Permit me to start by acknowledging your pragmatic, result oriented leadership style that eventually made you a peerless bee in Kwara State politics. Your undoubted and cherished status came to the fore in your recent defection saga to the opposition party. It is not an overstatement to say that your political influence has began to make impact beyond local boundary of Kwara. I am at least a witness to the mammoth crowd that attended the fidau ceremony of the mother to one of your political allies, Alh. Kawu Baraje. The high caliber of the dignitaries (mainly politicians across the country) that graced the occasion leaves no one in doubt of your resolve to steer the ship of leadership in Kwara State and Nigeria at large.
Sir, I wish to use this medium to congratulate you on your various victories at the court of law. It is not only a victory for you as a person but a victory for the Rule of Law, fairness, equity and justice which are the hallmarks of democracy. You may equally accept my congratulations on your successful declaration to contest as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2019. It is my hope that your numerous victories which has become a trade mark of the Saraki dynasty will not elude you as you aspire to run for the No 1 seat in the Country. Please, do accept my unalloyed support of your candidature.
Be it as it may, it is no longer news that in Kwara State, the polity is heating as aspirants of political parties jostling for various political offices are un-relentlessly marshalling their state-of-art strategies that will enable them clinch their respective political party tickets. Very soon, political parties in Kwara like other States of the Federation would be choosing their flag bearers that would stand for elections into the much coveted office in the State. By political machinations, only two political parties are due for the showdown in Kwara State, (APC & PDP). Unlike previous elections where anointed candidates to various political offices were known to the people before the primaries, the coast seems yet unclear for any aspirant of any of the parties perhaps, due to the quality and unprecedented number of aspirants seeking to win the ticket of their respective party.
Meanwhile, as aspirants are having a sleepless night moving from one political constituency to the other in an attempt to woo delegates with utopian promises, the role and body language of certain key political demagogues in the State cannot be downplayed. It could be recalled that there was a complete political paradigm shift in the State as a result of the action of some people. This therefore gives credence to the influence and political sagacity of such people to largely determine who gets what in Kwara State. Although, claims have been made that Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said he has no anointed candidate but the fact remains that it is only a political simpleton that would take such to the bank. And if at all it is agreed that there is no anointed candidate, the choice of a credible governorship candidate should therefore be limited to Kwara North and particularly, Baruten/Kaiama Federal Constituency for obvious reasons but most importantly, in the spirit of equity and fairness.
Therefore, in dissecting the above statement via Dr. Bukola’s well celebrated political antecedents in the country, it may be fair to agree that the Senate President who believes strongly in the principle of Federal Character under which he enjoys his Senate Presidency and consequently, the right to contest for the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, would want fairness, equity and justice to be the guiding principle in the conduct of the party primaries even though, he is not totally oblivious of the scheming of some stroppy political money bags who may want to have the party ticket at all cost thereby, undermining the much heralded principle of federal character which they often defend with all their might whenever it favours them. Fortunately, Kwara State under your leadership, has graduated from being a jungle of different strokes for different folks.
The principle of Federal Character enjoins every strata of the Nigeria political segment to represent and be represented within a certain political period.
These Constitutional tenets made it virtually impossible for somebody from Kwara South to contest for the Senate seat of Kwara Central, ditto to somebody from Kwara Central to represent the Senatorial District of Kwara North. This simple understanding and respect for the rights of others, however underprivileged they may be in terms of resources and influence, has to a large extent healed the wounds of marginalisation and underdevelopment in the society.
History may proof me wrong but the fact remains that since the creation of Kwara State on 27th of May, 1967, (over 50 years ago), the State has had 19 Chief Executives with only 6 civilians while the rest 13 were Military Governors and Administrators. Among the Civilian Governors were:
|1.||Alh. Adamu Attah||Igbira||Kogi||1979 – 1983||4 Years|
|2.||Chief Cornelius O. Adebayo||Yoruba||Kwara South||1983||2 months|
|3.||Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi||Nupe||Kwara North||1992 – 1993||23 months|
|4.||Alh. Mohammed Alabi Lawal||Yoruba||Kwara Central||1999 – 2003||4 years|
|5.||Dr. Bukola Saraki||Yoruba||Kwara Central||2003 – 2011||8 years|
|6.||Alh. Fatah Ahmed||Yoruba||Kwara South||2011- 2019||8 years|
Linguistically, Kwara State is known to have 4 major languages namely: Yoruba, Nupe, Batonu (Bariba) and Boko-Baru. However, from the above data, it is crystal clear that posterity has not been fair to the people of Kwara North and in particular, the Batonu and Boko-Baru ethnic groups. And even the Nupes who had a taste of power from Kwara North occupied the coveted seat for only 23 months. While Kwara Central had its uninterrupted 12 years reign; Kwara South is having it good under Dr. Abdulfatai Ahmed’s 8 years rule.
It may be needless to say that despite the population, abundant natural resources, commitment and dedication towards the emergence of governors from the two (2) other Senatorial Districts, Kwara North has always been a victim of political rigmarole especially in its bid to occupy the office of the Chief Executive of the State.
However, the hope of a common Kwara Northerner is greatly being rekindled under the leadership of the Senate President, the undisputable leader of Kwara politics, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. As a strong and unrepentant advocate of the democratic principle of fairness, equity and justice as exhibited in the emergence of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara South) against all odds and being a great respecter and beneficiary of the much touted constitutional proviso (Federal Character), it is believed that same gesture will be extended to Kwara North to strengthen further the trust, confidence and respect Kwara Northerners have in your political leadership which you have unequivocally demonstrated to the people of Baruten at various times.
Nostalgically, your patriotic and timely intervention towards the reconstruction of the age long abandoned Baruten Federal road cannot be forgotten in a hurry. Neither will your choice of Alh. Hon. Bio Isa Ibrahim from Baruten as Speaker to the Kwara State House of Assembly and subsequently, Minister for transport be considered as a disservice to the people. The two term election of Senator Ahmed Mohammed from Baruten despite the circumstances surrounding his candidature couldn’t have come to fruition without your support. The list is infinite.
Sir, your much talked magnanimity which you’ve demonstrated to the Baruten people in different occasions is unparallel. It is therefore hoped that this God given quality of yours will not elude us now that we are in dire need of it.
It is therefore on the above premise, fully aware that your leadership style have grown above ethno-religious attachments, that the people of Kwara North and Baruten in particular crave for your support in the candidature of Hon. Zakari Mohammed. With Alhaji Zakari Mohammed as the PDP flag bearer, victory is assured.