As reported in the news, Kaduna State now has a new logo, ludicrously passed by the house of assembly, after a bill surreptitiously sent to it by gov El-Rufai.
I would not query the desirability of having a symbol, flag, an emblem or coat of arms law for the state or not because that is a prerogative of the government of the day. But what I will certainly query is the arbitrariness in the design, the impropriety of the name of the law, the sneaky and furtive manner the bill was passed into law.
Legally, states are free to have their symbol, flag, emblem, anthem, pledge or coat of arms. However, in the 21st century and a democratic system, for any law that portrays the identity, image or otherwise of a people to be enacted, it is morally right, democratically fair and politically acceptable for the people to be carried along in the process of it’s enactment. From conception to design and passage.
Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi was studying in Britain in 1958, when he had of a competition to design the Nigerian flag, he made a submission and eventually the committee chose his design but removed the sun at the centre. It was officially hoisted as the Nigerian flag in October 1 1960. Since then it has been enjoying wide acceptability till date.
The final words of our National Anthem were formed from entries of the best five picks of John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B.A Ogunnaike, Sota Omogui and P.O Aderibigbe out of 1499 entries submitted in a competition organized by the National Publicity Committee on the Draft Constitution/Return to Civilian Rule in Nigeria. The process gives all Nigerians a sense of ownership and pride when they sing it.
Also, the Coat of Arms, Anthem, pledge or symbol laws recently enacted by the houses of assembly of some states in Nigeria where products of robust debates and proper consultation hence, the acceptability they enjoy amongst their people.
At least, a public hearing on the said bill should have been conducted by the house of assembly. These would have given the people an opportunity to contribute to the process of making the law and would have bestowed ownership of the product to them. More so, it would have ensured robust debate, proper consultation, promoted participatory democracy and heightened the confidence of the governed on the government.
The hush-hush and stealthy way this bill was passed into law apparently leaves much to be desired. It has further exposed the height of arbitrariness of the El-Rufai regime and the “Yes Sir” house of assembly Kaduna State currently has.
If the so called logo is expected to be an acceptable symbol of the people of Kaduna State, not some occultic logo clandestinely about to be imposed on the good people of the state, then the governor must not sign that bill into law. Instead, he should return it back to the house of assembly for the appropriate steps to be adhered to, to make it an acceptable coat of arms for the people.
Anything short of that, it will remain an El-Rufai logo and would only last the duration of his administration, as we shall not hesitate to call on any succeeding government to abrogate it with immediate effect.