Many Ikere-Ekiti sons and daughters have greeted with a generous outpouring of congratulatory messages the just-announced posting of Tunde Ogunsakin as Commissioner of Police to Rivers State.
That’s how it should be.
But many of these messages, in the main, have been full of hackneyed prayers and sentimental greetings. These are not enough.
Let us all wake up to the fact that Ogunsakin’s posting is not just another routine arrangement. He is being sent to a virtual battleground in a state where a costly but absolutely unnecessary war has been waged for the past many months, a senseless war that has shown no signs of abating.
You don’t require a soothsayer to tell you that, from the way things are going, the fate of Nigeria’s present democracy may well depend upon how the delicate war in Rivers State is handled. We are seeing in this state the acts of arrant stupidity, intolerance, and misuse of the so-called federal might that have been the bane of Nigeria’s several unsuccessful attempts at democracy. Once again, the monster is at our door. But as usual, we do not seem to see it.
People of our land, shine your eyes…
Ogunsakin will need all the courage, wisdom, hindsight and foresight he can muster to succeed in his new assignment. He must display a vital measure of that virtue that is in short supply in contemporary Nigeria: Integrity. A healthy dose of the proverbial positive stubbornness and moral nerve that typified Ekiti character in the past will be an absolute must in the new assignment.
So, compatriots, I say: mushy felicitations and ethnic back-slapping will not do for the new Rivers Commissioner of Police. He will need the benefit of our wise counsel, honest admonition, candid comments, and objective appraisal. And, yes, our goodwill too – which he cannot afford to take for granted.
So to Ogunsakin, our new Commissioner of Police to Rivers State, I say: please be careful of the incubus called the Nigerian Factor. Never forget to think about life after power/ after office. Remember the town from which you come. May your baton be brave but kind. May your medals shine without blinding the people. May your gun only respond to the extermination of evil. May you prove a true descendant of AJOLAGUN (the Ikere Hero who danced through battle and emerged unscathed).
New Orleans, USA