For any society to progress, it has to be able to produce a reasonable number of elites, whose duty is not only to accumulate wealth and power; live an ostentatious lifestyle; and, get as much recognition as they could present their wealth to the public, but rather to help the society that made them find solutions to its numerous socio-economic and political challenges.
In the words of one of the past Brazilian Presidents, “Societies which have an elite conscious of its responsibility are Societies that rise in the firmament of history and brilliantly accomplish their mission”.
On the contrary, however, societies whose elites are unaware of their responsibility and mission are societies that inevitably fail and plunge into the catastrophe of history.
Recently, Katsina State Government organized Economic and Investment Summit for which she invited private investors within and outside Nigeria to come and invest in Katsina. This is aimed at, as they popularised it prior to the event, creating job opportunities for people; promote entrepreneurship; and, improve her revenue generation profile. This is indeed, on its face value, one must admit, a giant stride.
On this scale meanwhile, one is forced to ask of the contribution of Kastina elites in all of this. How many investments do they have in the state? Of what value are the investments? Where are their investments located? How many lives have they empowered? These are some of the questions that need some answers.
The probability of convincing investors from other parts of the country to come and invest in Katsina is, to say the least, very low; when it is obvious to them that renowned elites from the State have little or no investment throughout the state. This is the question that will continue to hunt their conscience until they find answer to it before they could eventually invest a penny in the State.
There are many people in the State whose net worth runs in billions of naira but unfortunately have no investment that worth a million naira in Katsina. Some of these elites have multimillions and billions investments in other parts of the country and even across the Nigerian shores. If you go to places like Kano, Lagos, Dubai, USA and some other parts of the world, you will wonder the kind of wealth these people amassed. But still, they never find it important to come to their State and invest so they could improve the life of their family, friends, relations and other people of the State.
The most annoying thing about these unpatriotic elites is their hunger and crave for leadership. Whenever it is time for election, they will all run back home and begin to poison people’s minds with their filthy ideas of saving them and the State from the grip of poor leadership that holds sway the state for “so long”. It’s nothing but empty patriotism and promises that will only help them service their selfish ego of holding on to power and accumulation of more wealth. These are people that only bring their family to the state when there is a wedding ceremony of their family and friends or during Sallah festivals. They don’t even know anything about the State apart from claiming it as their State of origin. Yet, they think they know our problems and they can provide us with the best of leadership that can bring an end to all our challenges.
It is of course one of the primary responsibilities of every government to provide employment opportunities for its teaming youth through various means available, which indeed inviting private investments to the state is one of such. But why do we have to go outside, searching for private investors while our elites have not been investing in the State? If they indeed care for the State as they always sing, let them bring out their resources and invest so that people will get employment opportunities, thus government will generate revenue and eventually the elites will also make profit out of the investments.
It is really painful to see this bunch of so called elites taking advantage of some of these youth, whose productivity could have been otherwise saved for the betterment of the state and society. The youth especially those from the underprivileged class are only being used by our politicians for a political end, and hence abandon them thereafter. You will never find their children and relations in the mixture of such youth as they don’t regard them as people worth relating with.
The youth of this historic State should please think twice about these elites and other politicians that were in Katsina before 2015 election. What happened after the election? Do you still reach them when you dial their phone numbers? Do they pick your calls when you get them through? Do you see them often as before? Do they still give you the usual token before the election? Do they let you know when they are coming to town and when they will leave? Do you still hold meetings with them, asking you the problems of your communities? What is the nature of your relationship with them now? These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourselves, for they are the enemies of your progress and the society. It is high time we begin to ask questions about these elites and measure the level of their contributions to the development of our society and our people before giving any of them assurances of our votes and supports next.
I call upon all the elites of Katsina State to pay back to the society that made them what they are today. Whether you are a politician or a businessman or both, or whatever successful person you are, do same to the society what it does to you. It is indeed a time for you to pay back. The society has sacrificed and invested so much in you to rise and grow to what you are today. The society wants to continue with the good project it has started with you: of nurturing the leaders and good ambassadors of tomorrow. Don’t let this good legacy die down with the wickedness and greediness of your hearts. The future of this state belongs to your children and grandchildren; make it beautiful for them so that you will be remembered for good. If you choose not to do it, you will die at some point in time and the society will remember you for who you were. The wealth you leave behind will mean nothing to the society.
Long live Katsina State and long live the good legacies of our forefathers.
Bello Sani Farouq
twitter handle; Bsfarouq