By: Ibraheem Abdullateef


Permit me to dabble yet again into another political discourse at this critical point in time of our political history which I am afraid if left untreated and unattended to may make or mar the process of political change and the fight for good governance and democracy in our dear State Of Harmony, Kwara. I am stunned and (un)impressed by the’ tactical ingenious’ of the embattled Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki to employ yet again another of his political masterstroke which I would borrow the phrase ‘divide and rule’ to qualify, describe and encapsulate. The assemblage, talks and dialogue and the political promises and commitments made with the Kwara North Emirs isn’t a new development in Nigeria politics but perhaps due to my limited experience of Kwara politics, I see it yet as another national tricks to secure a local territory by a cosmopolitan politician like Saraki , which is why such chicanery and subterfuge should be uncovered and unraveled quickly before it begins to fly. What stunned me, like I was saying earlier, is the desperation of this man to hold Kwara to ransom by every possible and impossible means.
Saraki in his desperation and reckless had reportedly promised the ‘’people’’ of Kwara North the Executive position of SSG and Legislative principal slot of Speaker House of Assembly in Atunwa’s government provided he won the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in addition to the promise of one term and power shift to the North in 2023. What a deal? Did you just enthused? No, don’t be fooled! Don’t help Saraki and his fellow political merchants to imagine they could deceive Kwara yet again. This , if I am not mistaken, would be the 16th year of his incursion into Kwara politics, which I am sure offer more than enough and just political antecedents to draw from, think dear man and woman, if these antecedents portray Saraki like someone who loves Kwara and its development, wishes for prosperity and chases the wellbeing of the State of Harmony ever at the expense of his interest! What do you think? You get it now? Yes, this is another trick of his.
Mayhap we would need to get more historical and factual to properly acquaints each other of the deceit and deception behind such desperate move by Saraki and infer rightly or wrongly how or where it ever worked.
In 2010, right after the death of President Yar’adua and the need for completion of its tenure, Acting President Jonathan was inaugurated to become the President to soldier and pilot the affairs of a politically divided Nigeria. It’s instructive to note that this was after a backdoor political intrigues, consultations and permutations that was given the nod. And rightly about few months in office, Jonathan thought he should be allowed to complete the mandate of their regime and as such, he should go for a first time of his own to serve as the second time of Late Yar’adua. The Northern Leaders agreed after much persuasion, and the appealing sentiments for the need for the minority to ‘use their own time’ , to support Jonathan’s ambition with an agreement that he would not go for second time which he was expected to leave for another Northern man to complete the aborted time as a result of Umar Musa Yar’adua’s death. But what happened in 2015: Jonathan’s refusal to honour the pact and the decision to pursue Presidency yet again, is a not-so-distant testament to draw some senses from the near impossibility of politicians to use a term after the sweet, honeyed naked power!
Even I feel that was nationally and somehow too ‘far away’. We should come back to the state level; our very own state. It’s an open secret that the incumbent Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed was not promised the second term ticket. Saraki, in his usual unpredictability and inconsistency, had promised to give the guber ticket to the Kwara Central. But as the time drew nearer, he switched his gear and changed his voice to anoint Maigida yet again. This explains why as a measure of appeasement, the ticket is back to the Central this time. I strongly feel it shouldn’t be too hard for a politically discerning mind to see that the underlying notion and interest of the ‘ Leader’ played the direction and the swing of the slots and not meritocracy, the passion for the state and love for its development. And the rest is an undeniable reality of today. If as a politician, there were many of his ignoble antecedents and as many more unknown, and we still get fooled yet again, shouldn’t we take a critical and holistic look at ourselves?
I even feel we should take another look at this. No matter how bad, there’s no how the truth would be painted falsehood. We should query Saraki why, if his love for Kwara North was that big, he didn’t give them the gubernatorial after all? Since Saraki’s love for the Kwara North had never translated to growth and development, maybe he should have given them the gubernatorial candidacy as a proof of his love this year! Yet he didn’t, he wouldn’t, he’s only come to promise again to achieve his aim of retaining power like he had promised Alhaji Shaaba Lafiagi before, which made the elderly man to become a stool and a stooge to a man who was not yet of a proper age and experience when he was a governor!
