By Tony Olutomiwa
Ahead of the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, opinions are divided on the possible outcome of the political gathering which could make or mar the corporate objective of stopping President Muhammadu Buhari at the general election next year.
While the party would be pursuing a legitimate cause, the process of accomplishing this major task is an issue, imperative for the party’s leadership to apply tact, discipline and utmost responsibility. The success of both the process and outcome should be a reflection of the party restitution and democratic rebirth.
It will go a long way to douse anticipated tension about the convention, in spite of the negative propaganda by the ruling party, to beat Buhari at the poll, come 2019. This will boost quality of leadership and governance in the country.
Obviously, PDP parades quality presidential contestants with proven track records. Although some believe the high number of contestants is avoidable. Consequently, the primary process should be a remedy, an inevitable means now left to pick a candidate since the consensus modality is out of it.
The sole interest, according pundit, is who among the aspirants can defeat the incumbent. It is already noted that almost every contender in the race is a qualified flag bearer, fit for delegates maximum endorsement at the convention. Again, factors contestant’s recognition, national acceptability, character, antecedents, the zone and region of contestant. Of all these factors that have come to characterize our polity over the years, I think the issue of money in national politics is most undesirable and should be discouraged, with emphasis on competence, vision and character.
One shinning light that is subject of strong interest across board, as far some Nigerians are concerned, is Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. It is understandable why all eyes are now on Kwankwaso. His cross-country appeal represents a huge potential for winning, not only at the primary but also at the general election thereby handing the PDP the expected victory. The crux of the matter is Kwankwaso.
Nigerians want a ralying, a liberal and a moderate personality, not an ethnic bigotry and irredentism. So the concern now transcends immediate gratification but what the delegates, their families and indeed our dear nation could benefit from a compassionate and competent president who will end the pervasive fear and uncertainty and who will banish hunger and poverty. And they know Kwankwaso’s record of achievements.
They can attest to his antecedents of competence, serious and responsible leadership in every position he has held in the last 26 years: from being the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives in the third republic to his tenure as a two-term governor of Kano State, former minister of defence, special envoy to Darfur and Somalia and now senator representing Kano Central.
The humble, deep –thinking and pro-poor Kwankwaso has contested elections 15 times and won 13 of the contests. Putting this into context in Sokoto recently, Kwankwaso admonished delegates thus “Make sure you elect somebody who can not only win the election but can deliver after the election”.
Thus the consciousness at the convention should be for the delegates to relate their actions to the necessity not only to win at this stage of the big battle but thinking seriously about who among the aspirants can realistically win big for the PDP at the general election in February. From all indications, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is the one and who should get the patriotic nod of the delegates by voting for him en-masse.
*Olutomiwa is the CEO, Mixot Media Ltd, Lagos.