Kwara North, PDP, and the way forward for larger Kwarans


Soliu Ismaila

When Abraham Lincoln was shot dead shortly after the American civil war, the world was quick to describe the American democracy as a failed experiment. Unfortunately, the world was wrong, Andrew Johnson immediately took over, as far back as 1865, he was the vice-president to Abraham Lincoln at the time. He went on to serve till 1869 as the 17th President of the United States. It was until Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’dua death we got the opportunity to feel the essence of systemic arrangement in governance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t without debate, for at the time, anything could have happened until the controversial “doctrine of necessity” was invented in our political clime. Nonetheless, debates raged on as segments of people argued its legality and legitimacy back and forth.

This is a sign that our democracy is young, and unlike America’s, we need to deploy all we can to strengthen it and forge a national identity. No moment has Nigeria been so divided with increased mutual suspicions among tribes in the country. At our local level here, the APC in Kwara State most times attempt to force the narrative that Alhaji Shuaibu Yaman is not an independent candidate, but an extension of Dr. Bukola Saraki’s rule. In fact, they are forcing it that a Yaman administration is tantamount to Saraki’s third term. I am from Kwara Central, and I beg to ask, who are they deceiving and should our greed not be kept in check by wanting to retain the Governorship slot in Kwara Central? Kwara’s democracy is as volatile as that of Nigeria, and perhaps needs the same ingredients and mechanisms on addressing our problems. The APC will sell whatever is convenient for them, and if necessary, they will tell larger Kwarans at some point that Shuaibu Yaman will be a governor for Kwara North alone, therefore heating the polity up and exploiting interests and dominance. However, Kwarans must show class, understanding, maturity and unprecedented drive to move away from the winner and loser narrative, while holding tightly onto not compromising the standard of governance and administration in the state. Outsiders are quick to mock our democracy in Kwara State, at times they marvel at how we run things down here between 2019 till date. Someone once probed me during a conference if I am unaware that Kwara is making a mockery of Nigeria’s democracy under the present administration.

In case you forgot, do I need to remind larger Kwarans and Kwara Northerners that prior to 2019, the narrative was that PDP intends to marginalise the zone. Part of the rumours were Ilorin attempted dominance of politics in the state, how they did it successfully against PDP and how people were tricked to forget or miss that Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is from same Ilorin remains unclear. In 2023, it is PDP that has kept its promise of bringing the ticket to Kwara North among all political parties in the State; not APC, NNPP, SDP, LP, YPP amongst others. It is only PDP that conceded it’s Gubernatorial ticket to Kwara North. I have been to the zone myself, I was on an assignment to Lafiagi to interact with locals on domestic violence, sexual harrassment and marital rape. I was dusty, smelling, and brown by the time I reached Gbugbu International market. Like many others, I was excited about the market, it is one of my greatest aspiration in life to see Kwara North aiding food crisis in Africa and the world at large. God bearing me witness, I met the biggest disappointment of my life. For the market is smaller in size to any market in Ilorin, but who cares about size that much, it was the road that leads to the market that saddens me the most. I have been to the 36 states in the country and can say the worst road network in North Central Nigeria is that of Bida connecting Minna. I am unapologetically stating that the road that leads to Gbugbu International market is worst than the Bida road. So I became pensive, how will an international market without a good road network thrive?

I saw poverty. I saw opportunity and wealth if the people from that zone get it right. For no one else can build that region, Why? I have on many times alleged Alhaji Shuaibu Yaman of hypocrisy and sentiments against Ilorin, but at that time, I had never been to Kwara North. When I moved to Tsaragi, Shonga, and Lafiagi, I was sad. Even the College of Education there now have reduced enrolment. It is a region crippled and on its knees. If Yaman gets the opportunity and doesn’t build and invest in that region, I will give up on administrative and volunteering contributions I cherish.

Kwara North must go PDP way, it is the only party that gave them consideration by conceding everything

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