Opinion: Kwara & The Coalition Option – Tunde Mohammed


In Psychology, theories are cheap. Anyone can invent one. Progress can only happen when theories are tested, supported and corrected by empirical evidence especially when a theory proves to be useful if it helps mankind to understand why he seemed to live in a different moral world. Kwara has lived in political purgatory yet edge to something worse due to the over-estimation of our political experience. And these political troubles can never be resolved without discarding some of the antiquated and benighted ideologies. One can hardly get something different by doing the same thing. That Kwara experiences contemporaneous crisis is not coincidental. Each state is tied down by the weight of its own history and the older it remained at the crossroads, the bulkier the cart of unresolved contradictions it carries. The blunt truth is that the opposition in this state appeared not presently structured to benefit itself. It slips behind with each passing moment and should it continue, it shall slip further still. Muddled thinking can be catastrophic at moments like this when the people are eager for the embrace of a more responsible political solution to the state problems.

 To majority of Kwarans, the last fifteen years have been years of tribulation. The people have suffered uncharitable names. A sadder truth also is that we have been complicit in our devaluation. Our consciences twisted because of the injustice we mete on ourselves. The rich and powerful amongst us have sacrificed their morality for wealth and strength but I leave it to them to determine if they made a fair exchange. Times have changed but Kwara has not. The vice which profited a few and dashed the hopes of many have began to manifest at this moment of advantage. In the midst of all of the ugliness, sanity has taken flight resulting to a delayed extension of political reconstruction. The deep rottenness of Kwara’s political system has even created doubt as to whether the people are still desirous of that often eluded change. Fifty-one years since creation and eighteen years into the new century, Kwara is still battling more vicious form of mental incorrectness. This is a state where we confuse pride and arrogance with self-confidence resulting to a situation where we fail to grasp the fact that our reality have descended below its normal tenuous state. That we still walk the fragile rim of bleak peril is no longer in doubt yet we pretend all is well.

Nature and politics have one thing in common. They both abhor a vacuum. Any democracy is hobbled without a vibrant opposition. An opposition party is a government in waiting. But winning elections by the opposition in Kwara has been a pipe-dream arising from many factors. The opposition cannot win the war yet. Victory can only be if there is a sustainable political solution to the inherent guerrilla activities within the space. While the weakness of the opposition can be said to emanate also from the incumbents’ hostile policies which are mostly aimed at fragmenting and weakening it, weak link to the people remains another major factor leading to unilateral multi-party-ism – a situation where the opposition exist only in theory. No opposition party desirous of winning an election fights each other. Opposition parties do not have the same resources as government. So it has to work twice as hard to get the same result. And there is no gain saying the fact also that Kwara has experienced so many failed political experiments yet our politicians have chosen to remain unintelligent and barren. They neither feel the need to be united by shared political preferences or a general ideological identity. This factor by no means leads often times to electoral fragmentation and intra-party friction, thereby damaging the opposition image and frustrating the hopes of millions of the people. 

 As we inch towards the 2019 general elections, there appeared no signs that the opposition leaders are doing anything different on their drawing board. Still the clichés of yesterday has remained the template. I am incensed by this stratagem. More than any other thing, it is time now to begin to look at the coalition option. The benefit here is that it will increase the chances of a successful challenge to the incumbent. But building a coalition involves series of steps based on compatible interest. Deciding whether to form a coalition is both rational and emotional. Rational is about interest. Emotional is about commitment and determination. As things stand today in the state, the fundamental question in the coming elections is whether Kwara recognises the fact that it is undergoing structural stresses that it no longer can endure and that it has remained stagnant to a level that it needed a relieve from the present ineptitude that pass as good governance. But if the voters see the need for a new turn, the opposition must begin to look the way of a coalition force – a modern version of a New Deal. Therefore, forming a coalition allows members to combine resources and come more powerful. Coalition building is a primary mechanism that can turn the table and shift the balance of power and alter future course.

 It is no longer a subject in dispute that the present administration in the state and its leadership has offered the people a fake and jaundiced picture of a state that lends a hand to the downtrodden and supports the people’s aspirations. Theirs is an egalitarian aspiration more perfect in its postulations than in its implementation. Under the present administration is a Kwara where the poor and working class have no dignity and their children can never nurse aspirations of a better life. The government has no vision for the society because the leadership lacks courage and character. And unfortunately hackled by his current travails, Senator Bukola Saraki may still continue to delude that things may work out well for him with his new conciliatory approach but in reality he would chose to preface such acknowledgement with the admonition that Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed have let things slide too far. But now that he has waited until panic berth at his doorsill, it is doubtful he can continue to benefit the luxury of eating his cake and still keep it. While the value of freedom and moderation are not driven by ego and selfish motivations, the opposition must take the opportunity of today that appear to hasten the Kwara bald eagle’s flight from its nest because it has fallen and been given over to the wolves and jackals of the age.

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