KWARA 2015: Kwara PDP, Belgore and the unseen hands, By Abdullahi Ishaq

Date: 2014-12-02

Over the past few weeks, the online media platform and a section of the print media have been awash with so much noise about the probable implosion of the PDP in Kwara ahead of the 2015 elections.

The argument for this prediction has been in two fold. One, they made so much noise about the 'many governorship aspirants' in the party with the fear that many of those aspirants might quit the party in the event that they fail to get the party's ticket. Two, and this is very recent, is the narrative that Mohammed Dele Belgore SAN has been anointed to fly the party's governorship ticket. It is being alleged that delegates list - which emanated from a delegate election on November 1 - is being manipulated by Hajiah Bola Shagaya and Belgore ahead of the governorship poll.

In one of the articles promoting this narrative, it is alleged that Belgore got no more than 30 of the over 500 delegates in the recently held delegates election in Kwara PDP. And for this reason, according to the article apparently sponsored by some persons, Belgore is now trying to change the 'original' delegates list to favour him.

But this later narrative could only be bought by intellectually lazy followers of the state politics. That is because it defies common sense and flies in the face of the happenings in the state. Here is why I said so. The PDP delegates election was held in Kwara on November 1. Going by media reports the next day, November 2, some governorship aspirants (excluding Belgore) were already complaining about the process and possible outcome. From this complaints, it is safe to conclude that these aspirants were not comfortable with the process/conducts and possible outcome from the day it was held. With representatives of these aspirants on the field, it is safe to conclude that their complaints meant that they lost out at that election.

Belgore, on the other hand, issued a statement on the next day of that same delegate election (November 2) commending the process, conduct and possible outcome of that same delegates' election. Like other aspirants, Belgore too must have had his men on the field from whom he must have known where he stood. It is also safe to conclude that reports from the field showed him in good place and that informed the tone of his statement. And this writer has followed activities in the camp of these aspirants and truth is none of them commands the sort of quality followership behind the senior lawyer: north, south and central. From his defection sometime in February to the last Eid-al-Adha get-together, it was obvious he's the aspirant to beat! The quality of representation across the state, from what I saw on NTA Ilorin, said it all.

So, the complaints of those aspirants and Belgore's commendation of the exercise naturally implied that the former lost out at the exercise while the latter made huge gains. If we proceed from this logical background, the allegations that Belgore is now seeking to change the same delegates list that emerged from the same election that he had commended and that other aspirants had condemned are very strange and illogical. The only logical allegation would have been Belgore alleging that the list of delegates who emerged from that election (whose conduct he had commended) is being doctored or manipulated.

From the above, I suspect that the noise about anyone trying to change delegates' list for Belgore is an illogical afterthought being promoted by either of two categories of people. One, aspirants who have lost out and just needed to say just anything to explain to their followers why they lost. Two, I am afraid that the Belgore-is-being-imposed narrative is being fuelled and actively promoted in the media by the APC in connivance with their moles within the PDP who, seeing that they may be failing in their plots to stop Belgore emerging as the PDP candidate, need to sell the argument that the senior advocate is a product of imposition. We must recall the deafening noise the APC continues to make about Belgore. Of all the aspirants in the PDP, they have continued to raise issues about the senior lawyer, beginning from his leaving the APC. This only suggests one thing: APC is afraid of a Dele Belgore candidature.

Back to the Kwara PDP implosion theory. The noise about the many governorship aspirants and the Belgore-is-being-imposed narrative is carefully designed to give the impression that the PDP cannot win Kwara because of supposed bitterness or rivalry arising from its governorship primaries. This argument is a ploy to demoralise the Kwara electorate as well as cover up for the poor rating of Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed.

For the record, representative democracy is known for its 'the more the merrier' mantra. It is never a bad thing to have many aspirants jostling for an elective position. It is indeed a mark of political freedom to see different people of varied backgrounds feeling free to express their intention to contest for public office.

•Ishaq sent this piece from Ilorin



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