By Usman Abubakar
With the conclusion of primaries by the two major political parties in Gombe State, political permutations have begun, to strategise ahead of the 2023 general election. This is not surprising in view of the fact that he who fails to plan, plans to fail.
The outcome of the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party in Gombe State has been adjudged by political observers, as the freest of primaries organised in the state in the build-up to the 2023 elections; this is the first victory for PDP and a pointer to the fact that the party is laying a faultless foundation that would result in having a more united and formidable team to restore the party to power and resume good governance in Gombe State.
One of those primaries which were held on Wednesday May 25, this year, produced Alhaji Mohammed Jibrin Barde, popularly known as Danbarde, to fly the governorship flag of the PDP in Gombe State. The emergence of Barde was seen as shared victory for the PDP in view of the personality of the former Chief Executive Officer of SunTrust Bank which was revealed immediately after the announcement of the results.
Following the declaration of Barde as the PDP candidate in the state under the chairmanship of Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, Barde wasted no time in approaching the five other contestants to share his victory with them by inviting all of them to see the victory as victory for the PDP and not just for him alone; this is sportsmanship in politics and a signal that new history is about to be created in Gombe State come 2023.
Despite winning 48.8 per cent of the total votes in a six-man contest, Barde saw no reason for him to enjoy the victory alone but was magnanimous. Barde’s sense of magnanimity is a demonstration of his character of being gracious to political opponents whom he had bested.
In the words of the Indian scientist, Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate, “Good leaders are always magnanimous in victory; treating their opponents with dignity and respect shows their noble character as much as their high class,’’ the expression aptly captured the personality of Barde as a good, noble-charactered leader who showed dignity and respect for those he contested against.
The implication of Barde’s graciousness in victory shows that he is a leader of inclusivity and a believer of collective strength to achieving tasks. A cursory look at the reason for the success of any organisation or association in any competition always shows the power of teams who are determined to play together and win as a team rather than individual display of talents which leads no where. This personality of Barde in sharing his moments of victory with other contestants is the strongest character that is expected of a good party-man and a testament that he believes in collective strength in tackling challenges.
Many pundits have predicted after the PDP primaries, the fallout of the election would be the beginning of crisis in the party especially amongst the two favourites –Barde and Dr Jamil Isyaku Gwamna (Sardaunan Gombe). The truth is that Barde as a person has never disregarded the Sardaunan Gombe as he has always regarded him as his elder brother and respects Dr Jamilu because the Sardaunan Gombe is a renowned philanthropist who has done a lot for the good people of Gombe State.
The truth is anyone who disrespects the likes of Dr Jamilu is an enemy of Gombe State because of Jamilu’s contributions in providing thousands of youths with jobs and empowering lots of women too. Barde acknowledges this and highly respects his elder brother as he often calls Dr Jamilu. With the support of the likes of Sardaunan Gombe, the PDP will be more placed in a vantage position to shot down all hindrances that may deny the PDP the opportunity to exit the room of opposition and occupy the Gombe State Government House in 2023.
During his acceptance speech, Barde promised to work with everyone to ensure victory for the PDP; matching his words with actions, he took turns to visit all his opponents’ houses to solicit their supports and assure them that he is for everyone irrespective of the outcome of the primaries. If this is not the best definition of a simple, humble and good-spirited leader then I wonder how else to define a leader in that regard.
Barde has proven beyond doubt that he is an open-arm leader ready to work with all party-men to ensure victory for PDP and the people of Gombe State. This magnanimity should be embraced by all and any aggrieved PDP member who has the interest of the people and state of Gombe at heart, to join forces with the PDP governorship candidate to retire the enemy-of-good-governance administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
If PDP delegates have collectively decided to live in Barde’s world through their votes to ensure that his ideas are harnessed to make governance in the state profitable to the people of Gombe; I see no reason any lover of the people would not accept the open-arm of Barde to snatch victory for PDP in 2023 and ensure that citizens of Gombe State breath fresh air again as against the polluted air of outrageous taxation of the poor, government of families and friends as well as deepening disunity amongst the people that is now the new norm for the government of the day.
The emergence of Barde as PDP gubernatorial candidate has been sending cold shivers down the spine of APC stakeholders in Gombe State. This is not surprising in view of the capacity and experience that a visionary leader like Barde is capable of bringing to the table of governance to give the good people of Gombe State the political and economic balanced diet that will empower women and youths and help lift them out of extreme poverty that the current administration had put them into.
With the abysmal performance of the APC-led government in Gombe State, there is no doubt that the administration would have nothing to convince the people to return them to power in 2023, hence they might resort to desperation to force their way back through rigging. This should be resisted by the PDP and the only way the PDP could do that is to present a united team ahead of the 2023 elections. The PDP in Gombe State must emphasize the positives and de-emphasize the negatives in the interest of the party.
If the words of Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist which says “victorious warriors win first and then go to war while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win,’’ is anything to ponder on, the PDP must ensure it keeps its house in order to win the war of reconciling all grievances arising from the primaries and harness the collective strength of all stakeholders in the party from top to bottom to ensure that Gombe State is delivered to the PDP.
With the momentum being gathered by the PDP since the emergence of former vice president Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential candidate and the wide acceptance of the party and calls by Nigerians for the PDP to take over leadership at the national level, Gombe State chapter must put all hates and bitterness aside so as not to be left out should the PDP take over presidency in 2023.Allah ya ba mu Sa’a Ameen
. Abubakar writes from Gombe