An Austrian born British philosopher, Karl Popper in his book: Open Society and its Enemies has raised some critical questions on the identities of our leaders as the oil that greases the engine of democracy.
Our traditional rulers who are the custodian of our cultural heritage are indeed expected to be neutral on partisanship.
However, these monarchs’ children including Gov Sule and the man who is to succeed him, Dr David Ombugadu is also expected to apply humility and wisdom in relating to this revealed class of people in our society who were not only intimidated but also coarced into certain obnoxious decisions by the Gov Abdullahi Sule’s administration.
In his book, Popper made a strong defence of the open society which democracy represents and harped its enemies who want a close society as represented by the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC especially in Nasarawa state.
Popper’s book is regarded as one of the most important books of the 20th century and “an uncompromising defense of liberal democracy” in which the bugeousis want the status quo remain unchallenged even in the midst of a huge raising demands for employment, wealth creation, improved services in the education sector, health care delivery, enhance security, workers’s wages, etc.
In it, Popper also argued that by not asking the fundamental questions that help to reinforce free speech and good governance, we are abetting “the intellectual origins of totalitarianism.”
So when Dr David Emmanuel Ombugadu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the last Nasarawa state governorship election, approached the tribunal to demand for his stolen mandate, he was merely obeying the Popper’s injunctions and fulfilling the requirements of an open society.
You may not like Ombugadu; he may not even represent your ideal choice of seeking purity in Nasarawa’s democratic space; you may even conveniently tag him an interloper who may be suffocating under the legal jargon as someone on a mere fishing expedition, but the truth is, Dr Ombugadu’s courageous effort in sustaining the ‘legal war’ at the tribunal for the truth will invariably lead to the strengthening Nasarawa’s democracy.
Going by his well known humility, the traditional rulers who are unnecessarily being used do not need to be panicked as Dr Ombugadu’s desire to hit the ground running will not have time to engage anyone in vandatta.
The attempt to reduce the struggle to an ethnic and religious spectrum is a misdirected political efforts which should be condemned by all stakeholders.
The APC is fast losing ground and is looking for who to go down with. If anything, this reference to our traditional rulers by them is part of the plan to reduce their influence and respectability by dragging them into needless politics.
It is the only state caught in this web of politics, and Dr Ombugadu’s government intends to insulate and preserve that highly sacred institution and its minders being custodians of our collective heritage and goodwill. It is truly unthinkable and unrealistic to justify an agenda of detronement of traditional rulers based on purely personal political ambition.
Perhaps, it has been in the contemplation of the APC whose candidate was rumoured to have issued threats of various kinds, including removal of chiefs and further blackmail in exchange for support. This has never been in the contemplation or imagination or even on the agenda of our party or candidate.
It is not an issue of how to relate with our respected traditional rulers. Rather, the PDP agenda aims to train and upscale the capacity if our traditional rulers to deliver on the job in line with modern practices instead of what the current governmenhas done to confine and denigrate that revered institution. We do not intend to tow that line. Instead, we sympathise with them and, in this regard, urge them to keep hope alive and expe t the good life when we assume the role of government minders.
None should lose sleep or worry but expect impending prosperity and wealth creation agenda for our people. These, we shall achieve together, and ours would ensure none is left behind.
Ombugadu’s voyage in search of the people’s stolen mandate has confirmed that Nasarawa is in a more serious mess than she was before now.
When a people arrive at a straightforward road but assume it is an intersection where three footpaths meet, they provoke elders to see calamity ahead.
How could anyone have imagined that a mandate freely given to the PDP’s candidate could be stolen in a daylight and Ombugadu will not challenge!
Hon JONATHAN IPAA, anipr mnuj, JP is a public analyst and the Spokesperson on Strategic Communications to Dr David Emmanuel Ombugadu.