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Open Letter To Governor AA On Olusola Saraki Library Demolition

Dear Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman,

By now, Senator Bukola Saraki must have stopped worrying and start loving the bomb you are throwing. Unfortunately, he is not alone, it appears this time; his sister, Senator Rukayat Gbemisola Saraki probably joined him in listening to the Cranberries album titled “No need to argue” and singing perhaps the favourite track off the album titled “Zombies” where the second verse of the song says *“…but you see it’s not me, it’s not my family, in your head, in your head, they are fighting, With their tanks, and their bombs, and their guns, in your head, they are crying…”

The Kwara society has witnessed writers under your leadership, gifted and sound. The recent one is a beautiful work of art released by Adetola A. Kehinde, it is nothing more than that, a beautiful work of art. Since it is rumoured that you did not go to school or further your education as your father would have loved, let me make it easier for you by differentiating between satire as Art and satire as moral philosophy. Satire as art is a mere display of one’s humour, sarcasm and wits in drawing attention and since the applaud is over, there is a need to advise your boy for further reading on writing satire from the angle of moral philosophy. Those that invented satire did not invent it for political calumny, they invented it for social justice and advocating for the people. This is the best I can offer him as a gesture of goodwill on your behalf.

It is a shared feeling that you are not capable of offering such advice due to your limitations, that is why I am offering it on your behalf. Since you are still a little child, you must like storytelling, so I will tell you one, your excellency, understand that this is in your interest and it is really difficult when an adult needs to be taught as a child. Kindly accept this rare kind gesture in ensuring you can comprehend this letter, not everyone has enough goodwill to come down to your level.

There is a popular story in Grade 4 Keys Grammar Textbook for basic schools titled “The Runt”, you can see that I tried in ensuring that I located a story that is befitting of your level of education. The story says a father was rearing pigs and it was time to give birth, then out of six piglets, one happened to be a runt. Then the father picked his axes and headed to the forest, put the runt in a basket not knowing that his child was watching him. Then he got into the forest, pinned the runt to the ground and was about to axe it to death, then his child screamed. Shocked, he asked, “what are you doing here?”.

The child responded by asking what the piglet had done and the father said the piglet was a runt, it is weak, small in size and not equal to the other five.
The child then asked, was it the piglet fault that it was born weak? If it was me, would you have done the same? The father was shocked and embarrassed by the question and responded “No”. that was how the piglet was saved. The moral question is would you have watched a library that is named after your father (in his honour) razed to the ground in the name of renovation? Perhaps, just like that child, your father is asking the same question.

Sir, let me tell you another interesting story, seeing how you are nodding your head in appreciation of locating a primary school story for your comprehension, every teacher feels happy when his or her student is learning.

There is a son of a popular crown prince in a country (I don’t want to stress you with the name of the country as a primary school student, you will not be able to relate, so I will just tell the story). He eventually ascended the throne which his father could not before his death. When he eventually ascended the throne, rather than focus on governance, he spent his entire years clearing his father’s name of mental allegations recorded in history, he even moved the court closer to his father’s grave. Your excellency, are you following?

Do you know what the son was trying to do? You don’t know? There is no problem, you are a primary pupil, it is permissible not to know so I will tell you. The reality is, the father is dead and what should have concerned him is the business of governance. His father can’t be King, he died as a crown prince, that cannot change and since it cannot, it means the son was trying to do nothing.

Renovation is different from reconstruction, how people failed to differentiate between these two nouns is shocking especially those that have gone all out to defend the action of demolition of the library in question, they are very wicked, even ordinary “noun”, they still want to exploit your limitations because perhaps they hold a degree and you don’t.

The Sarakis perhaps didn’t see this day coming sir when they will be tenants and not landlords, but they have shown maturity and adjusted to their new status, leaving you and quietly dealing with personal and national politics, yet you continue to give them relevance and attention, setting the stage for controversies and allowing the evils created by criticisms and unnecessary politics get to the people of the state. That is very bad of you as a child, maintain your innocence as a child and refuse to grow to be an adult.

The Sarakis wanted to leave their name in history and they did, if you want to be remembered beyond a governor in name and title, history has offered you a blank paper along with a pen and pencil, whether you are now an adult or a child, the choice lies in the writing material of your choice, but I know you will pick a pencil, you like cleaning mistakes a lot, the moment you start using a pen, you know mistakes are no longer easy to correct.

Babatunde Akogun writes from Sango, Ilorin

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