By Odeh Ageh
Society has a way of throwing up elders that it has grilled through its mills to act as moral conscience of the community it plants them. Such leaders are products of various professions; media, military, police, teaching, the bureaucracy, medicine and law amongst others.
These individuals are variously called elder statesmen, opinion leaders, the sage, elders and similar others. That an individual attains this lofty height is devoid of garrulity, wealth or status but purely that of ability to live up to the billing.
Such persons are impeccable, meticulous, altruistic and purveyor of general good. They are men and women of tact, full of grace and candour, and their voices are rarely heard but when they speak their words are laced with wisdom otherwise they are sought after and prodded to espouse solution to knotty issues the absence of which the good of the society will be greatly impugned.
It is people who match this description that bring about the saying that the ‘words of elders are words of wisdom.’ They see sitting down what a youth standing on an elevated platform cannot see. They however don’t cry wolf and neither do they cry themselves hoarse over a non-existing issue.
One ready example of an astute Nigerian that fits this description is the highly apolitical Rtd. General T. Y. Danjuma. This man is one whose opinion is always sought for when issues that are capable of tearing the nation apart crop up.
This however cannot be said of Rtd. Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav. This man has become all things but goodness. He is a master craftsman in propaganda, merchant of rumour, and harbinger of falsehood. If there is anything that can be associated with this man and it will be an apt description of him is the “notice-me” posture he adorned through his infamous and outlandish gibbering.
What else can you expect from a man who double-speaks; today this man claims to be apolitical but the next day he adorns a toga of opposition mouthpiece, becomes the attack dog of a political party and fights for the good of its members; his pay masters. Otherwise this latest outbursts on the amnesty programme of Governor Ortom’s government that attracted accolades from the international community is uncalled for and completely misplaced.
To begin with, it needs be pointed out that His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom is a man groomed for the office he occupies today and is adequately prepared to handle its demands. While the story on the life of this great leader is in the public domain, a rehash of same will be apt here.
Preparatory to the future tasks assigned to him, Governor Ortom was called to serve his people as the chairman of his local government area and followed that up with service to his political party at both state and national levels.
The governor also served his fatherland as honourable minister as well as a supervising minister of equally a federal government ministry and was adjudged to have given a star performance.
It should be noted that His Excellency’s ascendancy to these enviable offices is not a function of patronage as done in some quarters but one of right peg in a round hole having worked hard and read hard to acquire a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree without baggage of examination fraud or issuethat
have to do with substance abuse hanging on his neck. It therefore beats one hollow that a man of this clean past and an embodiment of high virtue is viewed otherwise by Tsav. Is it to say that Tsav would rather prefer men of questionable characters in the saddle?
It is in this man, having performed creditably and found worthy in character and in deed that God entrusted unto him the leadership of this great state in time of scarcity. To bring about glory to God and for the life of His people to be enhanced, His Excellency came up with the amnesty programme. And pronto illegal arms as well as illegal arm-runners came in in droves as they surrendered and repented of their evil ways.
The success of this programme was not lost out on the international community which through its uniting organ, the United Nations, applauded and made a case for it to be replicated around the world. This august body also invited His Excellency to give a pep talk to members of the international community on the hows of the programme thereby making the Governor an instant celebrity of some sort in governance and security matters all to the chagrin of Tsav.
To the disdain of Tsav his brush and coal or tar could not diminish the performance of His Excellency in all sectors especially the security sector.
Tsav was dead on arrival in his vitriolic attacks on the governor when he alluded to “governor establishing an amoury in government house.” How far from the truth can this man go as all arms surrendered were declared in the presence of all security agents and kept by the committee on amnesty in conjunction with appropriate security. What does Tsav want, that the room, house or store where these arms are kept should be announced to the whole world? Whatever motive for his reasons, he will be disappointed as he will never be put in the know of their whereabouts.
Will it not be right to say that Tsav is now a victim of his past association especially of the immediate past administration whose stock in trade was giving to the public the opposite of what it said?
Can we take this man for what he wants us to believe about him? Here is a man who gives a posture of a courageous man, a pious and saintly Nigerian but who is averse to all moves to sanitize the polity of its pollutants. But for people in his ilk, the commission of enquiry instituted to unravel the ills of the past that have exposed looters of the state’s treasury would have been applauded, instead he kicked and ranted, yet he parades himself as the moral conscience of the society. This man surely depict abracadabra; the more you see, the more inglorious and nauseating you have of him.
But then can you get more from a man who even though claims to be the repository of security knowledge but was not found good enough to be promoted beyond the rank of a commissioner in the Police Force? He does not know that we know those who go higher in the Force are egg heads that can be charged with the responsibility of managing the formation. It is this shortcomings and warped knowledge that beclouded his ability to know of membership of the amnesty committee which consisted of officers from both the military and para-military formations.
We will suggest that for him to attain the lofty height he so much craves for, that of being the sole moral conscience of the society, Tsav has to undergo mental detox to free him of this hallucination that is making him to ascribe good to bad and vice-versa.
But for the fact that this man has the capacity of calling evil until it becomes good, we would have ignored him.
As we alluded to it earlier, Governor Ortom’s programmes are germane and always set the pace for others. It is in this wise that Governor Okorocha of Imo State has also declared two days work-free day for farm business in his state.
When you have a leader in the mould of Governor Ortom that thinks ahead of time, what gives Tsav this air of moral authority to want to whip everybody into line when he lacks morals himself?
×Ageh is the honourable commissioner for information and orientation, Benue state.