Opinion: Their Word, Our Sword. By Abubakar Baba Sulaiman

Date: 2014-04-20
Let me start by emphasising that I am of Kwara Liberation Movement (KLM) and not a political party member. As you read this piece, you will most often come across the usage of the pronoun 'we'. I'm just basically referring to KLM. Adjoining PDP as a front in the fight for the liberation is based on my conviction that the party is about the only formidable partner or platform on which we can stand tall against the encroachment of APC, and by implication the maladministration of Bukola Saraki in Kwara state.

Before now, I had proposed to do credentials and profile check of all the likely candidates especially for the position of governor in the state. Though, I'm still not doing that yet, however, going by the recent development within PDP, I am obliged to say a few words especially considering the opposition tantrum, the way and manner they have been celebrating an imaginary and perceived "Oligarchy" within PDP.

Nothing should baffle a soldier more than seeing his own co-combatant being celebrated by his arch enemy. In a war front, a soldier who hobnobs with the enemy can easily be mistaken for an enemy too (atleast I learnt that in the Rules of Engagement Course) and such may be referred to or tagged 'an esponage'. When such is evidently noticed, the mole is quickly taken care of and of course without feelings of regret. No rules of engagement would have been broken when that is done.

I wouldn't have had any reason to comment on the just concluded state congress but for the fact that the loudest of the sprout for "celebration" has been coming from the opposition camp, (you need to see the soured laughter on the faces of the paid agents like Kwara Facts, Legacy frontier, Sheikh Bn Sheriff, Alanboy, Kwara Son, Progressivee Minds, Ajibola Babatunde,Busayo Jasper, Kehinde Solagberu, etc to sympathise with these political reactionaries). However, this reminds of the "conspiracy theory" a friend once alerted me of.

In the wake of decamping of some politicians from various other political parties to PDP, there were these contradictory remarks coming from virtually all the members of the opposition, APC. While virtually all of them condemned the moves by some other intending defectors then, like Dele Belgore, SAN, not even a single one of them saw anything wrong in another defector, this time around Gbemi Saraki. The defection of the duo came almost simultaneously. The frequent songs on their lips upon Gbemi's defection was "Saraki here, Saraki there".

Obviously, they are insinuating that whichever way the pendulum swings, the ball still resides in the dynasty's yard. Gossips rumoured a deliberate plot by the core figures of the dynasty to undermine the liberation struggle. Well, I didn't have any reason to buy the theory.

It is pertinent to query that though, speculative, but as blackmailing as this appeared considering the status of the individual involved, I was surprised I didn't read a single refutal either on the pages of news paper or even on social media. Could it have been a truth too difficult to refute or what?

Curiously again, while one was welcome and celebrated with "red carpet" by the opposition, strange as it was, their words and body language were tailored towards approval of the steps taken, the other co-defector was called unprintable names. I remember someone from the APC questioning the achievements of Dele Belgore and disparaging his attainment of SAN status. This same individual went further to disdainfully mock the silk as mere "donation" to him by virtue of his father's position at a time. I couldn't have kept quiet in the face of this show of disrespect for the highest honour any member of the Bar can dream of and I along with a fellow friend, Arowosaye Jab, took on the ignorance of these critics who we later found out didn't even make it beyond OND with a pass grade.

It is just too difficult for me to keep quiet in the face of these diabolical demonisation of one while at the same time dignifying the other. It is my opinion that PDP has come all the way and anything that will want to stand on its way in the fight for freedom for Kwara and Kwarans will never be indulged.

During the recently concluded ward congresses, it is no more news that there were skirmishes here and there and deaths were recorded. Again, rumour had it that a prominent figure within PDP who "couldn't take a place in the control of the Congress was responsible for the violence". The grapevine went further that the person in question was invited by the state command of DSS and was there for four hours. Again at this point, I'm yet to hold onto a material fact to drive home my argument on that.

Coming further, the intrigues that played out during the last state congress of PDP probably showed a lot than we have seen. I'm not going to talk about the congress itself which has been adjudged as free and fair by many, rather, my interest is the hypocritical colouration the opposition are painting the outcome.

