Abdullahi Seko in this piece shares his personal opinion about the crisis that engulfed the ruling All Progressive Congress in Kwara State.
Caveat- All opinions and assertions are that of the author and not Harmony Times.
Let me be very frank from the beginning: I am disgusted at the happenings in the Kwara APC. All the noise about who becomes the party chairman and the controversy around their relationship with the Governor elected on their party disgusts me. I am disgusted because from Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa to the lowest person in the army of those shouting one thing or the people, I am yet to hear (or did I miss anything on that) that the Governor is not discharging the duties of his office as spelt out in the constitution. And just so we are clear: governance anywhere in the world is about substantial performance, not absolute performance. No government can solve all the problems of its people. It is not possible.
All I have heard from the APC gangs moving against the Governor is that he is not carrying them (the party) along. I am a Nigerian, a Kwaran, to boot, and I understand what that term means. In simple terms, it means the Governor is not giving them patronage. The word patronage, in political circle, has corruption written all over it. They claimed to have worked for him to win the election, and he is therefore an ingrate to sideline them. I am not too far away from politicians on both sides of the aisles in Kwara. I know a bit of what went down before, during, and after the election of 2019. With due respect to BOB, he lacks any moral claim to AbdulRazaq’s victory, if what I know of political campaign is anything to go by. Neither did he work for the emergence of the Governor as a candidate. And I stand to be corrected that majority of those people in his camp are no bonafide Otoge. People forget history so soon. APC as a party did not have the patent to the word ‘Otoge’. Never. Otoge is a word etched in the minds of every freeborn Kwaran who worked so hard to free the state from the shackles of one family rule. Otoge was therefore never the preserve of the political class. In 2013 when Lai Mohammed, BOB and others were in bed in APC with Bukola Saraki, the face of the political hegemony, majority of Kwarans who truly believed in Otoge were mostly in PDP and elsewhere. In other words, there was a time when APC comprised elements who saw nothing wrong about hegemonic rule in Kwara. BOB was one of these elements! The irony of BOB and the majority of those now claiming Otoge victory today is that they are at best transactional politicians. It is all about butter and bread, not the progress of this state. The original Otoge were those who stayed away from the hegemonic rule even when it was fashionable to play the ball.
So I am disgusted that these people are playing God. I am disgusted because I am not convinced that the whole noise is about the people. It is not. It is fair to say the Governor can do more. But no one with the fear of God can say he cannot feel good governance since the gentleman came on board. I am from Kwara North. Today our people can say they have a government who truly means well and is working within available resources to change our story. The Ilesha-Gwanara Road was one big cash cow for those who governed this state yesterday. I remember that they were stoned on that road. Why was that? They were stoned because their antics were becoming nauseating. They would mobilise equipments to the road on the eve of each election, do some work, and leave the site immediately after such elections. This is not a joke. It was our reality as a people. Now, that 32-kilometre road project has been upgraded to asphalt overlay and work is ongoing there. That is a major artery road. Today, Saturday December 12, with no election close by and the government still less than two years old, I woke up to see that the 87km Kaiama-Kosubosu Road is now being fixed for our people. You really need to know the conditions of these roads I have mentioned and their impacts on the economy of our region. What about the quality grading and opening up of the Alapa-Megida-Banni road after almost thirty years? You heard that right: 30 years! For the first time in many years, we are getting safe drinking water from the state government, not some federal government interventions. Hospitals and schools are being fixed for us. I am aware this is the situation across the state. This same Kwara?!
But in the same state where a Governor is posting these superlative performance, all we hear from his own party people is that he is a bad person. He is an autocrat. He is not carrying them along. Really? Disgusting! How do people throw around words without their understanding of same. More than twice, I have heard this same BOB and some of his foot soldiers saying all sort of things on radio against the government of their own party. Even if they control the party, do they also control instruments of state coercion? How come autocrat AbdulRazaq has not done to them what autocrats do to anyone who crosses their path? Indeed, the slogan ‘enugbe’ says everything about what they want: sharing of public funds in the name of patronage. May this never happen again to the people of Kwara State.
That takes me to the final lapse of this personal musing on Kwara APC. I have heard various veiled threats against the Governor and my conviction as a conscientious Kwaran is that those making the threats will fail. Power resides with the people. If their focus is denying the Governor a second term as they have been mouthing ‘je un ko sanwo’ (Yoruba words meaning eat and wash your hands), I say to them that none of them owns tomorrow. They are mere mortals with no powers to help themselves, much less help others. And as I was doing my routine readings of the Qur’an, a very important verse popped up in my mind in relations to the issues of Kwara APC and the gentleman Governor. That is verse 40 of Surah at-Taobah (Repentance): “If you help him (Muhammad) not (it does not matter), for Allah did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of two, when they (Muhammad and Abu Bakr, his friend) were in cave, and he said to his companion (Abu Bakr): ‘be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us.’ Then Allah sent down his Sakinah (calmness, tranquility, peace, etc) upon him, and strengthened him with forces (angels) which you saw not, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowermost, while it was the Word of Allah that became the uppermost, and Allah is All-Mighty and All-Wise.”
My advice to the Governor is to remain calm, focus, and pro-people in spite of their provocation and sheer disrespect to his office. It has never happened that evil would prevail over good. As I have mentioned above, the agenda of the APC hawks is contrary to the objectives of Otoge. Their agenda appears to me to be to just capture the Governor and make him dance to their tunes, however reactionary and anti-people. This is not what Otoge is. I am yet to see a Governor AbdulRazaq who wants to ride roughshod over anyone. I will speak up when I see him behaving like one. Until then, what I see his party hawk display is what I describe as the Arabian disease (after they won battles with the prophet) which is a dangerous display of sense of entitlement after victory. While it is not bad to ask to be accommodated legitimately, I believe such should be devoid of name-calling and blackmail as they appear to be doing to this Governor.