By Olalere Fagbola
Statism has allowed each state to fight with intelligence ( not with whips or AK 47 ) It is the same strategy Chief Obafemi Awolowo employed through Regionalism to fight the imperialists and the neo colonialists using the prosecution of free education as a weapon instead of appealing to rouble rousing instincts .
The Northern radical elements rightly tested the same statism when some of their states embarked on Sharia .The limitless span of the sky is wide enough to allow all manner of state birds to fly without any bird disturbing the other especially over this VAT enterprise .
So ” when two Yoruba masquerades encounter each other in public ,it is usual for them to seek obeisance one from the other .On the lower levels their followers operate as if the issue depended on whips and blows.But when the two masqueraders confront one another ,they know that the contest on higher plane is a contest of “Mesaliym “… (Apology to my learned teacher, Modupe Oduyoye)
And what does the VAT intelligence entail ?
It is like the deadly sport in which intelligent men are “passing the drinking cup of words back and forth ” through the court of reasoning .With men of potent speech whose words ever mean more than you hear however, They will curse you and you would not know that a poisoned arrow has touched you; they will let you trip and you will choke to death with the letters and spirit of your own manipulated constitution. “We are not talking about shooting AK47:We are talking about shooting constitutional words.”
When Governor Nyesom Wike of the River State and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state decided to test their resolve on the VAT enterprise while slugging it out with the Federal Government , they are trying to think ethically and are engaging in higher politics and higher economics. It’s a fight worth fighting.
In Civilization and Ethics, Albert Schweitzer is quoted as saying :” Although it is political and economic question that the present day prescribes for study,we can accomplish the problem of political life if only we approach them as men who are trying to think ethically. All those who in anyway help our thought about ethics are working for the coming of peace and prosperity in the world. They are engaged in Higher politics and the Higher national economics.”