BY SIMON REEF MUSA
The outcome of the council poll in Kaduna, though inconclusive, is no doubt an eye-opener. While we saw a failure by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a platform in confronting the incumbency of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, we saw the commitment of some PDP members and the electorate who defied the odds to defend their votes.
One feature of the council poll is the deployment of social media for maximal effect. When the Kad-SIECOM Chairman announced the result for the polls, it became obvious that we have been made victims of falsehood, so it seems. But why should system that violates its own rules? While the rule states that the results are supposed to be announced at the ward and local government level, why did Kad-SIECOM hijack the announcement of the results? That it took the commission over five days after the conclusion of voting to announced the poll results is clearly indicative that all is not well.
I’ve always had this feeling that those in the corridors of power were always in possession of a smart game plan to confront their waning popularity. I have never been in doubt of the fact that defeating the APC was never to be a walk in the park. I have my disappointments with the system and the inability of my people to put our interest above party membership. Because we do not have a unifying basis for our participation in politics, we have simply reduced politics as an art of advancing pecuniary interest above the collective.
The Kaduna LG poll may have lent credence to the fact of the PDP being synonymous with the southern axis. But I make haste to state here that it could turn out to be oversimplification of political realities. Let no one be fooled, most of the votes against the APC were protest votes against a government that has left us battered and left most us in debilitating despair of the highest magnitude.
I salute the courage of those nameless voters who in their little ways stood up to ensure their votes were counted. The non-release of the result and the disappearance of electoral officers from their duty posts reveal a desperation never seen on the part of an incumbent to influence the outcome of the poll results.
Nothing has changed from those who eat the kola nuts on our behalf. There was loud and disturbing silence from others who were elected to stand up for their own people. Yes, some may say some of them preferred to work silently than expose themselves. If you cannot stand up for your people in the day time, you certainly cannot in the night.
We may not attain the desired political unity amongst us, but we must work hard to agree on what should be term as our collective interest. We will always have people who will create a semblance of alignment, but thereafter carry the wings of night to report to their masters. Snitchers are never in short supply where money and greed hold sway. Attempting to create unity based on party basis can turn out to be puerile and futile in the long run.
We must identify our basis of our unity and work towards it early in the day before the dusk descends on us all. Having seen what we witnessed during the Saturday’s poll, I think we need to rethink and retool our strategies. APC and PDP politicians are same, as far as I am concerned. What I have always said is that the present government, headed by Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, has denigrated the people and driven us down the abyss of nothingness. Those that should be our eyes and bring government closer to us have become our enemies. Within us our woes emanate. I shuddered at the prospects of el-Rufai’s comeback.
We have also seen the result of the council poll from the North and Central zone. Yes, you can only manipulate results where you are strong. Or was it that those opposed to Governor el-Rufai adopted a complacent disposition and allowed the hawks to put a lie to the EVM? Where was former Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo? Was Senator Mohammed Ahmed Makarfi asleep? What happened to former Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero who is struggling for a comeback bid? Where were those numerous ministers produced by the PDP in its “16 years of affliction” as the APC is wont to remind us?
Let us resolve henceforth that from 2019, we shall never be denigrated and subjected to errand hands. If what happened on Saturday is re-enacted in 2019, el-Rufai’s chances of re-election will be unstoppable. I am quick to be reminded by the politician that 2019 will be different. I am increasingly distrustful of politicians, but I have never ceased in hoping for a change in 2019.
More than change for political leadership, I seek a change from amongst us and for us to realise that in us “reside triumphs and defeats.” This we can only achieve when we relegate our pride, ego and greed to embrace collective strategy for our survival. We may not agree to be of same political affiliation, but let us remember that the best legacy we can leave behind for our children is unity of purpose and justice for all.