Posted by News Express | 14 October 2017 | 1,432 times
The search has begun! The search is one that seeks to liberate people from mental slavery. It is as well the search for unstained and credible candidates into elective posts at state and federal levels in 2019. The governorship race in Kwara State which has, in recent years, generated uncommon interest, is not going to be an exception. The 2019 elections is the best opportunity to break the asphyxiating hold of freeloaders and their puppets that have denied the people a breathing space for decades.
This time, Kwara State must get it right. To get it right is to vote for the right people. It will be a mistake of no mean proportion if another stooge is elected as governor in 2019. The choice before the people is to end their enslavement to freeloaders, who have no interest in improving the state and the welfare of its people. If things must change, all hands must be on deck to stop another stooge from surfacing at Government House, Ilorin, in 2019. Otherwise, a huge chunk of the resources of the state will continue to go into driving the false lifestyle of a few.
Yes, the search is on! And, it’s not treading the bumpy and anger-inducing road that leads nowhere. The only option available to the people of Kwara State is to identify an individual who is beyond reproach; an individual who will improve the state and not wait for the state to improve him as has been the practice over the past several years. It is time to elect an honest and dedicated governor that the people can truly call their own. The next election provides an opportunity to elect a governor who will not hold the treasury in trust for freeloaders. Several individuals fit the bill.
Of the lot, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stands tall. If truth be told, ‘Lai Mohammed has distinguished himself and stands tall among the motley crowd that could be called upon to get the state out of the disharmonious state it has been forced into by years of sustained plunder. ‘Lai Mohammed has the added advantage of being an active participant in laying the foundation for the ongoing socio-economic transformation in Lagos State. As information minister, he has proved, through diligence to assigned roles and duties that he has a key role to play in salvaging Kwara State.
The other time he contested his party’s governorship primaries, paid third rate publicists tagged Lai Mohammed a Lagos politician who had no business aspiring to be governor of his home state of Kwara. Again, the tale-bearers went to town when he was announced as ministerial nominee for Kwara State. Of course, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari knew ‘Lai Mohammed will not disappoint as a member of the cabinet. He hasn’t!
The ongoing transformation in neighbouring Osun State makes the case for ‘Lai Mohammed even more imperative. In Osun State, the people entrusted their destiny in the hands of Alhaji Abdulrauf Aregbesola who, like ‘Lai Mohammed, was an active participant in the success story of Lagos State. Aregbesola has not disappointed. The sensible and far-sighted argument in Osun State was that, having cut his political teeth in Lagos, Aregbesola was bound to perform creditably. Hopefully, the rueful electors in Kwara, who succumb to financial inducement to vote for puppets, will do the needful.
Gradually, the era of inducing delegates to nominate wrong candidates is coming to grief. The outcome of the 2014 All Progressives Congress (APC), presidential primaries and the 2015 general election have shown that Nigerians can resist inducement and vote for honest and decent people. We should build on the gains of 2015 and draft decent and honest people, who otherwise would have been sidelined by the asphyxiating money politics we play. We can begin to change the misconception that politics is a dirty game, because it was this misconception that contributed to the mess we find ourselves in.
The State of Harmony can no longer accommodate politicians who do not appreciate the demarcation between state funds and personal bank accounts. It will be a disaster if, in 2019, the people of Kwara put their destiny in the hands of another surrogate and his principal who feed fat at their expense. This will be a tragedy of no mean proportion in a state that brims with educated, intelligent, god-fearing and incorruptible people in the mould of Lai Mohammed.
It remains an irony of fate that, even with abundance of straight-thinking sons and daughters of the soil, Kwara State has continued to dance to the weird drumbeat of a larcenous, self-serving few. The task that must be done in 2019 is to return the Kwara to a true state of harmony by snatching the state from the jaws of death.
The redemption song ahead of 2019 is for people to organise to dismantle the prevailing puppet state that benefits a few. It is as well a song that calls on people to reject freeloaders who feed fat at their expense.
•Abdulrazaq Magaji writes from Abuja and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
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