Kwara PDP Needs Unity of Purpose Ahead of 2023 General Elections – Mohammed Haruna Likpata

In today’s political climate, it can be easy to fall into the trap and start to think from the perspective of “us versus them”. But the reality is that voters are a spectrum of individuals who all have thoughts, fears, dreams and life experiences that influence their opinions, just like you and me. The truth is that most people have opinions that fall on both sides of the spectrum and that the radicals are few and far between. 

I decided to write this opinion after several weeks of talks across our party faithful for three classified reasons. First as a voter whose interest is to see well-functioning democratic structures and a strong political governance that are central to economic development of our Dear State. 

Secondly as a politician who will pay attention to the issues that matters most to me and my people  and lastly as a party man whose interests is to see my party winning elections in Kwara State no matter the affiliations. However, silence in younger democracies can weaken the accountability of elected politicians, and consequently, decision making. 

I specifically choose to direct this opinion to Kwara North leaders to be more open to this struggle as all is not well with the Kwara North PDP. We cannot proceed if we do not speak up to own up our responsibilities to shy away from pretense that all is well with PDP in Kwara North. I have always taken exceptions in not telling the truth. A Lot of people had contacted me both in our party and other parties. Why am I silent on the Kwara North agenda despite all our voices during the struggle of having a gubernatorial candidate from Kwara North. 

The recent one is a close friend who is not even a politician nor has interest in party politics asking why Kwara North doesn’t look as if we own the Governor in PDP. I simply respond to my dear friend, that you can be active at the level you are engaged. 

The candidates that have emerged have a lot to do because being a party man or woman doesn’t qualify such a voter an automatic license to vote for his or her party. The candidates must understand that every voter has an influence and as such must be treated differently. Voter apathy happens in different ways.

 For instance, you can be a member of a party and decide not to vote. A lot influences voter apathy. Either the candidates in your party do not understand your influence on his winning election. Or the party you choose to support does not also understand the value of its members and as such create a weak relationship among party members who will decide to sit and look without influencing others to vote for his or her party. This is dangerous. 

The State leadership of the party in a matter of urgency should wade into LGA Executives to bring all the party men and women into the same folds. I can authoritatively say that in Kwara North today among the ranks of PDP members there are a lot of cracks. PDP members in Kwara North are living in pretense that all is well. All is not well with the party at the LGA levels. 

The candidates also have a lot to do in this regard particularly our gubernatorial candidate to carry everybody along and delegate responsibilities to people. Let me make one assertion very clear, largely I mean largely, 2023 elections will form a lot of shapes in our democratic process in the emergence of who wins the elections. Candidates themselves have a lot to do in this regard. The conflicts resolutions sometimes naturally dies off if the candidates take responsibility of reaching out. The efforts of the State Executives may not pay off if the candidates doesnt recognize their efforts by complementing the state with show of empathy and compassion for those that felt aggrieved because they are not being carried along and given due considerations. 

You cannot speak to me to work for someone who does not recognize your efforts. This is a very important point to note. It is not about *Haruna Likpata* but about what many are saying and the leadership do not know. In my opening statement, I said, “ In today’s political climate, it can be easy to fall into the trap and start to think from the perspective of “us versus them”. This is the major crack among party men across the board. It is happening and still hurting the party silently. 

 A lot of candidates will suffer from this perspective as almost all the politicians whom the candidates depend on have this tendency of “us versus them”. The candidates must be careful hence it is dangerous and this has to be addressed as quickly as possible if we truly want to win the 2023 elections in Kwara state. It is not too late to address them and change their ways. No section is greater than another section. A polling unit can make you win or lose an election and this has happened in the case of Sokoto State Governor. He won his second term in office with less than 350 votes. 

 Oftentimes, those who win elections for parties are not seen and appreciated. It is imperative that the leadership of Peoples Democratic party must begin to wade in to saving the party at the LGAs especially where the gubernatorial candidate comes from.  Like in my LGA today where the gubernatorial candidate comes from are largely divided. I challenge anyone to come forth and contend this rare truth and I will compare notes for all to see.  We are divided and if nothing is done, it may likely, very likely affect the party at the polls. 

It may look almost impossible that the party has her gubernatorial candidate from the LGA and that everyone must key in. This is a very big mistake the leadership of the party must quickly address. The assumptions may be positive or negative because if the unity of Kwara North remains and still remains United going by the 2019 agitations by some groups to have the Governorship slot, a candidate from Kwara North in 2019 in another party could have won that election in Kwara  North, which he never did and not even in his own LGA. 

This shows that voting for you is not a must and that voters can freely decide where their interest lies. This also means that it is not an automatic thing that because you come from Kwara North it is a license you must be voted for. Politics is dynamic and must be approached by three available values; empathy, love and compassion towards the people you want to lead. 

I strongly advise the party leadership to seriously take Kwara North among her priorities because this is where the huge expectations may be. I may not have the opportunity to speak with the leadership of the party at this time, but going by this opinion is to also save the party from the many pretense of PDP members. What is being said, is not what is being heard. 

As a voter, a politician who was on the ballot in the 2019 general elections and a strong contender for the just concluded Primaries for HOR before the micro-zoning of the Governorship slot to Edu/Moro/Patigi Federal  constituency and as a party man who is duty bound to see his party winning elections have decided to share my views in the public to save the party before it is too late. I listen to people, I hear and know what they say. Alot is going on. Almost everyone that sincerely fought for Kwara North for Governor before the zoning of the Guber ticket to Kwara North by the leadership of the party are no longer in good state of mind following the latest events within the party hierarchy at the LGA levels. 

Those who fought for a course knew better how to manage the success to win the elections. Reshaping your ideas as candidates that will strengthen the course and the party’s chances at the polls is also good but must be done in all inclusive representation for the party to survive. As members of the party in the State, we recently celebrated the just concluded Osun election which was sweet. But the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) was able to win the Osun election because of two major forces. 

First, because the Osun PDP was strongly United going into the election. And the second major force was the disunity in APC in Osun State. The total collapse of APC as a party in Osun state was as a result of her members bad mouthing the leadership of the party in the state and that formed a huge burden of opinions in the heart of the ordinary voters in the state to have voted out the current government in Osun state. What that means is that, in any party where there are cracks, there is likelihood of failureship.

The most dangerous and most likely not avoidable failure is the crack among party members that still remains within the party. 

I decided to air this opinion in the public to get a contrary engagement from those who are piloting the false  and prentse activities for PDP that all is well. 

I take responsibility for all that I said here. I know and have heard a lot across party men and women that matters within the ranks of Kwara North PDP. The candidates must do better. If anyone is sitting somewhere and assuring you that it is “us versus them” I’m sorry it may be too late because a lot is going underway that the leadership of the party may not know. 

I didn’t write this opinion because I want to be invited. I don’t need to be invited to work for my party. I’m in this party because of my love for the party and for my people who have supported me till date. I also use this opportunity to thank all my supporters across my constituents and I assure you all of my total commitment to be with you always. I thank you and thank you. 

The leadership of the party has to sincerely engage people across the board. There is a strong division in Kwara North among all ranks. Many of us have taken a bullet for PDP from this part of the state and we remain resolute for a better Kwara. The last time I checked my archives, in the struggle for Kwara North for Governor, I had written over 25 opinions in the last one and half year before it was finally zoned to Kwara North. Opinions shape decisions and decisions are made based on the actions of people. 

I will end this opinion by saying that the PDP gubernatorial candidate has a lot of work to do. Many are silently watching from afar to see  how it all play out. “Us versus them pendulum” Thank you and remain blessed. 

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