By: Lady Zakari LDM
“It is the providence of knowledge to speak fairly, And it is the previlage of wisdom to listen quitely” Oliver Wendell Holmes SR.
When good people keep quite, bad things happen.
Remember that, truth has only one language and hears only one voice. Truth is mostly bitter and not all the people who told us our mouths are smelling are our enemies just like not all the people who laugh with us are our love ones.
I reject bullying, tyranny, Abuse of power, recklessness and vindictiveness. “Kalank ” like the Urdu language captures it; is an ego driven destruction where the bullied get lost in realism and perception of bullying and wreck self righteous vengeance.
We have a duty as people of conscience to speak out against it.
A door doesn’t necessarily means enter. A local Government Chairman may be more powerful in our modern day constitutions than our traditional leaders. But, come to think of it , what is the source and origin of the constitution we are unfortunately using against ourselves. Are we using the constitution to serve our people or to undermine our people. We are still grappling to understand and make positive and productive sense of the triple heritage we inherited from Culture, Religion and the western world.
Would the British people who are the first to stripped our traditional Institutions of their powers mess up with their History. A legacy of almost a 1000 years.
Is it rational to give so much responsibility to the traditional leaders without giving them due recognition in the constitution. Such is the quagmire our traditional institutions find itself. How many local Chairs stays in their old houses when they gain power and acquire material things. Most of them relocate to a high brow areas,. What about the traditional leaders, who are always there, whose places are always known, who always comes back no matter where they go to.
So, if our houses are on fire do we quickly run and check the constitution to see who is sadddle with the responsibility to quench the fire.
The Local Government Chairs who are more powerful in the Constitution, do we look up to them like we do to the traditional leaders. Just, enquire from any of the security agencies whenever they are doing any security operation be it a missing person’s report, a suspected criminal hiding, etc..they go to the traditional leaders houses,.. Because the traditional leaders at different hierarchies lives with their people and to a greater extent knows the people better.
Imagine this scenario: I am a Pilot who travels the world and sees many cultures or lack of it, or a lawyer who is perhaps more conversant with the Constitution than many people and perhaps I may be spending most of my life in Geneva but when I am with my elder Sister in a Car driven by a driver, I don’t sit in the owner’s corner, I leave the owner’s corner to my elder Sister because I come from a religion that gives regards, because I am a product of a culture of respect, I find pride in the almost 1000 years of heritage of the monumental culture I represent.
Yes , I am progressive, I will even go to the moon, if I can afford to pay the American company that is planning to take the few people who can afford it to the moon. But, I find pride in our heritage. When United nations cultural heritage (UNESCO) recognised Durba and celebrated Kano as the center and one of the greatest custodians of such great heritage; I was there telling everyone about our great heritage. I was pointing out the historical significance of each traditional title house being represented in a particular row, sequence, order and que. I remember many people, especially the Europeans telling me, what a great organisational structure is displayed in the Durba.
I don’t need a constitution to tell me what to do. Our lives are guided by many things greater than our constitutions. Like our religion, our cultures many of which are beautiful.
A constitution written many decades after we have been rooted in our religions believes and when we have been guided by our cultural etiquette.
If we continue to support the rewriting of our History and caricaturizing of our heritage because the constitution has left our traditional institutions naked for an attack by anyone for whatever reason, we may not have much to leave to our generation unborn and we will erode our history with our own hands. And the people who do not know their heritage and who do not find pride in thier history loose their compass and their essence .
A wrong is wrong no matter who is doing it, And a right is right even if no one is doing it .