By Ibraheem Abdullateef
No long story. The intra- party crisis in Kwara APC is not bad. We could say it has been dirtier than necessary. But it was unavoidable. Many must have seen it coming. In a setting where you have two people spoiling for a fight to test their might, what is most proper is to give them the ground. I remember back in the days in Tewure. A Kabiru would want to get chosen first on the field before Habibu; gets the larger share of the kill from hunting, and _saara_ each time it comes, and even talks him down in the presence of peers. Not until the day of reckoning which in most cases was a faceoff at any of these all-boys affairs. Everyone knows his place after such a duel. This is for boys in the hinterland. Same for politics. Think Edo. Ondo. Rivers of Wike & Amaechi. Peace only endures when there are rank and order accepted by everyone. This intra- party fight will help dot the lines for Kwara APC.
Although change is constant, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is atop of the lines in the party today. That reality has largely been the genesis of the kerfuffle. First, the denial. Then, a feeble acceptance. Later the inability to stomach it. It began right after the primaries. Someone you have a hard time to accept and call a leader. He can’t be it for you. He withdraws a bit. You begin to look for his faults. You paint up images in your head. He notices your indifference. He shudders. But never to trust you. There is a communication gap. Days grow into months of unfriendliness, you begin to size yourself up. You feel justified. The other feels disrespected. “What happens if he is not there?, ” like one day both of them wondered about the other person. And _Jeun Ko Sanwo_ came into life. And _BOB_ _must Go_ followed.
Each time some people reference the tendencies which came together to form Kwara APC and how the Governor should have offered his head if needed just to rule, I love to remember grandma’s words: it is not the bodies that count. It is the hearts. They are not more than four (4) and warring. Whereas the coalition of parties which formed the party nationally was five (5). Yet, they have preserved better. So many reasons get advanced for such a belief. The most vocalised say it was because President Buhari led the party well. Thank God, the reality across the nation now shines brighter than the sun in the desert. The party endured because they all accepted him as the leader and acted accordingly. He feels trusted and at home. Can we say the same here? A little hiccup and they begin to reference the primaries. The same past said was sacrificed for peace. How come there is no peace?
There are more bodies than the hearts in the party. The reasons are not unknown. But only a few are ready to discuss it. At the crux of it are over- expectations and hot ambitions. The fact is all of these strong men do not agree they lost on plain ground in 2019 (fair) and are ready to leave it for God. They want a comeback at the same seat. At first, they stood still. Then they began to close in on the occupier, carefully nursing the dream. All at once. The answer is in how they covertly and collectively want the ‘beneficiary’ to pander to their tunes which he won’t. Added to this was a faction feeling is an underdog because the ‘beneficiary’ comes from the other side. Factions do not die in politics. They mellow. The ambitions of its strong men match with the anger of this aggrieved faction would always cause a problem. So away from the media reports, these are far deeper reasons why the fight is beyond BOB and AA. It is lust. Power. Ambitions.
I do not know Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa, erstwhile Chairman of the Kwara APC up close. But associates claimed he is a fine man on his own. But what did they say about politics again? Your guess is as good as mine. Lovers are often quick to reference a fine moment of humility when he knelt down to pacify the former aspirants during the last electioneering. Fantastic. Such underscores the sacrifice many had to make for O’ to ge’s success. But it was beyond kneeling down. Did we have a case of _Oyo d’obale, inu re n’aro_ (the Oyo man is seen prostrating while he felt so much disgust for the one he has prostrated for)? Perhaps some more dose of honesty and openness on his part with campaign funding and logistics would have done. Perhaps working genuinely with all factions too would have set the foundation for peace. That is one area they love to skip. Yes, they should and could have if guards were down after the success at the polls. But it wasn’t so. When you hear a few chieftains preach the Governor to _die this mata_ , you wonder; how does he forget something they claimed had never happened? Admittance comes before forgiveness.
You do not seek my friendship and merge with my adversaries. I wonder what they told BOB to believe he could be powerful than the Governor as a party chairman. At that point, the only path to peace was war. And they were all ready. The ministers, one guided by implacable hatred and the other driven by a desire to assume godfather position, rallied the ambitious past gubernatorial aspirants to gun down AbdulRazaq. BOB became the vessel of a hoax fight for supremacy. They must still believe he was the same man. In their mind, an underdog; a pushover they can shout down and pull the chair away from his feet. The inability to succeed with that inordinate bevy of interests accounts for why he had to become a subject of blackmail. His silence did not help matters.
Perhaps if Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq could talk the people would have been able to see down down the belly of this rebellion. But the thrust of the position he holds does not give room. Such a decision may be right. Stopping at every call to reply the antagonists may pull the wool of distraction on the government. He wants to sit and sit right. He needs to sit and sit tight. The key to such status is an enviable performance. He was not going to lose focus. And we can see that is coming through. If it were otherwise, his antagonists would latch onto that. Have you seen them say he underperforms? While silence makes some people judge him unfairly, posterity is judging him right. The bulk of the neutral public rates him high.
Hence the option of using words such as ‘betrayal’ of the party to hoodwink the unsuspecting party members. Ask them, who goes on the radio to denigrate the government? Whose lackeys write attacking articles on social media? Who began a rebellious campaign( _Jeun_ _Ko Sanwo_ )? Who can like a party more than the Governor who finances it? The faceoff was a script poorly written. First, it lacks substance. Then, it reeks of hypocrisy. And since Allah defies conspirators, it has only succeeded in making the Governor stronger and more popular. In spite of the campaign of calumny, the people obviously do not want to make new lords to sit on the neck of their Governor. They want the state to work for all instead of a few. This is why many chose him — ‘a usurping pushover’– over the ‘strong men protecting the party.’ They can all sit and sit right if they agree with the Governor to sit and sit tight. That is one big takeaway.
Yes, ambitions are legal. And any within the ambit of the law can come to life. Only Allah giveth power. The chieftains are urged to rein in ambitions and interests that are at the expense of the general party and public interest. We all have the historic duty to support a performing administration to succeed. The first step is letting the decisions of the North Central reconciliation committee hold to put a stop to all hostility.
BOB’s chairmanship struggle is a hoax struggle. It is time to let that ebb away. Especially now that the majority of the stakeholders are queuing behind AbdulRazaq. Honestly, all the reports of dictatorship and tyranny levelled against him do not hold water. It was a last-ditch attempt to turn the party against him and scuttle his chance of reelection. Now that it has failed, everyone needs to man down. What makes a party is the people. And these people appear to have spoken. They need to silence the guns now. The party needs to move on! Hon. Bashir as well-meaning chieftain should know better than to return as state chairman of a political party he has lost the support of his Governor, Deputy Governor, all the 3 Senators, 5 Reps out of 6, 22 House of Assembly members out of 24. This the promoters should understand and call a truce. Enough of queuing behind a finger. Whoever has an ambition should float it. The party and people have shown they won’t aid a rebellion. We need to sit right to sit tight. Our political office holders have great responsibilities ahead of them and need all the time there is to deliver. Our responsibilities as a citizen and loyal party man are to give enough support for them to succeed.
Kwara APC, this is the time to sit and sit right!