EDITORIAL: As Kwara APC elders enter the forest of a thousand demons

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Monday, January 11, 2021, a press conference was called by the Kwara APC elders and stakeholders to address what they described as “a number of events” in the party. However, the intent of the elders, which is to chastise and publicly reprimand some party stalwarts they consider antagonistic to the governor, became manifest right from the first paragraph of their press statement.

While the Kwara APC elders poured opprobrium on some leaders of the party whom they say they hoped will abandon “selfish agenda for common growth and join hands with the (Abdulrazaq) administration to make life a lot better for our people,” what they failed to realise was that they are doing a disservice to the very administration and the governor they are making a public posture of defending.

For one, if the party elders themselves are not guilty of the same selfishness they accused others of, and if truly they seek a common growth for the party, they would have adopted a less combative approach in their media conference and instead toe a more reconciliatory path as elders. Afterall, elders are scarcely expected to do things in the way and manner of the exuberant youths.

That the governor has many people who are not fond of his style of leadership in Kwara APC is no news. But a political party itself is a platform that houses diverse opinions and complex characters. If everyone agrees with the governor, then APC will of course not be a party again in the real sense of the word. It would be some kind of contraption housing coerced souls and defeated individuals. It is, therefore, good for the image of the APC in Kwara State that it houses a plurality of opinions in line with democratic principles and ethos.

But, the irony is that this very distinguishing attribute of Kwara APC is what the elders converged to condemn. They singled out people who they believe do not agree with the governor’s style of politics, including the Chairman of the party, and put them to the crucible. They accused some of inordinate ambition. They accused others of coming to join the Otoge rescue mission very late. In all, the elders went all out to attack all the ‘demons’ in the party tormenting the governor. The elders say “they have come together to stand for the governor.”

While standing for the governor is good, creating more enemies for His Excellency isn’t such a good idea, especially for a man alleged to have his eyes already firmly fixed on a second term. And when Yorubas say it’s not a wise decision to conduct a census on a slave population in order not to destroy the happiness of those who hitherto think of themselves as freeborn, it is what happened at that APC elders conference they must have had in mind.

It beats imagination how the elders felt comfortable reproaching Akogun Oyedepo for once being a “Commissioner and House of Assembly member through the patronage of the older Saraki.” Or Professor Oba for joining the Otoge struggle “after losing the governorship slot within the Bukola Saraki fiefdom!” It must, indeed, be one of the miracles of the world that the elders could regaled reporters with stories of some people having a prior affiliation to Saraki, when sitted right there in their midst were at least ten people whose political careers were aided by the Sarakis at one point or the other, including someone who once knelt in the glare of cameras to seek mercy from Bukola Saraki.

No doubt, a political party, especially in Africa and more specifically in Nigeria, can be liking to an evil forest going by the manner of brinkmanship, treachery, backstabbing, gossips and lies that go on daily within it. Politicians, being the ‘demons’ that play within this evil forest, understand that it’s a game of man eat man they have signed up for. Within the forest of a political party lives a thousand and more demons, and the earlier governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq knows how to play and survive within this forest the better for him. One thing is however clear, some of the elders who claim to be in support of the governor are a part of the demons he must contend with, for they share too similar characteristics with the enemies they themselves have identified for His Excellency.

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