By Ibraheem Abdullateef
Quite unsurprisingly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara have been at their imperious best sending homilies the way of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq over the impending berth of the ruling party presidential campaign train in Kwara.
Marked for Tuesday, the Tinubu/Shetimma campaign was to be led by President Muhammadu Buhari in the state. It could have been the third with the president in attendance. And Buhari, the People’s General, does not go somewhere without a shake. If you doubt it, ask Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, about the troubles APC left him in the wake of the rally held in Adamawa, his home, last week.
It is such incalculable political damage envisioned by PDP that has made them all, across files and ranks, become restless in selling horrible tales to Kwarans. They started with this press conference led by Ali Ahmad, a certainly crooked voice, where everyone looked plucked out of the 1990s opera, and funnily confused about what to say. One minute, they said at the event that the administration has no projects to show for its tenure in the last three years. Just in another breath, they were calling for President not to commission this and that ‘project’ in Kwara on his planned visit for flimsy reasons. It made for a pleasant sight to see them mentioning several legacy works they have spent three good years of their life ignoring, living the lie. I am pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who thought Ahmad and his colleagues did a pretty awful job (even by their standards in comedy), as they did not only get the purpose of the visit wrongly but the delivery. But how would they be in PDP if they didn’t flunk basic values in power in the first place, and are still not getting basic leadership out of power. I mean, they have a remarkable consistency in failing, and now, moaning.
As it must now be clear with the statement released on Saturday by the Kwara APC campaign council, the days of moaning are not over; in fact, the spanking has not started.
The first call in the map of misery, which I assume they are trying very hard to unravel, drawn for the PDP comes up on the day Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima seize the state. As the ticket ordained by God and most accepted by the people, the lines have been falling into place for them. This time, it won’t be different, as Kwara poises to take it a notch higher. From village to village across the state, ecstatic Kwarans are literally on the road on Monday heading to the capital to welcome and warmly identify with their leaders and beloved party, APC. By the time thousands of them would converge at metropolitan square Monday night, in anticipation, revelling in art and the beckoning of history, I doubt members of the opposition, PDP, would catch a sleep all night– wondering if what they did with Atiku at the same venue in November was a ward meeting or presidential rally. Yet, this pang of misery would only be the tip of the iceberg, however sweet and alluring, it would pale to their disgrace when the president finally comes for commissioning.
However joyful as it could be for members of the opposition now in making a mockery, let it be known that it is no cause for joy. This, is, in fact, to be dreaded. This is like that period in the ageless story of sun, rain, salt and shea butter. As soon as the rain of abuses and insults directed at President Buhari, Governor AbdulRazaq and other leaders of APC in Kwara boil over, the sun coming out would be scorching and wilting their traducers down completely. Or who does not know that the mocking joy of shea butter at the rain falling on salt is temporary for when it stops it becomes a feast for the scorching sun?
Although everyone would love it otherwise, it is not the first time campaign rallies get postponed and it would not be the last under a party as big as the ruling APC– the biggest on the African continent. We have gone down this road before and came out unscathed. A peek into the past revealed that the party won a landslide in Kwara and nationally in 2019 after such postponement.
But what matters, today, is Buhari is coming to Kwara under APC. Tinubu/Shettima campaign will also hold on Tuesday, 17th January 2023 in Kwara in its full glory. I could say this 1000 times for effect. But I would rather tell you why it matters now. First, I appreciate, by their posturing, that PDP thinks they have some sort of victory and that Buhari won’t be available in Kwara because he is disenchanted with the governor. Of course, it is not true. The governor and the president have never been in a better place than now. Ordinarily, one would take a leave of the laptop and begin to laugh and roll on the floor at the imbecility of some shock-jocks sharing lurid tales of a feud between the presidency, PCC or LOC in Kwara. But, in all honesty, I think it rather emphasises my earlier position that there is an urgent need for the party to get a hold of themselves and put in place firm measures to ensure stable mental health within their ranks. How could you leave your smelly house tending to other people’s gardens? How do you tell people lies with such effortlessness, keeping a straight face? I mean, this man, Buhari, is the same you say has failed and is hated, and has no electoral value, and is no longer worth a penny. But I can argue I hear their sighs of relief, even though were made in bated breath, at his absence now. As much as I struggle to excuse the silly jokes that Governor AbdulRazaq is powerless on party affairs within his state, this height of mischief also makes me want to warn that what is coming is certainly beyond the pay grade of this assemblage of hacks, mischief makers and fake news peddler. All they would get is a postponement of doom’s day. If they think otherwise, I dare them to go down to the metropolitan square to see for themselves whose teams are coordinating and organising and how people have rejected O’suwa and must have only been looking at them as some fools lost in the splendour of self-glorification on the radio or on the streets all this while. It appears it would take donkey years for these folks to understand that the fight is not against Buhari or AbdulRazaq, in Kwara. PDP’s lost cause is getting the people to see them as a party worthy of trust and support after previous years of its uninspiring, doleful regime in the state.
But the confirmation will happen nonetheless, on Tuesday, because the love of President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the generality of the APC in the heart of Kwarans is profoundly solid and unshaken. When Asiwaju enters Kwara, the mountains will move just as much, and the crippled will walk, as the people sign up for the seismic social changes with RENEWED HOPE with Tinubu/Shettima — the thinkers and doers.
When Buhari comes to Kwara later in February, tentatively, as a special guest, he would be commissioning some awesome projects of this administration (see previous articles by Rafiu Ajakaye) heralding the reign of posterity and development for the people and state under the APC. Three years after Kwara regained freedom from the deposed, dangerous and deadly dynasty, I do not know of a man more fitting for this guard of history.
After all, Saraki and his boys had also sworn to defeat and send him into early retirement in 2019. But like he defeated sickness and slayed every affliction, like a cat with seven lives, Buhari will return triumphantly to bask in the victory and rejuvenation of Kwarans as one, decent, dignified people with their destinies firmly in own their hands, under God and his country. For a general who fought and won many battles, Buhari will be concluding and starting a new one, and always, it will end on bended knees and total, irreparable damages for those who seem to have struck an accord with devils to draw Kwara back into their hole of slavery, stagnation, cultural and economic degradation.
Unless the PDP withdraws its candidates from the elections in Kwara, I do not see how it will avoid the impending defeat but I think I know how the loss will be minimal. PDP leaders may be wise not to spend their fortunes prosecuting the elections. It may also be thoughtful to slow down on hurling invectives at the candidates of the APC who have been ordained by God to win. I am hoping they do this for their own sake. As the people willed the last time and stand resolutely by it, the dark, devilish era of PDP in Kwara is over and this year is the one the people move forward with APC.
Therefore, Kwarans, esteemed party leaders and members, Buhari is still coming…but the PDP funeral goes on first in full throttle tomorrow.
Abdullateef is the Special Assistant to the Governor on Communications