By A. A. Mshelia
One of the greatest black men that ever lived, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
About a decade ago, I took out time to prudently study the political expedition of Gombe State. It was a lucid study that covered foundational formations of the political structure of the State: the group of actors involved, the drive and philosophy that guided men and women over the years, in the states political arena.
After that study, I had the inspiration to put my pen to paper to bring out a document which was to serve as a model to other states. While that plan was underway, unknown to me and many in my class, 2022 was coming with events that will fracture what seems to be the noble culture of the political scene in our Jewel in Savannah.
Suddenly, my pen has become shaky, as we wake up every day with records of violence and attacks on all kinds of people, systems and properties in the state. The media has gone wild and shocked at this strange culture introduced in the political field in Gombe state. Yet the architects of these creepy events, have found fulfilment in these acts, despite the uproar by reputable media houses across the globe, they seem to intensify their enterprise.
Residents sleep across the state with the guarantee they will wake up with the news of an attack in the name of political quest of some certain group of power thirst fellows that are ready to retain or get to office at all cost.
Today, no opposition has the right to paste any posters in the state or fix a flex banner, or bring about any promotional materials that promote their vision towards their political quest. Every street one enters has remained a single party movement and publicity, yet they find fulfilment in such impishness. From crushing of offices, to demolition of properties, to burning of offices and campaign materials of opposition in broad daylight. We thought democracy thrives in our state, but we are truly torn between two walls.
The world is watching keenly, and posterity will be the judge. Karma never forgets. What a man sows, he will definitely reap. We just hope our generation will be alive after 2023, to see karma have its way. Gombe has never had it this deep and threatening!
Among many opposition parties, PDP has suffered so much that one wonders if we are living in a jungle of an uncivilized Sahara or living in the Jewel in the Savanna. Looking at the videos and pictures of the properties set ablaze, all in the name of a quest for power, it gave me sleepless nights and also threatens our heart beyond what we see. Perhaps, we need to pray to live to see the general elections in itself.
The same players had their campaigns and elections when they were the opposition and every request was granted, but suddenly, yesterday was forgotten so fast, by those drunk with power. These folks tend to forget, no matter the power they have to misuse, it cannot be more than eight years; political office is not a forever reality. After all, the voices and the body language of Gombe citizens shows that we cannot afford to experience such a path for more than four years.
In the midst of all these, the PDP, and their finest candidate for the governorship seat, Alhaji Muhammad Jibrin Barde has proven over time and time again that he understood clearly that, nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for his party and citizens to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to replicating the same jumble is the idle pathway.
The idea of human dignity enjoys wide use in both contemporary political rhetoric and political philosophy. Not only do politicians of every conceivable party pay deference to the value of human dignity, but also, political philosophers of almost every persuasion admit its importance.
Politics can only be without bitterness if the interest of politicians is service and not self.
Therefore, I make bold to state again that, Muhammad Jibrin Barde is a man who has achieved greatness through diligence, self-will and sheer determination. He remains unruffled even in the face of unwarranted intimidation and provocation; a man with critical thinking skills. A strong advocate for unity, peace, and progress; a results-driven leader.
Come 2023, after the general elections, Dan Bardes legacy as the elected Governor of Gombe State shall be that of a leader who defied the odds and led people straight, in a time of crookedness, even when it entailed trying unpopular choices and following the longer route. Courage shall be the universal theme of the testimonials from the Dan Bardes administration when he becomes Governor.
My fellow Gombawa, I want to remind us of all of these facts: Every nation or state that has reached its peak for massive developmental strides (delivery), is more likely to face the challenges/pangs like that of a pregnant woman in a labour ward. Every political leader of worth in the world, according to history, has once, if not many times, at one point faced challenges of all kinds as we see happen with Dan Barde. The challenges leaders face around the world are more similar than different. This goes to show that no matter where you are in the world, every nation or state has inherent political challenges, either the ones that affect the state or their leaders directly. The encouraging part though is when the citizens are courageous enough to stand up for their state and leaders through these trying epochs.
It cannot be over emphasized that Dan Bardes mission from inception is to change the socio-economic environment of Gombe State into one of the fastest, mostly developed states in the federation if given the mandate to lead the state. Going by the waves of revolutionary policy initiatives and project implementation under his leadership in the private and public practices, the focus on the minds of people should be on Dan Bardes brilliance, ingenuity and versatility in the way he conducts his leadership dealings and models.