By Temitope Muhideen (Convydence)

A foundational thinker of the Western world in Western philosophy, Plato put it “Better be unborn than untaught, for ignorance is the root of misfortune” As I used to call him, he is not a biblical prophet but a man who predicted the unseen and the unknown.

In the early hours of April 18th, 2024, Kwara State lost one of its finest politicians whose passion, humbleness, and love cut across political parties, senatorial districts, and the corporate world. Testimonies from friends, colleagues, business partners, family members, and the ordinary whom the late Rafiu has helped are all pointers to a single direction “late Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim lived a life” may Allah grant him Al Janat Fidaus, may Allah fortify his family.

Dear Kwara Youths can you read me? As we continue to mourn and reminisce on the life and death of Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, shall we pick one or two lessons from the events before and after his death?

As a lover and student of history, I have long been an advocate of Dele Farotimi’s book, “Do Not Die in Their War.” In politics, there is no permanent enemy, only permanent interest. As a promising youth, I have observed how the aftermath of Otoge has further disintegrated us as a group. I have seen youths threatening one another, all in the name of defending their paymaster. While it is understandable that everyone needs to survive, it is not worth dying in their wars.

Politicians are often known to prioritize their own interests over the interests of the people they serve. While there may be a few exceptions to this, it is important to remember that you can still defend your principals without resorting to name-calling or making enemies. It is important to avoid getting caught up in the political battles of others, as those whom you may have fought for in the past may realign themselves with different groups before the next election. It is not uncommon for politicians to smile and laugh behind your back while they settle matters behind closed doors without your input. It is important to remain aware that you may be used as a tool by others and to always prioritize your own values and principles above any political agenda.

Are you not surprised by the tributes and accolades being given to the late Rafiu, even by those who were considered his political enemies? Are you not amazed that your principal wrote about Senator Rafiu as a friend in his tributes? Again, don’t get caught up in their political battles.

Allow me to emphasize the political ignorance portrayed by Kwara youths lately. Politics is not a game of precision, and your loyalty to a leader should not make others your enemy. The truth is, the reign of a king is never eternal, and what should matter to us all at this point is our future. It’s time to get a job outside of politics. Have you not noticed how politicians abandon their supporters after winning elections? Are you not surprised when they choose new people over those who have been with them for years? Do not let their wars consume you. Stand up for yourself and your future. Again, do not die in their war.

The 2027 election is still three years away, but the politicians have already begun their war. They are using the youth as pawns to promote hatred and animosity towards each other. This battle will be long, and they will go to great lengths to undermine and discredit one another. As we saw in the 2023 election, they will use the intelligence and ideas of the youth to drag each other to the bottom of the barrel. In their final analysis, they believe that money is the solution to the youth’s problems – give them money and they will deliver. My advice is to not get caught up in their war.

Temitope Muhideen is the publisher of Confidence News Nigeria and a member of Greenfield Library Limited, Atlanta Georgia, USA.