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Traditional Institution, Politics and Siege Mentality in Okunland

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At the inception of slave trade in Africa either by the Arabs or Europeans, one curious fact is that it is Africans themselves who arranged raid parties that captured and sold their brothers and neighbors into slavery. The cruelty induced by greed brought out the beast in many but the rest as is always said, is now history.
Despite the crucial role the traditional institution plays in our clime, politics and its practitioners have reduced that relevance to the disheartening extent that supposed custodians of our ideals and values have become puppets and stooges.
It will be unfair for anyone to castigate traditional rulers in view of their apparent helplessness when it has to do with political office holders. However, in other parts of the country where traditional rulers are revered and accorded respect, it is mainly a consequence of how those on the traditional stools have comported themselves on political issues.
The recent report of the statement of a particular traditional council in Okunland on candidates of the ruling political party in Kogi State is the manifestation of how debased our traditional institution has become.
Despite the semblance of respectability, it is unfortunate that some traditional rulers have by their utterances and actions reduced themselves to vassal Chiefs.
Some are bent on showing gratitude to government for their occupation of the traditional stools of their domains and cannot show empathy to the plight of their people.
Ignorantly, some Royal Fathers seem not to know the difference between their personal preferences and the collective aspirations of their people.
Handouts from political office holders have made some traditional rulers thrown decency to the winds and they will rather be careless in taking decisions that have to do with politics than err on the side of caution.
The political neophytes jubilating because of these procured and induced endorsements feign ignorance of the significance of these proclamation to their electoral misfortunes.
Despite witnessing how faithfully Sen. Smart Adeyemi has worked for himself from 2007 to 2015 while pretending to palliate the people’s plight with rice, cash and scrap yard bound vehicles, some traditional rulers are busy chasing shadows in the name of endorsement.
He has deceived our people twice and they now know better. But political deception and gimmickry in society like ours easily finds its root where poverty; both of the stomach and head prevails. It’s such deception that has given mileage to corrupt, bankrupt and wayward politicians like Sen. Smart Adeyemi to continue to exploit these weaknesses to his advantage at the expense of the people. Lies have been so repeated that these politicians no longer know what the truth is. That there is no lie more subtle than the truth untold cannot be more apt. Better still, any lie concocted to misdirect, deceive or circumvent the people of their volition to determine who their leaders should be must be seen a crime against humanity. That is the way Sen. Smart Adeyemi and the congregation of Royal political merchants should be seen.
Royal Fathers, under normal circumstances should not be seen showing open partisanship in political issues despite their rights of preference for certain individuals seeking political offices. Obviously, we are in strange times when those we look up to for guidance and direction appear incapable and helpless in the task of providing credible leadership.
Election will soon be over and we all wait to see their disposition when the people decide on who will be their political leaders for the next four years.
– Posi Botun
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