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OPINION

2019: Beyond Boxing The Air In Nasarawa

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With barely one month to primary elections by political parties and about five months to the 2019 general elections, alignments and re-alignments of forces as well as intrigues and permutations are bound to occur. Election year in all democracies of the world is characterized by intrigues, permutations, alignments and re-alignments of forces; gale of defections here and there as well as insidious attacks from the opposition to the ruling party and vice versa. These are in sum, what to expect in an election year, which are all part of the ‘goodies’ of democracy.
In an election year, only a politically naïve person will expect the polity to be cool and calm as the polity must get heated and tensions rise. All the intrigues, the permutations and the tensions in the polity today are not astonishing in any way; they are all what an election year has in store.

In Nasarawa state, the situation is no different. The permutations and the intrigues as well as assaults on one political party by the other or by one aspirant on the other or by one political camp on the other have started rearing their heads. The social media space is awash with allegations and counter allegations as well as permutations and intrigues all geared towards making one aspirant or one political camp to be ahead of the other. From the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the story is the same. In the PDP, each governorship aspirant is trying to outsmart the other just as each senate aspirant is.
In APC the game is increasingly becoming more amusing due to the number and quality of aspirants that are vying for one political office or the other under the party’s platform.
Each aspirant is trying to undo the other. Though, there is an adage which says ‘the more the merrier’, from what is unfolding today in the APC in Nasarawa state, the game is about to take a dangerous dimension which if care is not taken, the party may lose some substantial number of its members to other political parties.
It is true that by virtue of its status as the ruling party in the state, the intrigues, permutations and assaults by one camp on the other is supposed to be more pronounced. But allowing these machinations to degenerate into something else portends danger to the ruling party.

Already, these permutations and machinations in the APC have started taking a turn for the worse hence the need for the party, more specifically the leader of the party in the state who is the governor, to take a more proactive measure to nib in the bud, any unpleasant situations that may likely cause the party to lose some of its members.
Going by the unfolding drama among the aspirants under the APC platform where one aspirant is accusing the other of an untoward behaviour and the other is pointing fingers at the other for indecent acts, there is the urgent need for the elders of the party in the state to meet so as to douse the tension generated by these permutations and the machinations that are increasingly gaining currency in the state.

The allegations and counter–allegations trending in the social media about underhand deals involving some aspirants and some close aides of the governor are counter-productive. The people of Nasarawa state are the ones to anoint who succeeds Governor Al-makura come 2019. The insinuations that Governor Al-makura is the one to decide who will succeed him are just mere talks that have no basis in a democratic environment. All aspirants of political offices in Nasarawa state must have it at the back of their minds that it is the votes of the people that can make them actualize their dreams, not affiliations or endorsement by any individual or group. Although, in our kind of political environment, elites’ consensus play a role in deciding who goes where, the present governor, Al-makura nonetheless, has demystified that age-old understanding when in 2011, nobody anointed him, nobody endorsed him and above all, elites’ consensus was not in his favour, yet he won the contest to the chagrin of the so-called elites in the state.
Aspirants of political offices in the state must learn from Governor Al-Makura and seek for mandate from the people as against the mandate of individuals.
When Al-makura decided to contest for the seat of governor of Nasarawa state in 2011, virtually those who matter, from the local governments to the state and federal government, none supported him.
In fact the elites in the state did not only desert him but went ahead to demonstrate their support for then incumbent (now late) Aliyu Doma. But their actions and utterances did not deter Al-makura from pursuing his dream until God in his infinite mercy answered his prayers.
Just as earlier observed, our aspirants must draw a lesson from Al-makura’s experience and stop seeing or believing that somebody somewhere, can make them realize their dreams. Political office aspirants must believe that power rests with the people and must go to them to seek for power instead of seeking for favours or anointment from someone.
But beyond shadow boxing and shooting the sky, which is normal and usual in an election year, the APC in the state must tread with caution. Above all, the common good of the state and its people should guide those seeking elective offices.

–Bala write from Lafia



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