And I am of the biggest conviction that the Kwara North Emirs should know better as the ultimate leaders of their people that they owe to them, sincerity of purpose, masses- oriented decision, purposeful leadership amongst other duties. I have no doubts whatsoever that every Emir in the Kwara North Senatorial District is aware of the acute redundancy and underdevelopment, dearth of infrastructures, economic decay and near negligence if not comatose, of their system of education in the district. This is why I found it inconceivable that there would be a thought talk less of political consideration for the Chief Tormentor of the state since the past Sixteen years. Ideally, I see Saraki’s politicization of our traditional rulers as an insult on our cultural heritage. If Bukola who had never deemed it fit to adequately take care of the people in the past years suddenly came around to strike deal with our leaders is not to be seen as a mean, willfully corrupt, brazenly irresponsible leader, I wonder to call him! I see this as a subtle reminder to the people of Kwara Noth that they amount to nothing more than flock of sheep and that are shepherded to whatever directions the Emirs wish irrespective of their needs, desires, rights and privileges. Saraki is deliberately playing the ethnic, religious and cultural cards again!
As an afterthought, I found it necessary to inform the populace that growth and development is not as a result of convergence but divergence. This is why no district or communities should fall out of the struggle for liberation, freedom, change and development by not getting baited and swayed by the sectional interests and immediate gains at the expense of the whole state. Instead, political growth and development has been proven overtime to be achievable only when a state/ country employs its divergence to great convergence for achieving a set goal. And in this case, it’s Change for Kwara, which Saraki must have smartly realized that propelled him to make such a politically divisive strategy. In his bid to perpetuate his hold on Kwara State he has just showed his resolve to stop at nothing whether reasonable or unreasonable, impossible or impossible, regardless of even our cultural heritage and belief.
Saraki in his naivety should be reminded that Atunwa’s emergence as the Governor of Kwara State in 2019 as a result of his ‘ dreamed betrayal ‘ of the Liberation struggle by the good people of Kwara North would be a bad political antecedent in our political history. Perhaps like in war like politics, an impasse, betrayal, treachery and deceit is never forgiven or forgotten , no mattern the years. Would it not be the same people of Kwara Central that Saraki asked to be betrayed now that would vote for the Kwara Northerner man as dreamed by Saraki in 2023? Does he think such betrayal and mischief he’s planning would caste the people of Kwara North in good light again? This , once again, is to tell the people of Kwara North that Saraki never liked or loved them , instead he wants to use them as warriors to win his war. And where’s the love in that? He never cared for their honours and prestige so far his remains covered and guarded. To him , everyone better be used. Saraki only believes one should be with him or for him. For his dreams, desires and fantasies at your loss, pains and honour!
I am here imploring the Kwara North Emirs not to let the smell of porridge becloud the sense of duties and responsibilities. Politics in Nigeria is said to be a no-go-area for the traditional rulers but we all know their stake is as big as anything. This is exactly why I implore them to make good judgment and decision for their teeming impoverished, cheated, deprived and suffering subject and not for the powerful few who would promise them unrealizable affluence of Heaven on Earth. A monarch shoudl fight for the interest of his people at all time. If the good people of Kwara North are loudly clamoring for Change today, it’s only expected of the rulers to support them and not sabotage their efforts. If Saraki was sure he had done well for these people, why is he sending you to them? Why should a monarch place his honor on the political survival of a fair-weather Political merchant like Saraki who only schemes day and night for his own gain? What do you think that Bukola would do this time that he couldn’t do in the last 16 years? These are questions to ask, dear Kwara North Emirs!
I, in my own capacity, am only duty bound to remind you that there’s posterity waiting as the Chief Judge of our actions and inactions. Time, they say is a revealer of all deeds: wrong or right, truthful and falsely. I admonish we get it right this time around to get the right page in the right book of History. Voting for Continuity of Saraki’s egregious , obnoxious and malicious hegemony in Kwara is abetting of crime and injustice against democracy, good governance, growth, development, and good wellbeing of the people of Kwara State. Never should a patriotic man be a party to it!

_Ibraheem Abdullateef (Egghead) is a Political Columnist with THE INFORMANT247.

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