Interestingly, It is shocking to see the hired APC social media ranters renting drums and saxophones to celebrate the "victory" of a particular party member, having "majority" control of the party executive. I'm not as baffled as I'm suspicious. The questions I asked were, 'why is it that this set of people are always the first to celebrate a particular female member of the party at any given time and at the same time rebuking others who have even attained more within the party and one who may never even seek for political office (talking of Muheenat Shagaya)? What is party control and how does that translate into automatic victory for any governorship hopeful in the state?. Then I came to the conclusion that the word of the enemy should then be our sword. The more they talk in this manner, the more we should be vigilant, sharpen our sword and re-strategise. Humm, "anpe lawe on laro ninu".

Be as it may, their ceaseless celebration of imaginary control block of the state executive member by an individual, which they know may infuriate the people and the cause of the struggle is to say the least, setting off anger and deliberately killing the high morales of the people and promote low zeal at the same time. I want to say to them, your antics are too cheap to work, not even the docility of the political god son of the tin-god will gullibly fall for this.

I remember Andy Uba was in firm control of Anambra's state PDP executive, yet Tony Nwoye who wasn't even known as much got the party ticket, Sylvia was the sitting governor of Bayelsa state and the leader of the party at a time, yet a floating Seriake Dickson sent him away from the party, Fayose was stigmatised by many as a political 'liability' and as such, the state party control was in a serving Minister's hands, alas, the "rebel" candidate (Fayose)was only magnanimous enough to let the resigned Minister, who had the party executive in his control, have just 7 votes in the primary election. Do we need to educate them just again that factors that determine who becomes the governorship candidate of a party is more complicated than their fufu and wazo customary inducement for loyalty.

Let me particularly digest and diffuse the orchestrated and fallacious tension deliberately created by the APC to crack the wall of the unity group with the PDP. As soon as the ward congresses were concluded, someone said, Dele is defecting to Labour party because he was short changed, immediately the state congress was also concluded, another said, Abdulrahman Rasaq, Dele Belgore and Gbemi and working together while Prof. Oba has been "sidelined". Ostensibly reading all these, someone who seems to be a staunch loyalist of the PDP then put things together and concluded that "Gbemi is working for her brother, Bukola". Then I asked myself are these not fallacies? Could any of these be true? Again, I said to myself, wittingly or unwitingly, it will be irresponsible of anyone to resort to calling Dele and Abdulrahaman Bukola's stooges. I know Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq gave Gbemi N9m as a personal donation in the wake of Gbemi's defection to PDP and I'm also aware that Dele is a good friend of Gbemi, atleast on a diplomatic level, however, I refuse to dance to that talking drum labelling the duo of Rahman and MDB as working for Bukola's interest. A Rahman that refused to allow Bukola attend his father's birthday sometimes ago in Lagos and a Dele that was rigged out and ridiculed by the same Bukola couldn't have stooped that low to conquer nothing. I had since thrown away that fabrication as fallacy.

Notwithstanding, on the third theory (on whether Gbemi is insidiously working for Bukola or not), without queueing behind any of these theories, I'm just going to ask a few questions and will expect you, readers to fix the answers.

Why is it that, it is the opposition that is usually celebrating Gbemi's seeming "victory" at any point PDP did anything? Why is that neither APC nor Gbemi have come out to deny any suspected "synergy" between them?. When she defected, they said the party structure has been handed over to her, during Mr. President's visit, they said she stole the showed, immediately after the conclusion of the state congress, they said again, she is now in control of the party having the largest number of loyalists in the executive cabinet.

Surprisingly and very suspiciously, a photo pixmix was quick to find its way into the social media pages, putting together Gbemi and Bukola pictures side by side as two in one controlling the two leading opposing parties, hinting that when the chimps are down, the siblings will return home for a dinner reconciliation. Are we to doubt this heavy insinuation?

Considering all these, I think it is pertinent we say a little about the composition and credibility of the state Executive members, the seeming "control" and the resultant effect of that. First I want to believe the newly executive members of the PDP in the state are people of good integrity who will not want their names to be soiled, come what may. This "individualised" celebration of their positions, either based on who sponsored them and/or who they are covertly loyal to shouldn't be condoned. As much as one may tend to believe that there is the likelihood of an unseen "turn-key" that may try to cajole them when the time comes, even from the opposition, I have been made to understand that some people will rather die defending their conscience than licking their own saliva. I want to particularly make a reference to the Chairman. I have just come to realise that the author of that loaded article "THIS ROTTEN KWARA" is the Chairman of the state PDP. By default, going by the message therein that article, the man Akogun doesn't look like a man who can easily be manipulated to favour, illegally, a clan that has feasted for too long on our commonwealth (at least I read that a lot from his articles).

