The announcement of the resignation of the former Governor of Sokoto State and former presidential candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawas, from the Action Congress of Nigeria and his decision to return to the All Nigeria Peoples Party, his first party, has been mired in controversies from all quarters.
Bafarawa’s resolve to be part of a progressive party that has the nation’s interest at heart was overwhelmed by the self-interests of some other political big wigs in the same party. I was a witness to the intimidation and oppression dished out to Bafarawa’s team throughout the period of the presidential election despite his commitment and tenacity to jointly bring into existence a progressive party, the ACN. It is undoubtedly high time he left all the charade of lies and deception that is currently the norm in the party behind and move on whatever it may cost.
It is inevitable to surrender what he had for what he wants to become because from wisdom gathered overtime, an individual’s past can only be an ambience of his future.
People generally wonder what the attraction was between a very religious politician from the far North of Nigeria to another one who is the complete opposite from the South, that is former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu. You would almost immediately think it’s a marriage headed for disaster. Yes it did but for concrete reasons. The initial rationale for their lure can be placed in the fact that many of their supporters and sympathizers across the nation salute the dynamism and courage of the two ex-governors over their stance on a particular issue that has made our country united. Their stand against the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo endeared them much to Nigerians. More so, if we critically under study the antecedents of both leaders, it can be deduced that these are the only two professional politicians we have today with multitudes of followers who believe in their causes.
Bafarawa had the intention of setting out a pattern for a political party that is representative of all the citizens of Nigeria, but most importantly one that has principles grounded in fairness, justice and transparency. Hence, he left DPP for ACN to form a progressive party capable of meeting these criteria. A feat he never achieved. A school of thought described one of these two great politicians as an incorruptible and God fearing leader while the other is being coined the opposite, at best a genius at cover-ups.
Bafarawa did the unheard of in a country where corruption is the order of the day by leaving over N13 billion behind in the state treasury. He met a mere N20 million in the same account. This gesture of accountability and fairness was riddled with unsubstantiated denial by his successor, Alhaji Wammako. This particular issue was highly politicized by the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, a development many believe contributed to her exit from the anti-graft body. The case, it is believed, exposed the EFCC to the danger of the inherent lack of credibility in the eyes of observers both nationally and internationally.
The tides are slowly turning as Bafarawa has made the initial move aimed at redirecting his political career by realigning with the party that gave him the governorship seat in 1999. An ailing party but a determined leader whose political know how and widely acclaimed support both nationally and internationally will set the party on its appropriate course.
It is however important to state here that Bafarawa has a lot of work to do with regard to making this feat possible. Consultations with the Arewa group have to be on point. He needs to win over the Peoples Democratic Party-dominated northern states, starting with Sokoto State, as well as the daunting task of spreading the wings of this political party nationally.
However, if his intentions are of a pure heart, which I strongly believe it is, all this will be achieved because the mills of God may grind slowly but they ultimately will grind finely. This is what makes me always want to ask: “Is there any reward for good other than good?”
Adegoke wrote from Lagos.