By Abdulkareem Akanbi.
I have been reading various reaction, to the Alanamu fire incident. As an indigene of Alanamu, I have never thought that a day would come, when some people would attempt to make political and social gain out of anyone’s tragedy. Sadly, this appears to be the situation, in the wake of the Alanamu market fire incident. The way members of the APC in Kwara and the State government have been attempting to outdo each other, in what should have been a sobering incident, leaves one to wonder!
There is no doubt that Alanamu being the biggest ward in Kwara Central, would always be the bride of politicians and political parties alike, but it appears that this fire incident has not only reinforced that, but it has also provided an opportunity, for opportunists, to deploy it for their selfish political gains, and in the most insensitive and cavalier manner, dance on the tragedy of the noble traders doing an honest day’s job!
The manner of the intervention by the APC members in Kwara and the State Government appears to suggest that even among themselves, they are trying to outdo each other and therefore leaves one to wonder if the tragedy was “natural”, or perhaps could have been orchestrated, by those who have been hugging the limelight since it started. I am not insinuating, but I leave my readers to infer.
The political melodrama started when the Kwara Central APC Candidate, Saliu Mustapha, visited the market, a day after the tragedy, and in a magisterial style typical of egomaniacs, was reported to have “ordered” the reconstruction of the market within 24 hours! Aside from that Saliu attempted to do the job of the government which clearly has provisions for events like this one in its annual budget, it is suspicious that for someone who does not live in Kwara, he was in town just at the time of the incident happened. Again, I am not insinuating, but I leave my readers to make their own deductions.
Following his show at the market, the state government responded the next day, by providing cash and other relief items to the victims, in a style that is considered unusual but clearly an attempt to neutralise what Saliu had done. The attempt by Saliu and the state government, to outperform each other, became a classic Political Melodrama. Within 48 hours, the people of Alanamu became a pawn in APC’s cold calculations. For Saliu and Governor Rahman, it was no longer about grief, it was now about 2023 calculations, but the sad news for them is that we are past 2019 and the people know better!
In the past, there had been a similar tragedy, where Saliu and the APC Government had failed to give victims any form of compensation, the question then is why now? In February 2020, there was a fire incident at Station Ilorin, Saliu and the APC Government did not offer them any compensation then, in June 2020, there was another fire incident at Oja Tuntun market, again there was no compensation. In December 2020, there was a similar incident at Albarka Chicken feeds, Ilorin, again there was no compensation. In the same month, there was another fire incident at Ipata market Ilorin, again Saliu and the APC Government did not offer the people any form of relief or compensation. The question is why now? And why has Saliu and Governor Rahman’s led APC Government chosen to set up a competition on people’s tragedy?
The show of shame, is a clear lack of sincerity, empathy, and sensitivity to the feelings of the people of Alanamu, for Saliu and Governor Rahman, it is about getting power for the sake of it. While I do not speak for the people of Alanamu, I am sure that our people know better, and will never be fooled by the chicanery and cheap politics of the APC.