By Ibrahim H. Suleiman
It has become a sort of tradition that after victory in an election the winners appeal to losers to join forces together for a more cohesive, result oriented development. Of course this is some wisdom transferred from generations with a view to ensuring peaceful coexistence and good governance prevail, both of which are key to any progressive development. Moreover post election periods are usually replete with all forms of tension as a result of the hotly charged electioneering atmosphere of the preceding campaigns. Now is the time to take stoke.
Of course, after every election there has to be winners and losers and Nasarawa State is not an exception. Today the All Progressives Congress, APC has emerged victorious after what many would say was an excruciating electioneering period. Happily, the transition from the outgoing to the incoming administration is an in-house activity which should be done without any hoopla, baring in mind the calibre of people in the Transition Council being headed by none other than His Excellency, the State Deputy Governor, Mr Silas Agara.
At any rate, as the saying goes, United we Stand and Divided we Fall. Of course, the members of the Transitional Council may not include all the men (and women) of timber and calibre the state can boast of for obvious reasons, which presupposes that those at large can do well to link up by offering their own contributions to the success of not only the transition, but also the incoming APC administration of Governor-elect Engr Abdullahi Sule.
Certainly the towering personality of the governor-elect speaks for itself. An engineer who has spent years garnering rich experience in the field, both as manager of people as well as a top class business man, and has successfully made his mark at both the international and national levels without any blemish is someone really worthy of the people’s trust.
As the governor-elect said in one of our interviews with him ab initio, “engineers don’t just work Off-the-Wall. You have to start with a concept, sketch or draft and then you finish the masterpiece, before you start the work.” Indeed this is true with any person or group of persons commencing any work that is expected to withstand the test of time. We have no doubt that there is going to be a competent leader at the helm of affairs.
One issue that has become endemic in our democratic transformation remains the question of the supremacy of the party. While in more advanced democratic societies party supremacy remains the sine qua non without which nothing goes, in our society we are still battling to make this work. Of course the level of development of our society and the way money has become the determining factor in our politics vis-à-vis the grinding poverty in the society have tended to encourage things like godfatherism and the like ahead of party supremacy.
Fortunately, our governor-elect has already demonstrated from his utterances that he would not dance to the tunes of any godfather. Hence the need to reiterate the virtues of the party under whose platform a candidate emerges up to his/her being declared winner. Experts have pointed out severally that apart from ensuring stability within the polity, party supremacy encourages unity and boosts internal democracy. It is therefore not asking too much to expect politicians to succumb to the ideal/will of the party to an extent that they would not be seen to be running in isolation or worse still engaging in anti-party activities.
It is equally pertinent to note that every leader must inevitably endeavour to carry everyone along irrespective of tribe, religion and party affiliation. Some people are in the habit of insisting on the cliché that says, you cannot satisfy everyone. But the underlying principle of equity, justice and fairness over-rides such parochialism. No society can survive, particularly a democratic society, where injustice prevails in any form. Everyone is important in his/her own way. It might not be possible to carter for everyone in the society at the same time due to economic constraints, but it behoves on the leader(s) to ensure that nobody is really left out in the scheme of things. The so-called transformation programme of the outgoing Almakura administration had served its purposes, but it was not totally impeccable.
While it would be a highly welcomed development for the incoming administration to continue on the path of the sustained infrastructural development commenced by the outgoing administration, the incoming Engr Abdullahi government must not continue on the percentage payments of salaries and pension for instance to civil servants and retirees which has become the hallmark of the Almakura administration. Apparently, percentage payments of salaries of particularly local government workers and pensioners at both state and local government llevel, which still persists owed its origin from shortages of funds especially as a result of the 2016 recession. Now the recession has since been over and funds have significantly improved, it behoves on the incoming administration to put a fullstop to percentage payments at all levels in the state in order to make progress.
Inasmuch as democracy is the government of the people, for the people and by the people, every individual matters. From the elite class which provides the nucleus of society’s leadership, to the working class, referred to as the engine room of government down to the masses who constitute the bulk of the electorate everybody should be carried along and made somehow to feel a sense of belonging. Only a society built upon such principles can really be united, strong, flourish and withstand the test of time.