From the onset, I must begin with a confession that I have grown over the last few weeks to become a HUGE fan of one Abubakar Baba Suleiman. Abubakar Baba Suleiman is a regular pundit on the internet. Whether he is genuine or not, you cannot take away the fact that Abubakar Baba Suleiman is roundly grounded in whatever he says. Regardless of his pseudo outlook or even individual personal perception of him and his writings, you can't overrule the fact that he is diligent and adept with radically intelligent views about public and government affairs. Without meaning to flatter, his many opinion pieces mirror my own thoughts on the myriad of issues that affect Kwara.
Abubakar Baba Suleiman has written on so many issues; from politics to authority stealing, Sen. Bukola Saraki and his lackey, Abdulfatah Ahmed, and of course our own Professor Shuaibu Oba Abdulraheem. His latest, titled 'Their Words, Our Swords', might not have been his most explosive but certainly the most controversial as far as I know. This is because he consciously delved out of his regular themes and picked on an unlikely prey; Senator Gbemisola Saraki.
He did also spare a thought for the 'internet rats' (apology to Dr. Reuben Abati) that have very lately taken over the airspace, fouling the hitherto robust centrifugal of ideas and quality debates, orchestrating dead features, all in a grand, well-oiled plot to confuse the undiscerning. But that is a discussion for another day.
In his lengthy epistle, Abubakar Baba Suleiman had wondered why among all the gladiators in the PDP - Oba Abdulraheem, Dele Belgore, John Dara, Bio Ibrahim, Simeon Ajibola, Makanjuola Ajadi, etc, it was Gbemisola Saraki that was singled out for 'celebration' by the lackeys of the ruling elite on the internet? He couldn't also understand why the Kwara APC had not found it expedient, just like it did for especially Dele Belgore, to tongue lash Gbemisola Saraki for her political adventure. In all, he sensed sabotage on the part of Gbemisola and he didn't mince a word in alleging that! And so, the other epistle went...
Read an extract from his piece verbatim:
In the wake of decamping of some politicians from various other political parties to PDP, there were these contradictory remarks coming from virtually all the members of the opposition, APC. While virtually all of them condemned the moves by some other intending defectors then, like Dele Belgore, SAN, not even a single one of them saw anything wrong in another defector, this time around Gbemi Saraki. The defection of the duo came almost simultaneously. The frequent songs on their lips upon Gbemi's defection was “Saraki here, Saraki there”. Obviously, they are insinuating that whichever way the pendulum swings, the ball still resides in the dynasty's yard. Gossips rumoured a deliberate plot by the core figures of the dynasty to undermine the liberation struggle. Well, I didn't have any reason to buy the theory.”*
But if he actually had no reason to believe it, this next paragraph clearly betrays that: It is pertinent to query that though, speculative, but as blackmailing as this appeared considering the status of the individual involved, I was surprised I didn't read a single refutal either on the pages of news paper or even on social media. Could it have been a truth too difficult to refute or what?” He opinioned.
In all honesty, I read these rationalizations with outrage and some consternation. At the risk of sounding dramatic, there seems to me to be no 'legitimate' (or better still 'credible) basis for asking Gbemisola Saraki to 'react' to her 'celebration' by poorly educated internet nitwits, whose identities have recently been unmasked. One would have expected Abubakar Baba Suleiman, of all people, with his celebrated cerebral mind, to see through the smokescreen of the ruling elite and their internet rats. The ultimate goal was to create a semblance of complicity against Gbemisola Saraki in the collective battle against her brother, and thereby create a level of distrust that would make her continued membership of the PDP suspect in the committee of party stakeholders.
And so, they succeeded, at least on the psyche of Abubakar Baba Suleiman! Or how else would one describe his logic on Gbemisola Saraki vis-à-vis the orchestrations of the agents of destabilization on the net? The truth is, it seemed it was only Abubakar Baba Suleiman that was bamboozled by these internet warriors. I can't possibly imagine Gbemisola Saraki coming to 'defend' herself in the court of sponsored internet rats.. So that who could be convinced that she has an axe to grind with her brother? Do you know how much tonic that would be for the jobless social media backwaters?
But I am seeing Abubakar Baba Suleiman's amazingly pedestrian rationalizations beyond just an opinion. I am seeing it more like a plague that we must all battle to overcome. For me, I see it as a depiction of the level of sophistication of even those that lay claim to some intellection in this clime. This is why I will move away henceforth in my public interventions like this, from the regular cliché that the trouble with Kwara is that of leadership and not of followership. As far as I am concerned, a dull, uncritical and docile followership is more dangerous to a country survival than a bad leadership. This is the more reason why we must now focus mostly on how a cowed and disempowered citizenry can be awakened to the patriotic responsibility of taking on saboteurs who may want to plant the seed of disunity amidst the true progressives. The task now is to understand that this sedated and uncritical followership is a manufactured product. It is the product of a remarkable process of social production engineered by the same political leadership that Abubakar Baba Suleiman seeks to uproot.
What those of us who are critical stakeholders in project Kwara must understand is that the activism and critical intellection we deploy in the bid to actualize a process of renaissance will continue to fail so long as the most critical segments of the population are being allowed to be confused and misinformed about the true state of affairs about and among the political class either for narrow reason or just out of personal ignorance.
This is because the enemy understands that there is an appreciable mass that it could misinform and deconscientize. That is why they would claim that a Dele Belgore had 'lost out of favour with the Presidency' (wherever that illusion came from) or that an Oba Abdulraheem must now 'bow' to the new 'leader'!
It is saddening that an Abubakar Baba Suleiman is falling so cheaply for such manipulations. It is more sickening that people that should be vanguards for critical thinking are the ones that are being taken away and falling over themselves to get a 'reaction' to orchestrated misinformation from the saboteurs! If the likes of Abubakar Baba Suleiman cannot be looked up to as critical partner in the struggle for a rebirth, then the enemies have won before we even go to the poll!
Rotimi Atere, FAAN, Abuja.