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Kwara PDP’s Avoidable Mistakes By Rextun Boss

Every passing day brings us closer to another day of reckoning when every politician seeking electoral relevance have to be subjected to the litmus test of elections.

If anything is clear, it is the fact that in 2023, no party will pick power in Kwara state on the strength of propagandas and protest votes as witnessed in 2019.

In the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the slow warming up and the non-preponderance of consensus candidates may be the party’s undoing in Kwara.

It is certain that if the Kwara PDP intends to cash in on the fragmentation and the almost irrevocably disunited ruling APC, the part must do beyond the traditional politicking.

In a private Opinion sampling which cut across the 16 LGAs in Kwara state, the members of the PDP stands shoulder above the APC in terms of member unity and loyalty. This is strength; but it will not automatically translate into electoral gains. The party must move to sensitize members to have the mindset of a task force. The task is to wrest power from the incumbent APC and this task supersedes every ambition. The party must work towards consensus candidates to pick most of its candidates.

The feelers in the polity are that the touted unannounced zoning of the governorship ticket of the party to Kwara north has unsettled the political permutations in some quarters. The PDP however is seen by many to be offering the northern Kwarans a better deal. This political stroke of the PDP, as it would be in other sections of the state, can be made masterful in its translation to electoral gain if the candidate selection is devoid of money influence and made an exclusive preserve of the northern Kwarans to present a consensus candidate.

In Kwara south, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim remains a critical electoral victory factor. However, to field him as candidate in the next election, the party and party hierarchy must find adequate compensation to appease the Igbomina/Irepodun component of the Kwara South senatorial zone. They had been on the giving side and ought to be receiving this time round. However, the party must let them see that in spite of having an array of eminently qualified folks among them, the party is a a cross road, where tested road runners must be at the fore. Appeasing them would be far reaching if backed with a hope for the 2027 elections and some power sharing promises.

The Kwara central and the needless jostling scenarios. As decisive as this zone is to the electoral fortunes of any party, this section remains ever so fragmented in the PDP. Few days ago, towards the writing of this report, 25 ordinary party members were sampled in a telephone call survey. This survey was specifically to harness opinions about the array of aspirants declaring for different elective positions in Kwara central.

Conceptually, four classes of aspirants were identified from the people’s convergent responses to the phone survey.

There are the ‘Trial/Opportunist” aspirants. These have sole intentions of getting attentions and possible buy outs because they come from zoning favored areas.

There are the ‘Serious but Zoning and party regulations unfavored” aspirants. Respondents were of the opinion that aspirants in the Ilorin East/ South House of Representative seat from the Balogun Fulani district is mostly serious but not favored by zoning and party regulations. The people contended that the history of the House of Representative seat shows that the Balogun Fulani district has produced three Reps members from 1999 till date. Many were of the opinion that in spite of party zoning regulations disqualifying theseaspirants from Balogun Fulani district, the party has also zoned the state House of Assembly seat for Ilorin south to their district and for which a consensus candidate has emerged. They reasoned that for party cohesion, fairness and justice, the House of Representatives ticket should go to the Akanbi district.

A third class of aspirants is the ‘Spoiler’ aspirants. They are the moles. They are meant to poison the people’s mind from a consensus which enemies of the party do not want.

The last category of aspirants is the ‘serious and zoning / party regulations favored aspirants. This class is desirable for the emergence of consensus candidate. It is the class to look for fairness to pervade. However, the number of aspirants in this class needs to be pruned down. There are few very popular ones amongst this class and the party must de-emphasize money but encourage emergence of popular candidates favored by party zoning and regulations.

Where the party disregards the gentleman zoning arrangement that has hitherto made some party men to jettison their their ambitions in time past, the PDP may be heading towards throwing away the Ilorin East/South House of Representatives seat. The Akanbi District which is fore front in this contention has superior voting strength of 165 polling units as against the Balogun Fulani’s 112 polling units. This avoidable mistake lurks and may prove costly.

Ilorin West is the traditional power LGA in Kwara. Now that favorable permutation is taking away the executive power to Kwara north, the party must move to assuage the west of Ilorin with promise and hopes of adequate power sharing. For instance, the House of Representative seat must leave Asa LGA to West of Ilorin. Other power sharing formulas should also favor the west of Ilorin with plum jobs.

Yet on appeasements, the PDP IN Kwara must also look in the direction of Moro LGA. The people of Moro are the bridge between the emirate and Kwara north. They have been sidelined in many ways. This time as it appears, because of their classification with Kwara North, they may not yet be favored. They fit the description of the endangered species the enemies will be seeking as the weak link in the chain of PDP. The party must find credible ways to give the people of Moro LGA a sense of inclusiveness.

All these are easy to overlook but they are booby traps for the PDP in 2023 and they are avoidable.

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