCC seems to be obviously against Malami and not the allegations, which is uncivilized and unschooled, ZPF’s disclaimer is substanceless, barefooted, and not based on any solid baseline. You cannot demonize one suspect and canonize the other for same accusations and expect the world to take you seriously, KCC did not laud Malami for petitions against former EFCC boss which is a good move against corruption but rushed to demand Malami’s suspension before he is proven to be guilty, or otherwise.
Another thing obvious is that KCC in itself is unorganized and divided, a house divided amongst itself cannot stand, there’s a long way, and much-needed for KCC than recruiting half-baked comrades to gain relevance and public attention.
A glance into ZPF’s disclaimer, that organization which is both shocked and surprised but failed to clear Malami of the allegations levied against him but kept wandering in solidarity behind him because it’s their duty to ‘defend’ the emirate, state, and the nation and because Malami is instrumental to the establishment of a Federal University of Agriculture in Zuru and that many have benefited from government loans through his help has further revealed that our conscience, education, morality, and sincerity are subject to sentiment and our personal gain. We cannot claim to be activists when we only pressure those who are our political opponents or those who share different region or religion with us. Patriotism is standing for the right no matter who’s involved. There’s much-needed to make a good pasture than green pigments, ZPF’s disclaimer at this time will leave one ashamed to be called an activist.
Kebbi is facing scarcity of granular fertilizer which where available is highly expensive and farmers are not oriented on how to use liquid fertilizers, there’s constant increase in prices of food commodities even in local markets, there’s increase in petrol pump price in many stations in Kebbi with no respect to the official price and estimated electricity billing statewide yet our ‘concerned’ and ‘patriotic’ citizens are only after who should be suspended or investigated.
On a final note, both KCC and ZPF officials should rap their heads, sheath their swords, and go back to school to learn activism, and social advocacy, there’s much needed than social media presence and android phones, good command of English language or any language you choose is another prerequisite, petitions should be deep and both grammatically and linguistically sound. More so, it’s either you choose activism or partisanship, the two cannot be joined.
Habibu Bawa is a concerned Kebbi indigene and writes from Fakai, he can be reached at email@example.com