O Su Wa Rally: A Movement Beyond Political Slogan


Olota Abdulsomad

In 2011, Egyptians embarked on a demonstration that got global attention. Before the demonstration; academicians and pundits gave countless reasons as to why Egypt was so poor as a country. Some analysts attributed it to geographic and climatic condition which stifled productivity, absence of work ethic, cultural limitations, and some even mentioned religious belief as a constraint to their economic and social development. They argued over these issues for more than 30 years. However, Egyptians knew nothing was wrong with their climate, nor were they limited in resources, they just lacked basic and visionary leadership towards prosperity.

Unlike Egypt, we don’t need three decades in Kwara State to know what is going wrong with us. There is unprecedented inflation, rise in food prices, absence of visionary and inspirational leaders, and loss of sight on the path to development. If catastrophic would not be less of an adjective to describe this present government, what would one make of a government causing distress to the people in the name of constructing a bridge where expansion could have solved the problem? More provoking is the Governor’s constant assurance that the project will be completed by December while common sense says otherwise. Perhaps, Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq wants to prove to be our generational Mira with a magic wand. A visit to Tanke might bring tears to your eyes because of the havoc on what used to be a business hub in the state of harmony.

Hotels, restaurants, schools, religious houses, petty traders are going through serious hardship and they form the base of the economy. Patronage in Tanke Tipper Garage has reduced significantly, you can easily feel the plight of the people. From Fate-Tanke junction, to the junction that leads to pipeline road, to university road upto NNPC junction, productive activities have been crippled. More devastating is that Unilorin has over 45,000 students with 80% of the institution’s students residing in Tanke axis. Did Abdulrahman lack foresight that these students were going to resume before commencing the bridge or he anticipated that the ASUU strike engineered by the national government deafness to agitations of academicians would last longer than it did? There is no exaggeration here, the bridge is unappreciated by the host community.

It may also interest you to know that the Garment Factory this government boasts of is in contradiction with the public thought. Ordinarily, with the way this factory was celebrated, one would think it will function as a garment manufacturing industry but a little inquiry shows that the highly celebrated garment factory which over 2 billion naira was expended will be filled with fashion designers. Very hilarious! Kwara has potential to be one of the biggest producers of cottons in Africa, but the Government is supplying fashion designers. Clap for Investor Sabinus!

Kwara State has become expensive; more and
more difficult to live comfortably even for the working class. A concise inquiry about the standard of living across the Southwestern and North Central states will instantly reveal the despicable status of our used-to-be averagely affordable state. Food items such as bag of water, rice, beans, and others sell at higher prices in Kwara state than in other neighboring states. If all these are not tiring enough to stage a distress rally, what will ever be? Even Romanians dared their lords when food scarcity plus inflation became an issue in the Republic.

Fortunately, unlike Egyptians who suffered in silence for almost 30 years, Kwarans are more thoughtful and have learned greatly from the history of such a country, which necessitated the movement to speak in one voice against the bad governance of APC at national and state level. The movement might be tagged political but the reality is that the people who are the direct bearers of all sorts of government policies, economic plans, and programs have risen to rescue the pitiable state of governance by letting the world know that we are tired of disaster, retrogression, and atrocities of this present government regardless of how consistent the governor and his allies gallivant with work in progress (Isenlo). Hence, the “O Su Wa” movement.

In today’s Kwara, political power has been used to create great wealth for the little elites around the corridor of power. Throwing bone-like opportunities to the people out of the wealth created at the expense of society, they were dubbed as philanthropists and government of the poor (Ijoba mekunu). The “O Su Wa” rally was not against anybody but everybody feathering his/her nests at the expense of the society, including the narrow-minded elites with an exaggerated sense of influence. The rally was against maladministration, it was against cluelessness and mediocrity at the helm of Kwara’s affairs. It was against the lack of necessary motivation for growth and development.

With the few points highlighted above, what are you doing not lending your voice against this dreadful government by saying we are fed up? O Su Wa o!

Conclusively, the movement shows the world that Kwarans are aware of the root of their problems and need not individuals that flourish by sucking on our national treasure to solve our problems for us. We understand our situation and it is why we are saying we are tired (O Su Wa!).

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