By Dapo Olaosebikan
–Pix(above): Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
Recent events in the Nigerian socio-political space are all indicative of the on-going calculations and permutations at federal and regional levels for pre-eminence and control of authoritative power at the centre and in the states in 2023.
Another unhidden truth about goings-on, particularly in the political arena, and, amongst Nigerian politicians all over the federation is that; though the period of next electioneering campaigns vis-à-vis general election is still a few months away, alignments and realignments have begun in calculative gang-ups for which particular geopolitical zone will produce next president to lead Nigeria or the next governor for almost all the 36 states of the federation.
Putting Kwara State in focus in particular, it is an open secret that all the talks and moves about which senatorial zone should produce next governor is still about Kwara South and Kwara Central, which have literarily monopolized political leadership of Kwara State since the beginning of current democratic dispensation in Nigeria in 1999. Undoubtedly, this is where the whole affair of who leads the state at the expiration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s term in 2023, becomes imperatively interesting and thought-provoking, especially, for North Senatorial Zone.
In a recent group discussion at a function in Ilorin, the state’s Capital, which was amplified on some social media platforms, some top citizens of Kwara North expressed their belief that the political leadership of their state cannot continue to be exclusive preserve of the other two senatorial zones. The reasons for this position are compelling and deductively evident.
It is stating the obvious that North Senatorial Zone has been playing the third fiddle in the political affairs and configuration of Kwara State in the current democratic dispensation in our country. This uncomplimentary historical development, which, of course, dates back to the First, Second Republics; save for the short tenure of Alhaji Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi in the ill-fated Third Republic, is the encumbering group albatross which Kwara North may no longer accept according to fillers from the state.
According to them, Kwara North cannot continue to be the slave-partner in the state because Nigerian Constitution; particularly the 1999 Constitution, is unambiguously and explicitly against inequality in running the affairs of our country. In effect, this Constitution conspicuously provides that there should be equality, social and political justice for all Nigerians. In particular, Section 17, subsection 1 of Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria states: “The State social order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice” , and therefore, Kwara as a prime part of our great country, cannot and should not be an exception in this regard.
The implicit question in the quoted portion of our Constitution is apparent and the poser is: Where is the ‘ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice’ in Kwara State? This question becomes quite pertinent in a situation whereby two out of the three micro geopolitical zones evidently created for socio-economic balance and political equity, seem to believe and scheme in perpetuity, to be the ‘men on the horseback’; while Kwara North remains on its kneels as an on-looker in the political aggregation and power-sharing in the state.
Considering the foregoing scenario, which is akin to what obtains in Ekiti State for which political pundits have predicted possible PROTEST VOTE against the candidate of the ruling party later in the year, one may not be off the course of civility to admonish current political leadership and powers-that-be across the state to begin to eschew all actions and decisions that can resurrect ghosts of internal crisis in the state.
It was Dr. Nelson Mandela who once told the world that, “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, no one of us can truly rest.” In its entirety or all ramifications, the late president of South Africa was warning Nigeria, the 36 states in the federation, current politicians and political leadership in Kwara State, for, indeed, it is gross inequality to hold on to the belief that Kwara North does not matter in political leadership of the state.
Of course, Dr. Nelson Mandela’s warning is also rife in another realm that any democracy is endangered as long as ‘injustice and gross inequality’ persists in power-sharing. This is the true description of present political configuration of Kwara State..
To the current ‘powerful’ leaders in the state, particularly the ‘political juggernauts, men of timber and caterpillar’, there is wisdom in not being too comfortable and complacent in the injustice and gross inequality that monopoly of political power and leadership of the state constitutes. While one’s prayer and aspiration is that Kwara should continue to enjoy peace and massive socio-economic development, political fate-deciders of the state should be guided by history and principles of equity, justice and fairness which are a bedrock of enduring democracies all over the world.
The counsel here is that all political leaders concerned with what the shape or shapes of things would be in Kwara in 2023, should make the recoil, go back to their drawing-boards and patriotically consider and make sure that Kwara North, which is yet to produce the governor of the state since 1999, should take a shot at the governoship position and produce the governor in 2023. For indeed, and, as Aristotle immortally established; “The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal”./SHARE THIS
- Dapo Olaosebikan (firstname.lastname@example.org), veteran journalist, publisher & public commentator, writes from Abuja, FCT