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#OtvOPINIONS: Opinion: To my friends in the dining hall of APC by Gimba Kakanda



Let me start with a reference to the political brotherhood
that binds us, and for which we struggle, day in, day out,
these past days, to defeat a marked monster. We’ve no
disagreement, whatsoever, in our understanding of the
Jonathan-led government as a tragically failed one. This
realisation is what has instigated our agitations for its
replacement. I loved the passion exuded in doing so, it’s
motivating, despite the frightening chaos.
I, also, understand that a thinking head is necessary to
have a sound body. This is the basis of our alliance, a
quest for another head, and this, for me, isn’t because it’s
Buhari. Any other morally advantaged aspirant presented
on a structurally, yes not ideologically, defined platform
would’ve earned my solidarity. But, my friends, many
things escaped our critical eyes in these five years of
maladministration, in our obsession with the head alone.
We practice a version of federalism for a reason, and in
this arrangement it’s not possible to blame the head for
the failures of the component units, the federating units,
the state governments, which also have measures of
fiscal autonomy, to at least play their roles highlighted in
the residual list and, to a certain extent, the concurrent list
elaborated in the constitution. I’ve seen some outstanding
Governors who, even while in PDP and under a non-
performing President, built impressive public service
records. Kano’s Governor Kwankwaso was one!
This awareness is the reason I dissent with you, my
friends, who advocate voting only candidates on APC
platforms. Constitutionally, there are limits to a President
Buhari’s interference with the administration of a state,
except he’s expected to organise another constitutional
reforms jamboree to have our administrative system
reverted to a perfect unitary arrangement. Absurd as this
is, it’s the logic of many of you, dear friends, in the dining
hall of the opposition party.
A recent encounter with a friend of Kebbi State descent
further justified my stance that this country needs strong
and morally advantaged leaders, and while APC’s
existence is to offer us a diversity of options, we should
be wary of frauds perpetrated in the name of opposing the
ruling party. As pointed out in an earlier piece, the only
virtue some APC aspirants have is having the image of
Buhari on their campaign posters.
With an untypical quietism, my friend informed me that
APC’s governorship candidate in Kebbi State is the
infamous Abubakar Atiku Bagudu. If you don’t know this
billion dollar criminal, who may easily go down in history
as one of Nigeria’s luckiest tools of corruption, one proud
of his achievements in the looting of this country, then a
return to history book or a review of the Oputa Panel to
understand his role in Abacha’s government shouldn’t be
a tough task.


Having worked at global financial institutions, Bagudu
mastered the art of money-laundering and was thus the
palm oil with which Nigeria’s yams were eaten – apology
to the late novelist Chinua Achebe, for his proverb and
President Goodluck Jonathan, for a shared logic. That
Bagudu even made it to the Nigerian chamber, to the
upper legislative chamber, highlights the depth of
gullibility that possesses the Nigerian electorate!
Yet you say that change is voting every clown fielded by
the APC? At all levels of government? Across the 36
states of the federation? Regardless of their antecedents
and personalities? Well, I’ve no trouble with this exhibition
of parochial viewpoints and dangerous partisanship,
knowing that, one, you won’t be with me at the polling unit
and, two, you’re not capable of bullying me to lend my
voice to any cause I consider deficient. We’re desperate,
but not every aspirant on APC platform is Buhari, and
neither should APC, to which most of us are sympathetic,
be embraced with our critical minds deactivated!
One factor that also brings to fore your hypocrisy, my
friends, is in your defence of former Lagos State
Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The same people who
once castigated Nuhu Ribadu’s alliance with Bola Tinubu,
including an important friend of mine, are the hypocrite
now loudly defending Muhammadu Buhari’s romance
with that most influential political entrepreneur in the
I do not fault such alliances, knowing quite well that our
version of third-world democracy isn’t being levered on
defined ideology.
What I do fault, however, is our overblown sense of
selective patriotism—our projection that a man is a
criminal only when he’s not in our team. Such crèche
partisanship is disturbing and, of course, petty!
I respect people’s choices as much as I never apologize
for holding on to mine, even when confronted by
combative dissenters. All I’m saying is, it doesn’t cost a
lot to be reasonably and intelligently coherent in our
participations in public discourse. This week, I
“excavated” a ton of anti-Tinubu op-eds written by a
social critic friend who now promotes Tinubu as the best
political phenomenon in Nigeria since the independence!
A supposed public intellectual shouldn’t be seen
promoting facile causes just to appeal to the sentiments
of the “vast majority!”
We shouldn’t write to appeal to the sentiments of anyone
or a group, but to exhibit and highlight our differences and
perceptions in this market of ideas. Be sure you’re doing
the wrong thing if the world always endorses your
viewpoints, patronizing even your most obnoxious
outbursts. And while I’m unabashedly sympathetic to the
APC, I’ll remain on the porch, critical of its deficiencies.
May God save us from us!
Connect with Gimba Kakanda on Twitter via

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