In the same vein, let me reiterate one sacrosanct principle guiding our fight against injustice in the state. Not all of us are politicians and some of us can never be and do not intend to be, not all of us are physically on ground to participate in the game, not even all of us have vested interest in who becomes what eventually, but one thing is common, ALL of us are KWARANS and our major GOAL is to support the cause of ABS = ANYBODY BUT SARAKI.

We all know and we should continue to remind ourselves that Bukola Saraki has done more harms than good in the life of the state, we all know that he is still in control of the state economy and finances, we should also know that he is ready to manipulate anybody even those within the party to betray the cause of the struggle within PDP just to pave way for him, we should also know that people, especially gullible ones can easily give in to temptation of money which Bukola is ready to dole out in billions, we should also know that when we scratch a friend we will see a foe, we should also know that, as unfortunate as it is, money plays a bigger role in the fate of politics in Nigeria, however, we should always remind ourselves that our freedom from the claws of "these bad guys" and their cronies under any disguise isn't negotiable.

While the opposition are celebrating the "fiction control" of a blood, may I remind them that our cause has gone beyond the ambition of an individual and no such individual can or will be allowed to truncate this cause which has made many innocent people pay the ultimate price.

Let me assert that in Kwara State, party alone has never won an election but personality. By our own peculiar circumstance, the charismatic control of an individual has always been the wing that determines where the wind will blow. To be specific, Baba Saraki (may Allah be pleased with him) has always been the one calling the shot and undoubtedly, conventionally or unconventionally, he has been leading the pack.

As a student of History, I am aware Baba Saraki (may Allah be pleased with him) prior to 2011 has never presented a candidate and lost such election especially governorship election in the state even if the party platform on which his candidate was presented was not so popular or not even a 'federal party'. He did this in 1983 in C.O. Adebayo's election and 1999 in Mohammed Alabi Lawal's election (may Allah be pleased with him). The shocking defeat experience of 2011 calls for further studies. As much as we are bound to pitch our tent with or against anyone, we should be reminded once again that we can't afford to gamble with this struggle. Has anybody asked these questions, what was the sentiment, (rightly or wrongly) against Baba Saraki's candidate in 2011 Governorship election? Is that sentiment still there or it has disappeared? Then which path are they thinking of threading now?

I do not know how they came about that "gentleman" agreement that the state PDP chairmanship be zoned to Kwara south to pave way for governorship candidate coming from Kwara Central but if that is actually true, it is one the most intelligent consesus ever reached in the history of politics in the state.

Taking into cognisance that PDP can't afford to play hide and seek in this jungle densely populated by predators, there is need for scrutiny of everyone and every action of everyone in order to ascertain there is no mole from within. I do not mean to provoke any mind, but if the party still hold on to that ideology that the party lives above an individual agenda, I think I should just assist in complementing the good men and women who reached that consensus that PDP governorship candidate should come from Kwara central by further unequivocally stating that, I may not know who the governor would be, but I know who will not be the governor. The one who will occupy the seat might not have even held an elective post before, he might be the one that have lost election in the past or the one denied the right of franchise, he might be the one that has been vilified and stigmatised in the past so unjustly, he might be the one who is most hated and labelled by the opposing side for fear of his influence and finally, he might be the one who isn't even seen to have enough money to prosecute the election. Let me be specific, in the run to 2015, if the Kwara Central candidate agreement still holds, the number of candidates from that zone will later be pruned to two and the two will not come from the same local government, one of them shall be the governor - mark my word!

On a lighter note, in line with that prediction, how interesting will it be to see a Gbemi contesting against a Bukola for Kwara Central Senatorial District position come 2015?

I just want the enemies of progress to continue to give us their words, the more they do, they more we sharpen our sword of knowledge of imminent conspiracy. To ri pe ojo gata kojo gata ofi ese meje ji jo gatagata...



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