By David Titiloye
General Sanni Abacha tried to transform overnight into a constitutional President of Nigeria, he went on to create the five leprosy political parties, and even went as far as wearing Agbada as a military man to get Nigerians used to his transition into a civilian President. Unfortunately, the coup from heaven thwarted that theatrical arrangement. However, one would beg to ask whether his transition would have made any difference to larger Nigerians? For all I know, Abacha was alone in that game and the larger Nigerians knew they were no fools. The Igbomina agenda of Prof. Wale Sulaiman is not very distant to the theatrical arrangement of Sanni Abacha, a desperate attempt to trick Kwara Southerners into voting for him, but our people are no fools, for Nigerians saw how far his loyalty to the country was.
Interestingly, loyalty which is considered as a premium trait in human interpersonal relationship is one of the easiest points of attack in political communications while ironically, disloyalty is a marketable product. Some will argue today that Abacha was one of the best humans to have been born in Nigeria, but was he ever loyal to the country? Did he have to wait until it was time to transition into a civilian government before showing Nigerians that he was a deserving leader? Prof. Wale Sulaiman was no where to be found in Kwara South until he started nursing his senatorial ambition. People only know PWS today for the money he throws around than his experience in administration or capacity to deliver.
As one in the field of political communications, the best way to brand a disloyal person is to describe him as one with an independent mind just like Abacha who had no loyalty to entities, friends and even his country. While being independent-minded is an admirable trait, one should be careful of any politician whose major selling point is being independent-minded, it is usually a covert way of telling you that he is loyal to nothing/no one but himself, if you are circumspect enough to check his history, you will find elements of disloyalty.
I must commend the work done by the brand strategist of Prof. Wale Sulaiman who found a way to package him as a political newbie who should be given a trial meanwhile he is the personification of an establishment boy who has always been around the corridors of power and also a beneficiary of political patronage, but his lack of loyalty to a single ideology, philosophy or person has made him go unnoticed until he decided to run for senate. I challenge John Kenny and his attack squad to deny that PWS never enjoyed political patronage from Abubakar Bukola Saraki or if he didn’t serve under Abdulfatai Ahmed before his recent fall out with Gov. Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman.
It is said that if you always have a problem with everyone, you should probably check yourself perhaps, you’ll realize that you are the problem. Most importantly, politics requires working in difficult situations and creating a path where there is none. Governance requires finding solutions even when it appears like there are none. What assurance can Prof. Wale Sulaiman give Kwara Southerners having worked unsuccessfully with three successive administrations in Kwara State and deserted all of them?
One thing is consistent with PWS, he has a pattern of betrayal packaged as independent-mindedness and he is loyal to nothing but himself. He will use anything to achieve whatsoever he desires irrespective of how it affects others, even if it means inventing ethnic battles or exploiting long standing sentiments. In everything, he sees only interests and benefits.
I believe that is why his major claim to the senate is being an Igbomina, a narrative John Kenny heedlessly pushed again in his “Let’s Try Prof. Wale Sulaiman Too” balderdash. The questions we Igbomina should ask PWS is did he just realize he is an Igbomina in 2022 when his senate ambition became more obvious or what has he done in the past to lay claim as an ethnic champion of the Igbominas?
My fellow Kwara Southerners should also ask him if he will only be a senator for the Igbomina or what will become of our unity if the Ibolo and Ekiti bloc unite over his continuous attempt to victimize Senator Rafiu Ibrahim as being from Ibolo bloc. PWS and his media team have made frantic efforts in mocking Kwara South mindlessly, while forgetting that the other parts of the state are paying attention to our politics. For the first time in our political history, someone is using ethnicity as his ticket for a legislative assignment, therefore, suggesting marginalisation tendencies from PWS.
The incessant personality attacks and pandering to divisive politics only proves that Senator Rafiu Ibrahim is head and shoulders above the other candidates. You can’t question his competence because his track record speaks for itself.
You can’t claim to be more knowledgeable than he is because his CV matches that of anyone. You can’t claim to have a better character than him because never in all his years in public service has anyone ever accused him of being inaccessible or lacking empathy.
In America, Kelvin McCarthy wouldn’t have emerged as the Speaker of United States House of Representatives without the support of former President Donald Trump. The Clintons who are Democrats have backed Obama, Hillary, Biden in their attempts to be President, same as the Bush who are Republicans, they backed Donald Trump and others. Therefore, criminalising political bond or branding it as loyalty to an individual is ridiculous. The evil of divisive politics shouldn’t spread to Kwara Southerners, what they must consider and evaluate with is delivery when individuals had opportunity to represent us as a people.
Kwara Southerners must be wiser than this rhetoric of using Senator Rafiu Ibrahim’s loyalty to Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki as basis for why he shouldn’t be elected. The question should be that, is his relationship with Saraki more beneficial or detrimental to us in Kwara South? Has it in any way affected his stewardship? While in the senate, did his relationship with Dr Bukola Saraki as Senate President not contribute in any way to the dividends of good representation he was able to facilitate to Kwara South?
The answer is clear, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim is a man to learn from and not despise.