Alialising and my piano experience: Attention Mr. Governor & devotees!

 Alialising and my piano experience: Attention Mr. Governor & devotees!

By Kaanti Ernen

A cock that crows in the early hours of the morning may belong to a particular owner but its voice they say is the benefit of the entire village. Dearests, our ancestors directed me to drop this post and the message I received from them was very clear, so readers, any flaws you see in this post are mine.

They, however, said l should use “I; the first person narrative technique.

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed and cherished family members, today we gather on this platform to pay homage to the resilient spirits and indomitable legacies of our ancestors. Their courage, wisdom, and sacrifices have paved the path we tread today, and it is with profound gratitude that I feel we honour their enduring influence on our lives today by reading this message.

When I think about the issues of governance and politics in Benue State, I only imagine the reality of the political theory that, for me, somewhat gives a hint of the problem in Benue polity; Democratic Confederalism Theory which emphasizes grassroots democracy, gender equality, and environmental sustainability.

It envisions self-governing communities organized into a union. In this context, the state is seen as a collective project where communities collaborate and coordinate to address home issues, promote democratic decision-making, and ensure social justice.

What interests me most in this theory is the part that says, “The state is seen as a collective project.” Meaning it does not matter whether you are the elected leader or a follower. It doesn’t matter whether you are recognized as a god father or not. Everyone one is a key player.

This theory corroborates the wisdom of AFRICAN TRADITIONAL PHILOSOPHERS, our elders, who say that, “A single broom cannot sweep a compound clean,” clearly suggesting it takes the unity of many to achieve and maintain harmony.”

Indeed, when spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion just like the strength of a baobab tree lies not in its trunk alone, but in the roots that intertwined with others beneath the earth.

We can suffice it to say that when a leader falters, it is because the roots of support have weakened.

Apparently, if a leader stumbles, mostly it reflects a collective breakdown within the group. In an ideal society where leadership is understood as a collective responsibility, a leader’s failure reflects the instability of their followers; it mirrors the shortcomings of those who entrusted the leader.

Insofar as the above statements seem true, they do not in any way leave a leader with too much liberties. Leaders must be prepared to listen too. They must be prepared by acquiring the right temperaments and also acquire an analytical mind to discern right choices/pieces of advice from wrong ones and speak to the people to let them understand why they (leaders) may do something differently. In this manner, good followers would listen. Besides, a leader is chosen after cross examinations and satisfaction.

The trouble with Benue in this line of thought is that, more often, while the leader may lack in a particular aspect the followers fail to understand it’s time to strategically fill the lacuna.

This we do as a result of greed, envy, jealousy and love for mediocrity even anti-intellectualism, forgetting that the our children shall be victims of our own laxities and apathies.

Unfortunately, most of the time, when we see that the productive, functional and operational system was not achieved we resort to the demeaning oral-acrobatics of trading blames.

This harmful and unproductive cycle of assigning fault and responsibility often leads to conflict and misunderstanding instead of constructive problem-solving or resolution.

When l think about this particular CHARACTER of the seeming unpreparedness in our individual duties, it reminds me of my horrible PIANO EXPERIENCE back then at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. It happened during a Zonal students fellowship programme at the faculty of arts’ auditorium and I think the experience comes handy to form a great story that may help us sit up in our obligations as intentional citizens towards the Benue project.

Imagine an audience of about 3ooo people, including lecturers, students and even invited guests seated before a stage with a beautiful piano. Suddenly, me who claimed to be a pianist without having put the required time and concentration in learning the art of music, particularly of piano came out. After the applauses dissipated and a deafening silence ensued, I, in an aggressive style like music experts would do, began to bang out horrible and menacing juxtaposition of sounds that hurt everyone’s ears.

At first, the audience gazed around the auditorium in utmost disbelieve and shock. Following a few minutes of horrible and pathetic piano cracks, the audience began to boo and sizzle.

I could hear some of them ask, “where is Martins?” Martins was our pianist but had temperature that day so he couldn’t participate actively in the programme. Within a couple of minutes, those boos threw me out. I calmly stood, bowed, and walked off the stage.

The organisers of the programme made distress calls and as l, the amateur, exited, a pianist with several years of experience entered from the other side of the stage. He manned the piano and gingerly, flawlessly and systematically dished out beautiful Afrobeat rhythms and melodies. When he was done, the crowd leaped to its feet and gave him a reverberating ovation as he bowed three times and exited the stage in a very dignified way.

Then, in the dressing room the expert pianist noticed that I was gently humming to myself and adjusting my tie before leaving the room. Although the man somewhat embarrassed to bring up the subject, he smiled in the mirror at me, and asked me a question:

“Forgive me for intruding, but I notice you aren’t particularly offended by what transpired out there. I have to ask you, what is it like to be booed off a stage. I mean, isn’t it horribly degrading?” They told him what happened.

I managed and summoned every courage as I turned around so that I was facing the expert pianist and with all seriousness responded, “Oh no, I didn’t take it personally. It was the piano.”

We can see that one of the most annoying characteristics we human beings have is our likelihood and to a greater extent, our tendency to apportion blames to others even when we fail to tie our individual loose ends and try by all means to put in our efforts to achieve something.

Since I left the dressing room, I went straight to my hostels and changed church afterwards and uptil now if l should meet the elders in my former church and explain to them why I disgraced them in that manner, l am not sure of what to tell them.

MY DEAR GOVERNOR, KING MAKERS AND FOLLOWERS perhaps BUILDERS OF BENUE STATE, in as much as ALIA ADOO NAHAN CHII KPAA, … if we do not support him in areas that we must, it may be a tough job for him.

Must we learn the arts and crafts of intentional followers who share the dream that BENUE is a must-do project and hone our know-how as makers and followers of our king or allow him to fail so we resign to the shameless fate if not cult of blame trade? God forbid bad thing.

Related post