An old African saying has it that: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together’. Beyond individual contributions, therefore, a pressure group guarantees in-depth assessment of situations, appeals to a broader base, commands attention from stakeholders and assures a far-reaching impact.
On the heels of that, town hall meetings should be regular features on agendas of the assemblies. The constitution of these meetings should encompass but not be limited to elected officials, government appointees in various capacities and traditional authorities. These meetings will provide a regular platform for open and constructive engagements among stakeholders and residents on pertinent issues affecting society and self-prescribed measures for adoption. What this approach guarantees is holistic embracement and participation in all facets of society on adoptions from these meetings – thus effective implementation and enforcement of conclusions reached.
Going forward, there is a need to make conscious efforts to break deadlocks in traditional and chieftaincy related conflicts. Some of these conflicts originated eons back yet still linger on. Our regional house of chiefs must not only get busy but also employ more tact in resolving these conflicts amicably.
Also, the house of chiefs must be more proactive and innovative in building bridges between parties after litigation outcomes. This will help forestall tortuous litigations which prolong chieftaincy impasses. Such actions will also help bring peace, oneness and faith in our supreme traditional authorities, and give them the power to effectively deploy tradition administration for the growth and development of society.
The regional minister needs to take concerns of insecurity in the region more seriously. No meaningful development can thrive in a chaotic atmosphere. Through the REGSEC, detailed plans (e.g. constant police patrols and gun control) and prime-time results on the fight against crime must be the focus. The conduct of some security personnel which stands in the way of nipping crime in the bud ought to be thoroughly examined with security chiefs in the region. Additionally, the IGP must be petitioned for more robust actions to be taken on the professional conduct of police personnel in the region.
Further, the regional minister through the MCE and coordinating council can explore the option of a neighborhood-watch to serve as a supplementary security measure to curtail crime. Through this, some form of employment will be created and police patrol teams will be augmented to effectively monitor happenings within and around Wa.
It is refreshing to see radio stations springing up in numbers within the region. Through a lot of innovative programmes on these stations, far-reaching platforms are created for affairs of the region to be brought to doorsteps of the populace. These platforms also create opportunities for scores of people to give very solid contributions on salient matters of interest to the region.
On this backdrop, more engagements should be made with public officials and stakeholders on issues of crime and development. Resource persons within and outside the region should be engaged often to conscientise people on the need to stop certain behaviour and attitudes which contribute significantly to the social ills we are bedevilled with. Matters on obstruction of justice and influencing due processes, known to be behavioural traits among us, must be dealt with if we intend to redeem our lost society.
Our spiritual leaders hold the sanctity of society intact. It is therefore necessary to embark on special sessions of religious encounters with the masses. These sessions, via radio or sermons, would afford spiritual leaders audiences to educate the masses on religious tolerance, our way of life, and other doctrines that bind society. Advisably, there is a need for leadership of all shades of religion to be seen together administering these sessions in order to send strong signals of unity in diversity – and most importantly, to prevent crude fanatics from intoxicating the youth and turning them into agents of anarchy.
Finally, government has a bigger role in creating a conducive atmosphere for jobs to thrive. The unemployment situation in the country calls for concern. Modules on the youth employment scheme have to be examined and situated properly, since such modules seem to only serve as stop-gap measures to satisfy political interests within a political span without necessarily creating permanent employment.
It is refreshing to have planting for food and jobs in the scheme of government’s bid to make agriculture an attractive enterprise. The cost of farming still stands in the way of commercial agriculture. More subsidies on farm inputs, as well as ready markets for farm produce, will enable more people to venture into it beyond subsistence levels.
It is instructive to state at this point that, all efforts notwithstanding, the travails of our bleeding hometown cannot be curtailed without the right mindsets and attitudinal balances. We must endeavor to take up the challenge of redeeming our society and setting it on a footing to prosperity.
The fortunes of generations to come depend on our actions today, and the legacies we leave behind – long after our departure from this ephemeral earth, and even longer after our generation has come and gone.
Silence, surely, can’t be enough when there is already enough silence.
You can contact the author on [email protected]