By: David Alfred-Dogwo / 23rd December, 2020
First of all, I want to thank you for the Christmas package.
For all of your public life, tastemakers and intellectuals have dismissed you as a vulgarian and carnival barker, a showman with big flash and little substance when you visited the opposition leaders after the victory of Alhaji Yahaya Bello‘s second victory last year. But what those critics never understood was that their disdain gave you strength. For the few months as Chief of Staff to Executive Governor of Kogi State, you fed off the disrespect and used it to grab more tabloid headlines, to connect to the aggrieved people. Now, you have upended the leadership of both major political party leaders and effectively shifted the political direction of the local order.
In a state that seemed to be bending toward its demographic future, with many straining to finally step outside the darker cycles of history, you proved that political difference, tribal instincts never die, that in times of economic strife and breakneck social change, a charismatic leader could still find the enemy within and rally the masses to his side. In the weeks after Alhaji Yahaya Bello‘s victory in 2019, hundreds of incidents of harassment, many using his name—against the east, Christians, non-indegenes and minorities—were reported across the state.
The starting point for your success, which can be measured, was the most obvious recipe in politics. First, you won the war with mischief makers who were out to paint you as enemy of your predecessor now deputy governor Chief Edward Onoja. You identified the central issue motivating the electorate and then convinced a plurality of the voters that mattered that the deputy governor was one of the best person that brought change in the state thereby throwing the mischief makers loose the battle.
Since the opposition war faded into the rearview mirror, there has been only one defining issue in the recent local government council election politics, spanning party and ideology. It’s the reason the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thunders that “the system is rigged”. It’s what some of us also meant when we say, “We are losing the All Progressive Party (APC)’s Dream,” and why our party claimed everyone has a “right to rise.”
What’s needed to be done now is to observe the elected local government chairmen closely because, some, have started to kill the party by carving structures that are not popular to influence future elections in 2023.
Also, I want to draw your attention sir, that though, being a federal job, the rehabilitation of Ganaja road should be properly monitored in the manner the contractor mannevours road closure. Lives has been deleted recently and those going home for Christmas are not finding it easy to ply.
Finally, as a schedule time/guard dog, a connector of people and ideas, manager of processes, HR problem solver and therapist, leader whisperer, thank you for serving as the glue holding the network of disparate employees together who have started recieving their December 2020 salary.
Happy Christmas and New Year in advance.