The Oasis Reporters
October 5, 2018
It has become very necessary to ask the above question in the light of what has been playing out in the politics of Kaduna State.
Given the disastrous consequences of the El Rufai dictatorship unleashed on the hapless population of Kaduna State since 29 May 2015, the groundswell of opinion was that one way or another, there was the need to retire the dictator come 2019. Along with this viewpoint has been the total agreement on the need to source for a candidate who has the capacity and pedigree for the arduous task of not only arresting the drift but articulating the framework for the gradual and painstaking business of rebuilding our State.
If an opinion poll were to be taken prior to the charade which passed for the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP in the State, the outcome would have overwhelmingly been in favour of the candidature of distinguished Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, the current Senator representing zone One of the State.
It is only fair to state in this post that Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi’s political pedigree is like a balm across the State. Recall that his political platform produced or helped to produce the governorship of Mohammed Makarfi, Namadi Sambo, Patrick Yakowa, Ramalan Yero and the dictatorship of Mallam Nasiru El Rufai. If anything at all, there was no way for anyone not even Michel Nostradamus could have foretold the disaster that the regime of El Rufai has and is still unleashing on the population.
It should be noted too that since the routing of the PDP back in 2015, the ghost of the PDP found accommodation only in the Southern Senatorial zone of the State. In the whole of the political Northwest Zone, only the Kaduna South Senatorial Zone produced a Senator.
Since the mistakes of history are often repeated, the governing All Progressive Congress was to repeat, rather than learn from the lack of internal democracy which was the undoing of the PDP. Not long after taking power, cracks which later widened to become gullies developed to threaten the APC resulting in an eventual split which produced the Reformed All Progressive Congress or R-APC . Determined to regain power back, the leadership of the PDP at the highest level approached the R-APC and ended up signing an MOU which was to integrate the R-APC into the existing Excos of the PDP from the Ward, Local government and State levels thus consummating the MOU.
The MOU was not limited to Kaduna State alone, in the case of Kaduna State, there is a sharing formula of 60% positions in the Excos in favour of the PDP and 40% in favour of the R-APC. There was also provided for an Implementation Committee granted the power to dissolve any State Exco which fails to implement the template. A Caretaker Committee was to be set up immediately to implement the provisions of the MOU.
Representatives of the R-APC leadership took part in a number of meetings to achieve speedy implementation of the MOU but there was brazen lack of understanding and cooperation by the leadership of the PDP in the State. The leadership of the PDP was clearly reduced to puppets of a certain puppeteer who saw the entire political ‘realignment’ as an attempt to loosen the stranglehold he has had on what was left of the PDP after the routing of 2015. The R-APC was thus effectively caught in No Mans Land and the Implementation Committee turned out to be lethargic to its responsibility. The leadership of the PDP went ahead to poison the minds of members of the Exco whose positions were to be ceded to the R-APC.
This was the situation up to the Gubernatorial, Senatorial, House of Representatives, just concluded House of Assembly primaries. I was an onlooker during the entire Gubernatorial primary elections in the night of 30 September and what I witnessed, borrowing from the Biblical phrase, “The scales felled from my eyes” and I felt like going out to throw up. The whole exercise was very well architectured to produce a predetermined outcome. The characters who were the principal actors otherwise called “Delegates ” were at best, comedians acting scripts that were hurriedly passed to them by those same forces that created them.
I was particularly stunned seeing characters calling themselves delegates who could not in today’s Kaduna State, write even the names of their preferred candidates.
On the 29th of September, just a day before the gubernatorial primary election, I did a short post in trying to remind the delegates all of who I thought in my dreams would be people of CHARACTER but most turned out to be low lives concerned more with lining their pockets with whatever filthy lucre intended to purchase their conscience that is if most of them had any. It was quite embarrassing seeing the number of delegates who either pretended or were not actually lettered seeking the assistance of agents of their arranged candidates to help them out. Our democracy has been in a mess and it will continue to be in a mess until our so-called political elites stop using our largely uninformed people for political games. It does not appear to me at all that the characters I saw casting votes knew what being a delegates meant. If they did not know, how then would they know that they ought to be representing thousands of their people in choosing a leader? For most of the characters I saw, they were motivated by the monies they collected from you can bet, all of the candidates on parade that night of 30th September. There was, I observed a relationship between the delegates and the leadership of the Party similar to that between cows and their herders. It is very obvious to me that the so-called political elites are responsible for the rot in our democracy.
If we are to make progress in the democratic process, the processes through which the delegates emerge will have to be re-examined. Alternatively, the direct primaries on the face of it, appears a better option as it gives every individual with a voter’s card the opportunity to take part in electing the aspirants to stand for elections. Adopting the direct primaries will eliminate the political prostitutes called delegates this will also reduce the role of money politics to a very large extent.
Whether we admit it or not, the role of money in politics at all levels has contributed in throwing up people who see politics as a business and so there appears no limits to how much they are ready to spend since their first responsibility will not be to provide leadership but to recoup their investment. In saner climes, there are limits on how much a candidate can deploy in contesting for a position but in Nigeria, who cares? These are some of the reasons our democracy is still being described by some as nascent or young.when in fact it has been deliberately made stunted.
In the morning of October 1, after the votes had been sorted and counted the outcome was in favour of a candidate obviously lacking in confidence to the extent he could not afford to offer an acceptance speech extempore. Some commentators who listened to what yet some people are saying was a hurriedly scripted speech by a hired pen could not be well delivered. What played out on 30th September thus producing the result in the public domain to my mind was a charade and the product of political blackmail and conspiracy.
Surely, the dictatorship in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House must have heaved many sighs of relief as their worst of fears must be decimating. When a people for whatever reasons prefer to side with hypocrisy, people of sound mind can only wish them well. For those who conspired to deliberately undermine and frustrate the will of the people in trying to feather their nests, I wish them well too. We in Kaduna State are sure to have the puppeteer directing every aspect of governance in the State as the puppet is clearly his creation. The stakes could not have been higher.
Written by Col. Gora Dauda (rtd) .
He writes from Kaduna, North West Nigeria.