2019 and elrufai’s impending political blunder

Opinion on Kaduna 2019
One of the several definitions of blunder and the one most widely accepted is “a gross mistake to made, especially through carelessness, stupidity,  confusion or without guidance.
Long before the 24-hour news cycle came along, kings, presidents, and emperors committed all sorts of blunders.
One of history’s most major missteps and biggest political blunders was the one committed by William Seward a former New York governor who was the Republican Party’s frontrunner for the nomination leading up to the 1860 presidential election.
So confident was Seward in his selection, that for several months prior to the party’s 1860 convention, he traveled abroad, making stops throughout Europe and Asia. While in Beirut, he even purchased a few Arabian horses.
After returning to America, Seward found that a lawyer from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln had slipped in and gained the party’s support. Seward’s ill-timed trip was the main reason he lost.
And most recently, British Prime Minister Theresa May lost her gamble and working majority at Westminster after calling a snap election that delivered a hung Parliament.
Her decision to go the polls three years early wa tagged one of the biggest  missteps in recent political history, with May’s critics accusing her of putting partisan political greed ahead of the good of the country.
In Kaduna state what many have long viewed as one of the most ridiculous disputes in the state’s political history may finally come to an end with an inevitable implosion of the All Progressives Congress.
If all goes as is being rightly predicted, by the end of the month, the APC in Kaduna will cease to be one solid united political party. Instead, it will be fragmented into two unequal parts – one, a feeble contraption to be held by Governor Nasir elrufai and what remains of his supporters; the other comprising of the most influential members of the party with massive following across the state.
Thanks to the practical efforts to checkmate the unnecessary constriction of space for political opponents  by the APC and el-Rufai,  with the likely resultant Exodus from the party by formidable political networks such as the face of hope represented by Lawal Adamu Usman aka Mr LA.
This impending mass movement out of the APC a few months to the 2019 round of general elections offer little illusion of any outcome than the party’s  certain defeat and imminent loss of el-Rufai’s bid for reelection to a second term.
At stake in the coming election is not only the suppression and oppression of critical players in the state through manipulating what remains of the state’s APC hierarchy, it is also about the implications of another four years under elrufai’s approach to  governance generally.
Understanding these implications requires understanding how the once loved APC reached this stage in Kaduna: el-Rufai came with the promise of security, ending poverty, protecting the vulnerable, and improving the economy. But feelers across the state demonstrate the gap between el-Rufai’s  rhetoric and reality growing wider in the first three years of his first term, which may as well be his last.
As the policies adopted in governing the state most often contradict APC and el-Rufai’s promises, the trends also indicate that they have led to further deterioration of the state.
Beyond  the obvious deterioration of the state, the last three years have also witnessed the erosion of  state institutions – traditional, religious – and sociopolitical dynamics as part of the effects of el-Rufai’s form of governance which stresses the absence of internal democracy in the APC, absence of real representative government, broadening legislation that undermines rule of law,  and increasing influence of sycophants.
Everywhere in the state, concerns are mounting about the restriction of freedoms of association, press, and expression, the use of state power with  impunity as impediments to democratic due process.
The confinement of the ruling elite to a narrow circle of friends and relatives are not just clear signs of the administration’s bad governance, but are damaging to  el-Rufai’s politics itself and the state’s future stability.
This insular approach will only further the fragility of the APC internally and if eventually, as is very likely, the LAs are forced to shift their formidable support elsewhere, the stakes are bound to raised several more notches beyond the reach of el-Rufai and his close-knit circle of aides.

Hassan Usman Author

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