Politics in Kwara state is always a delight to watch or keenly observe for obvious reasons. The state is home to one of the most popular and entrenched political dynasties in Nigeria’s history with historic national impacts.
Then there are the new forces represented by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, now struggling to maintain their united front that helped them seize power from the former senate president and heir to the Saraki political dynasty, Dr. Bukola Saraki-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
As the 2023 general elections draw closer, the gubernatorial contest is mainly for four major political parties, namely, the ruling APC, PDP, Labour Party, AP, and Social Democratic Party (SDP), etc.
The focus of Kwara 2023 is on purposeful governance. Which candidate can deliver democratic values to the people of the state? Who can engender social and infrastructural development to the state and its good people?
The questions can be narrowed down to the issue of competence, capacity, experience, patriotism and loyalty to democratic values that can lead to mass mobilisation and catalyse rapid economic and infrastructural development in the state. It is in this respect that the candidate of the SDP, Alhaji Mohammed Adebayo Alabi Lawal, becomes attractive to critical stakeholders of Kwara politics.
Lawal is a chartered accountant, real estate developer, business man cum politician who plays people-oriented politics. He has vast international exposure in business, economics and political affairs. He is also a well known philanthropist who hails from Ilorin West local government of Kwara state. He is a bridge builder who has made significant mark in the development of his people and those that come across him.
Observers see him as one who leaves no one in doubt that he knows the political terrain and how to achieve his laudable blueprint if elected as governor of Kwara state in 2023.
The business mogul has demonstrated that he is a leader in every sense. He has taken the lead in what many political parties and their machinery are not doing to promote awareness in the all-important elections next year.
For instance, many Nigerians are disappointed with many political parties and politicians for not mobilising their supporters and voters to go out in their large numbers to participate in the ongoing continuous voters registration (CVR) exercise in the country.
The candidate is the son of a former military and civilian governor, Alhaji Mohammed Adebayo Alabi Lawal, mni (aka Omoladerin), and he is taking gradually after his late father who was a prominent kind-hearted man, committed, disciplined, hardworking and trustworthy. He was a man of the people, for the people that cherished his popular mandate and kept his promises to the people.
An opinion poll conducted recently by an organisation showed a clear statistics that SDP is charting a new course, carrying Kwarans along in the scheme of things, striking a balance between the rich and the poor, attending promptly to issues, secured a platform for interactive discussions with the people to enable candidate Lawal know precisely their needs. He is youth-friendly, an ambassador of the vulnerable. This is a new approach to politicking in Kwara state and will be very rewarding.
In his Sallah message, the Kwara governorship candidate of the SDP Lawal advised Nigerians to imbibe the virtue of humility and obedience exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim.
He urged politicians to fulfill their campaign promises to the electorate for more development to be attained. “Politicians should always aspire to make the nation greater to improve the image of the country”.
A frontline media expert in Ilorin Kwara state, Alhaji Tunde Mohammed, said, “Alhaji Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal, who is a constant source of inspiration, dynamic, energetic, good leader and most importantly a good team player, will definitely deliver his campaign promises if elected”.
Chief Dele Ogunbayo an SDP stalwart and opinion moulder said, “He represents a rare breed of the quiet, hardworking politician who will serve the interest of his people loyally. The future certainly beckons him”.
As the campaign for the elections kicks off soon, Lawal has prepared his people and the electorate on the need to get their PVC. This is the first step and is necessary and a pointer to success.
Many critical stakeholders see Lawal as a fast learner with good ideas and ideal visions which modern day politics demands. His performances and political activities coupled with his professional background and commitment have earned him recognition from old and young.
Many Kwarans believe Lawal is a blessing to his generation.To thousands of his admirers, particularly whose lives he has touched, he remains a blessing and a positive change.
During the campaign proper, Kwarans will be opportuned to meet one of the rare breeds in the person of Lawal, who will reel out his electioneering promises that will make life good for them. It will be an interface like none before in the annals of electioneering in the state. He will listen solemnly to their needs, requests, challenges, etc.
A political analyst, Dr. Bello Shegun, posits that, he sees a new Kwara through the prism of SDP and Lawal. “I see a new Kwara state in the horizon through the candidature of Lawal and SDP. I see.a new leader who is ready to provide qualitative leadership, free flow of information that encourages feedback and exchange of ideas”.
Political observers have rightly noted that there is going to be a vibrant and exciting campaign, particularly between Lawal and other frontline candidates, in the months ahead. Like Lawal argues, the SDP, APC, PDP, LP, etc should lead a campaign that focuses on issues, ideas and programmes, not primordial issues, abuse, attacks, mudslinging and insults.
In all these, what gives Lawal an edge over others considerably is the fact that he is competent in every sense. He is highly educated with working experiences Nigeria and abroad which have indeed prepared him for a time such as this.
Mr. Ayangbayi (JP), a veteran journalist, writes from Ilorin, Kwara state.