The report by the Punch Newspaper on the decamping of APC members from Ogun west senatorial district into the PDP on Saturday 7th January 2016 at Ijebuigbo, quite outlandish though, has afforded the traducers of Senator Buruji Kashamu, the opportunity to display their enterprise and bare our their fangs in a most sardonic manner, constant with their antecedents.
At the well attended event yesterday where over 2000 APC members defected to the PD from five local government areas alone, Senator Buruji Kashamu was among many other party chieftains who gave goodwill remarks for which journalists, present at the venue had the prerogative of choice to report the event from any angle they deem fit. Nevertheless, it is good that the text of the full address is now in the public domain for unbiased minds to discern it.
However, we are constrained to observe the unsolicited analysis of the event by a former Chief Press Secretary to former governor Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Wale Adedayo where he ingeniously denigrated the distinguished Senator for being patriotic in his analysis of President Buhari and also his take on governor Fayose’s activism. Gladly enough, Adedayo alluded to being a member of the APC and not PDP; so one wonders the motivation for the hatchet effort.
Back to the substantive matter, Adedayo and others who have sheepishly latched unto his incongruous narrative missed the point on the crux of Kashamu’s comment. The Ijebuigbo Senator remains an avowed member of the PDP and has never disguised so. Unlike his traducers that have in the past few years swam in and out of the PDP and are even in the tick of negotiations to yet- another- party, Kashamu has been rooted in the PDP, lavishing his personal fortunes on it.
Kashamu has continued to be conciliatory with President Muhammadu Buhari purely on principle of responsible opposition. We must recognise that nations and democracies don’t grow on the basis of rabid opposition and untamed criticism. There is always a time for politics and a time for governance. During electioneering, politicians are free to embark on continuous mudslinging, propaganda, hate-speeches, aspersion casting and even incitement of the electorate. All is fare in war.
Once elections are over, governance must of necessiey take centre stage and all hands must be on deck to achieve the onerous task of nation building. Every responsible and patriotic citizen must support the government in power to deliver on its electoral promise and policies. After all, the monies and assets of state which Buhari superintends over are our commonwealth which must be used for the enhancement of citizen’s welfare. This civic task is ‘sine qua non’.
If Buhari fails and Nigeria sinks, what nation shall the PDP inherit and govern? Shall we in the name of politics frustrate and push Mr. President till he dumps the nation into the pit of economic depression? I had stressed this point in an article I wrote and published on July 10th 2015, titled, “Nigeria and the search for nationhood”. An excerpt from the essay is represented hereunder:
…”Nations grow when the largest numbers of people look after the common interest of the nation at all times even before personal or sectional interest are pursued. It is in the light of the foregoing that Nigerians who are not of the same ethnic, religious or political affiliations as the leader of the country cannot afford not to wish Mr. President well. The leader not only superintends over the common patrimony, his actions or inactions inadvertently determine and arbitrate the social-economic progress of everyone that is related to this geographical entity.
Succinctly put, if the nation is governed by a Northern leader and the Southerners (Yorubas/Igbos/Niger-Deltans) hopes such an incumbent leader fails, then Nigeria remains a failed project and when the Southerner assumes power and the Northerners (Hausas/Fulanis/middle-
What this irreverent disposition engenders is that, individuals will rotate power, political parties will rotate power, ethnic nationalities will rotate power but Nigeria will equally rotate on the same developmental trajectory and even decline; such as we are saddled with since the return to democratic governance in 1999. Clearly, this extreme politicking and ethnic sectionalism has deleterious effects on national growth.
While constructive criticism is good for deepening good governance, destructive criticism deepens the schisms that has been responsible for the stunted growth of the Nigerian state. Whereas, politics is the incubator of governance such as is common to any democratic culture, Politicians (who are also ethnic protectionist in same vein) exhibit this spasmodic tendency. Therefore, it is appropriate for politicians to save the combustible energy till when the next electoral cycle beckons and then, the foibles of incumbents can be played up to seek favours from the electorate. The task of nation building is never the exclusive preserve of a leader because they do not possess the omnipotent wisdom to do it. They can only craft a vision while the citizenry drives it. The role of political opposition is to constantly test those ideas against democratic best practices and in as much it elevates the welfare of the people and put the Nigerian nation on the path of sustainable development”….
It is from this patritoc mindset that Senator Kashamu has given support to President Buhari while castigating Governor Fayose for being so reckless and puerile. We must not also forget the role Fayose played in the aborted conventions of the PDP which were all about selfish and self-seeking interests. Had Wale Adedayo and his cheerleaders been so reflective, they may have made a better assessment of Kashamu’s disposition to Buhari. Indeed the senator should be saluted for his nationalist candour.
Back to the event again, the critics chose to ignore Kashamu’s comment where he vilified governor Ibikunle Amosun for corruption and failing in governance, they turned deaf hear to how he advocated for better deal for the Yoruba nation, they also failed to capture how he sued for peace in the party and preached unity; rather they amplified nothingness in their morbid bid to run down the senator. They even chose to ignore the good comments of other leaders at the meeting and more importantly, they pathetically failed to appreciate the huge effort he put into convincing thousands of APC members to defect into the PDP.
Kashamu has behaved as a statesman who thinks of the future of this nation rather than the next election. He thinks of the interest of the Yoruba nation rather than just Ogun state. He thinks of every party member rather than his personal interest. This is where the people’s senator is different from those making pretensions to leadership be it in Ogun state, southwest and Nigeria at large.
Bolaji Adeniji is the State Publicity Secretary, Ogun PDP