OPINION: Kwarans and the embers of 2019 elections


By Abdullateef Ishowo.

The elections have come and gone but the embers keep glowing in smouldering ashes. The “no victor, no vanquish” stance is delusional. The victors and the vanquished know themselves. While the victors are still in the euphoria of victory without realizing that their own time has started ticking, the vanquished are yet to face the reality of their current position of spectatorship.

Dear brothers and sisters in the ruling party, you are now rulers, not necessarily leaders for now, that appellation will have to be won. It shouldn’t be self imposed. Therefore, it is time to face this reality by discontinuing acting like opposition party members. Similarly, the earlier our brothers and sisters in the opposition party face the reality of their current position of opposition, the better for us all.

The table has turned but how we manage our current positions will go a long way in determining where the state would stand in the nearest future. It is interestingly gratifying to observe how yesterday’s self-acclaimed “progressives” have suddenly turned praise singers of the current administration that has not done anything to attract praises. So, ‘they’ can equally occupy the shameless position of yesterday’s praise singers? So they were only waiting for an opportunity? What a transformation! And what about yesterday’s praise singers? They are now the progressives? So they can equally point out grey areas of a sitting government? What a transformation!

But wait a minute, what is our definition of the term “progressive”? Is someone automatically a progressive simply by being an opposition member? Is the term restricted to a political party? Who coined it? Isn’t there a possibility that we find people of progressive minds across board and vice versa?

Being a progressive is by loving your state and seeking her progress at all times, not by loving an individual or a ruler. Or by fighting and abusing people because they belong to a different ideological camp. It is their right. Improve on your political maturity by accepting the hard fact that you can’t reason same way even if you have equal education and exposure. You are different. Just the way a Muslim should respect the right of Christian to belong to a religion of his/her choice and vice versa. I sincerely anticipate a Kwara of this nature and Kwarans of this maturity in the nearest future. How can you determine someone’s intelligence based on the political party he belongs or affiliates with or based on the religion he practices? We need to change please.

There is no harm in being close to a leader or loving him, what you tell him when he seeks your advice defines your person as a progressive or retrogressive. I make bold to say that there’s no one that I’ve followed that did not fear my bluntness and critical nature. If a critical person, who says things the way they are follows a leader and that leader is still comfortable with him, that leader is intelligently un-african. This explains why I respect Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. And it is on this believe I want to see how Barr. Sambo Sholar Muritala will last with Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq or those around him. I sense his bluntness and critical mind; his affiliation notwithstanding. I can never worship any leader, it’s either you manage me or we go our separate ways. Dr. Femi Akorede or Prince Tunji Olatunji Moronfoye may testify to how critical I was with the immediate past governor of the state when I met him for the first time last year. Or how critical I was on Dr. Akorede himself on the situation of the state media under him. Or Otukoko Olayinka Ibraheem may testify to my consistent bluntness with ABS.

Progressiveness is a thing of the mind. It can’t be faked. Wherever you are or belong, it manifests. Some people were seen as either progressives or retrogressive during the 2002/2003 political chicanery rocking the state. Depending on where you were then–the “Gbosa” apologists were seen as enemies of Alimi dynasty, Saraki dynasty and therefore of the state. ABS became a beautiful bride just as AA is now. Unfortunately, we are failing to learn from history. When things like this happen in saner climes, they reshape the orientation of the people towards guiding their thoughts to identifying what they want or desire for their state or society.

As a people, what do we really want? Where do we want Kwara to be in the next decade? How do we fight for a position in the Nigerian political space and who should lead us in fighting for this space? The Hausas know what they want, what the Igbos want unifies them but I doubt the Yorubas know what they want. Nothing unifies them. And the unique people of Kwarans with barbel of voices, what exactly do we want? What and where is our symbol of unity? Why are we so disunited?

AGF Abdulrasaq, Sola Saraki, Abdullahi Muhammed, Babatunde Idiagbon, Oniyangi and more recently, Bukola Saraki (to mention a few) all came to fight for a space for Kwarans at the national level but all failed to be reckoned with. They all had their flaws but not without their strength as well. And no matter how bad or weak they may appear, they all had a common aim, to fight for a space for Kwarans at the ever competitive national. To survive at the national politics full of predators, need a rugged and skillful political figure. I sincerely believe that the hijacking of the state from ABS is in order but leaving him at the national politics as number 3 would’ve been to our advantage. As it would’ve made him compete with an opposition governor in the state. I may be wrong on this but kindly consider it as my personal opinion which I’m entitled to.

Now Bukola Saraki is gone, either permanently or temporarily is immaterial, what is important now is ruminating over how we can move ahead to actualise a better Kwara.

Face the reality if you like, Bukola Saraki will continue to have his admirers, lovers and followers just as the current leaders in the state will have theirs. Either they succeed or fail. We pray they succeed though. People of this divides are brothers and sisters and we all possess same rights as citizens of the state. It therefore baffles me when we abuse or curse one another. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen where Abdulrasaq and Saraki’s children fight themselves; yet they are the first beneficiaries of their parents’ political proceeds. Fellow Kwarans! Wake up!

While the new administration shall adequately be appraised just like the previous ones, it is too early in the day. It hasn’t done anything to attract either praises or condemnation.

Besides, I can never be part of those who will condemn the new administration like some did to the previous ones in the state. I appraise policies of governments, not condemning the personalities of people in government. To condemn is to see nothing good in a government. That would be tantamount to sheer slandering. As poor as Abdulfatah’s administration appeared and stood, it gave us KWIRS, which this new government will have to improve on. It gave us Ajasepo Vocational Centre and at least, a diamond underpass. If you condemn these three, think of what the new government will do differently and be praised by others. No government in Nigeria does more than road repairs and construction of one or two buildings as alibi to their loots.

Abdulrahman has done nothing wrong by contesting and winning an election, especially when the election was relatively fair. But he would be doing us a lot of wrongs when he repeats the mistakes of the past and refuses to take us to a higher pedestal.

While the smouldering ashes of 2019 elections still burn, we pray for a better Kwara under Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq.

And to ENETSUD under the leadership of Alagbonsi Abdullateef, I say well done guys as the ever conscious Kwarans keep you under watch as a CSO fighting for their interests.

Abdullateef Ishowo is an author, publisher and a public affairs analyst based in Ilorin.


DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors

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