Obaseki And The Legacy Of Conscription, By Elempe Dele
THERE will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people to love their servitude, and produce dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for the entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it.”
Perhaps we will have to agree that Governor Obaseki’s politics since 2016 has been that pendulumic swing between secular and theocratic order(intolerance) – and the explanation of these two opposing social issues will give us a clue to his working, as well as the mind of his followers. In addition, we might learn to assess the significant threat this fanaticism poses against human liberty and democracy at large.
Governor Obaseki in the mind of his followers is more or less infallible who can do not wrong( I do not share in this ineffable) They look him away from the secular world that derives its theories from the material actualities as well as historical facts. For us who know he is just as fallible as any mortal, we have a special stake in this matter. Our minds have the abilities to think about how much visible impact Obaseki has made in Edo State; be it educational, economical, industrial, environmental, healthcare delivery…we test the theories of his claims against the realities on ground as common people who have twin eyes to see. This is possible for us because the totality of the reality before us is given rational thoughts. We use this rational process of thoughts to expose fallacies, ambiguous claims and inconsistencies. Just recently, we questioned how the government suddenly moved the ululation of Gelegele Seaport by China Harbour to Antwerp after less than 2 years left in office. There were no responses from the government. I am sure this silence will follow his passing in 2024 in spite of the huge funds that had gone down in MOUs.
We must understand how difficult, as a dissident, it is to operate under a totalitarian order Edo State is witnessing today even when some of us remain resolute to open the dark space to contestation without fear. Yes, open questioning is mostly structurally suppressed by aides and unaccounted for elites. Yes, there are hardly open debates; these are either restricted or prohibited by the government stylishly or else you end up in Oko Prisons. But for some of us who have crossed the Rubicon, we cannot cease from critiquing the government. This is so because we act as ‘free agents’, free to think and seek explanations from the totalitarian government. We want to pursue alternative views to what is forced into throats of his believers, and with this, some people, even if it comes in small drops, erode in themselves those forced diets of propaganda.
But for the fanatic cult followers of the government who are either paid or sworn that they must earn something from the government before 2024, the freedom of the minds to question thematic issues is next to impossible. They look at the government like a theocratic order – through the tiny lense of the doctrinaire system. That is pious submission to its propaganda and false claims. Their thoughts normally don’t work in a way that they can easily see realities and know them. They tell you they have a revelation about development in Edo State only they can see – that is government projects are unknown, unseen and invisible except to them alone who have prescient perceptions. Their minds are masqueraded with structured ineffable propaganda.
In the cause of our interactions on different platforms, we are able to observe these political opportunitists or zealots. Few platforms are without these fanatics who see other states develop in quantum measure but are satisfied with doses of propaganda as equivalence in Edo State. They are proud of their inconsistencies. They claim flyovers in Rivers are for optics but are lurked in the brutal war of traffic jam in Edo State. Can anyone normally be satisfied with the filth in Edo State while Lagos State has several commissioned projects?
According to Wole Soyinka, if certain acts against humanity appear to place perpetrators beyond dialogue, we must still embrace interrogation – even self-interrogation. And the question before our collective lips today is how much effort have we made to contribute to this interrogation of the government in Edo State that is far away from the people?