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By Bisi Kristien

“...this is where the real problem is. He does not understand what our own brand of politics stands for” The nugget from Alhaji Lai Muhammed Press Statement in response to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq previous Press Statement. The beauty of it is that Kwarans know what the brand of politics of Alhaji Lai Muhammed stands for (from his 20 years of serving in different political office capacity) and also know what the brand of politics of Mal. Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq is standing for (with these two years of governance.)

The interviews are therefore good starting debates to determine the choice of future leader Kwarans should follow...

A change will always come with its challenges and political change that sank a ruling power in a State as it happened in Kwara can’t be different. The likely of greater challenge after a political earthquake like what happened in Kwara is therefore high.

A political earthquake that demolished all established political ruling structures and opened floor for the process of building new ones cannot bring less crisis than we are seeing. The political tussle between the new Governor and the Minister or other potential political Kings is very normal.

To be sincere, none of the two warring leaders tried to be economical with the truth as they came out straight in their defences or attacks and it is the interpreters only that are trying to dress or redress these leaders’ speeches.

Not to beat much round the bush; the major challenge before Kwarans is to choose the person they want to follow now among the three possible leaders (whom we have known and we are knowing better in these three years).

From these interviews of the Governor and the Minister plus the reactions of people who are crying more than the bereaved; we come to know that Alhaji Lai Muhammed wants to take over the role of leadership (since he believed he led the war that dethroned Saraki from the seat of leadership) and Mallam AbdulRazaq Abdulrahman is making it clear he lacked the quality to attain that.

Alhaji Lai Muhammed said (“The truth of the matter is that I am single-handedly, with a lot of my colleagues in Kwara State, responsible for the success of APC in the state”) and also hinted on this (“There is this belief that because you played this role in getting him into office, sometimes you will claim you installed him as governor, that you want to dictate to him how he should run the affairs of the state and that’s the source of the problem”) which pointed clearly to his expectation that he should be treated as a leader by the Governor. And it is normal and right to think that way.

Mal. AbdulRazaq Abdulrahman however said “I’m not there to say, one person is my leader. So they thought that being the minister, Lai is the leader of the party in Kwara. And when they are sharing posts that he will be the one to share it….” Although he also said this “When we joined, Lai was the leader because he was the most senior person in government.” ...which clearly explained his interpretation of leadership in politics as he said further “Normally, politics in Nigeria, in the state, the governor is the leader unless.” This position of the governor that tends to say he accepted Alh. Lai Muhammed as a leader been the highest political officer in the state then but the system also makes him as the leader since the Governors are the leaders of their States with some expectation now is also a right thinking.

The governor hinted on his grievance and the probable reason why Alh. Lai Muhammed did not meet the credentials that make some states an exception where governor can be a leader by saying “They created the impression that they built the party and I just walked in. ..... I don’t argue with Lai, but he has done a lot to dehumanise me.. ..The treatment he gave me shows that he does not have leadership qualities”.

Apart from the summary given for the problem Alhaji Lai Muhammed is having with Mal. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq that Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq does not understand what their (own brand of) politics stands for. The minster went a little bit deeper in explanations but all can be seen in this statement “...when you look at his own background too, you begin to understand better why there’s this problem between me and him”

As these two Leaders’ submissions show they have policy and orientation divergence issues; one will understand there is no meeting point because what the individual brand of the politics stands for is different. It is therefore left with Kwara to choose the one among the two struggling leaders (whose brand of politics stands for what Kwarans desire for the state) to follow.

Kwarans need note that the followers of the dethrone Saraki too are using the opportunity to create unnecessary attractions that will make it appears the seat of leadership left by their Boss cannot be effectively occupied by any of these two and are technically persuading Kwara to reconsider their Boss for the seat.

However, Kwarans know what the brand of politics of Alhaji Lai Muhammed stands for in what he did for Kwara or brought to kwara as a Commissioner in Lagos form 1998 to 2003. They know what his brand politics stand for as PRO of political party. They also know what his brand of politics stands for as two term serving Minister of the federation. They won’t easily forget what Alhaji Lai brand of politics stand for as LAMCO Boss and how he used his LAMCO to swallow AD. They know him as ACN leader, etc. They know how ‘what his brand of politics stand’ has contributed to the state and individual lives as he (Alh. Lai Muhammed) rises through those heights. Kwarans know very well the brand of politics of Alhaji Lai Muhammed that used LAMCO to kill AD and hijacked that structure which he has been using till now. They know the brand of politics where elders are not financially accountable to the followers.

Kwara also know the brand of Mal. Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq’s politics with these two years of governance. They know it's self determination to better Kwara in his own way and the refusal to bow or be cowed by the senior like Alhaji Lai Muhammed. They know his way of looking for good hands to handle the work of governance either in appointments or employment without allowing political influence to play big role. Kwarans know his determination to do it in the way he felt it should be done without allowing divergence advice to stop him. The weaknesses of Gov. AA is not hidden from Kwarans.

But the weakness of Mal. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is quietly different from either Alh. Lai Muhammed's weakness or other dethroned leaders. This weakness may be affecting some individual political lords negatively but it is favouring the Kwara populace.

The cries in the town are becoming more understandable with the open interview of these two Elders. The clarification of Alhaji Lai Muhammed (that says “The problem in Kwara is not between Lai Mohammed and Abdulrazaq. He has problems with the Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki; he has problems with the chairman of the party; he has problems with the leaders of the party, as well as with the aspirants or the party”) says it all. It is however important for all to know these people he was said to have problem with are repeating the same things mentioned by Lahaji Lai Muhammed up here and have nothing to do with good governance or development of Kwara. It is the personal interest of the people mentioned.

We however know the big men or the contestants mentioned with the big ones of the past government controls media and all political talks that is going on in Kwara today. All bad reports about AbdulRahman can therefore be assumed to be from these people and their followers.

Since all have agreed that the problem of Gov. AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq is not performance in governance but clearly going against well established politicians that are only using the media or medium under their control to fight him. It won't be wrong for Kwarans to trash all these negative reports on Gov. AA as mere Campaign of Oppositions.

In a nutshell, it is more advisable to stand with what the Brand of Politics of Gov. AA stand for as for now because we are all witnesses to the fact that what the Brand of Politics of the like of Alh. Lai and Co stand for is what bring our Nation and State to this bottom.

Just passing by .

Bisi Kristien

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