By Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir (ABDUL ABDUL)
Earlier this year, precisely February, I remember writing an article with the title: “Bobaselu of Erin-Ile: Congratulations Rafiu Ibrahim, but the People Want You Back.” The article was in honour of my principal and mentor, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, who at the time was being conferred with a chieftaincy title in Erin-Ile for his meritorious service to the people. The senator at the time was just gearing up for the Senatorial return and we were optimistic he would pick the ticket.
As desired and expected, he clinched the ticket. But that itself was not without a competition. It was such a diplomatic contest that started and ended with political maturity, personal sacrifices, methodical considerations, true internal democracy and unrivalled leadership prowess by the former President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Many had thought the vie for ticket will engender conflict in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kwara South and offer them an opportunity to take advantage of. Far from it. I hope now they know better. Senator Rafiu, like the Leader, Dr Saraki, had chosen to stay aloof after the whole abracadabra they concocted to see him out of office. Despite the whole restriction, irregularity and injustice, he kept his cool and gave space. It’s been four years now, and our people now know better. Even the objective ones in the ruling party know better.
It is one thing to be in political office, it is another to know the operationality of that office. It is one thing to crave power as human, it is another to seek power because you have passion to turn the life of your constituents around and you need power to aid it and take you far; That, everyone knows about Rafiu Aadebayo Ibrahim. Even without the paraphernalia of office, he commands regard, intervenes in public matters requiring such, understands the parliamentary assignment and uses his influence to the benefit of the people. He knows how to carry the people along and seeks their input for an inclusive governance. He is a true democrat.
Unlike those who habitually peddled unfounded rumours and make grievous allegations without basis, this ruling party, APC, has enjoyed the time and were left to the peoples court. It takes maturity. Now, all the sponsored lies have fallen like pack of cards and dramatically, it didn’t even take the people to judge. The makeshift political structure imploded just months into the administration and has only degenerated since then till now. It was the first test of how they could manage power. Again, I say, the people now know better. We have all seen the beauty in the PDP and the personalities therein.
Never seen someone as meek and peace loving as Dr Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim. It’s hard to admit he’s a politician in our clime. His character gives meaning to the saying, Still water runs deep. To him, the hue and cry of the people is what matters. He is humble, passionate, intelligent, accessible, open-minded and selfless. It’s about four years since he left office, but his deeds still linger. A golden fish, they say, has no hidden place. It is just why the leaders and citizens alike in Kwara South prodded him endlessly to return as their Senator in 2023, so we can resume the good work we started.
The people must however know that they owe the Ojoku-born politician and themselves just one thing, and that is their votes. There’s no better birthday gift we can give to the Are Atunluse of Labaka than to troop out en-masse and vote the PDP. Again, there’s no good we can do ourselves as a people than to ensure that we sacrifice February 25, 2023 to make sure we give back the mandate to the Bobaselu of Erin-Ile, as the Senator to represent us in the 10th Assembly and all PDP candidates. Many joyous returns Senator, Sir. We toast to victory.
Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir, is the Press Officer on Local Matters, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Media Office
12th December, 2022