Politics Without Bitterness
By Nafisat Bello
As against the Machiavellian do or die approach, the Late Second Republic icon, Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri, popularised the concept of Politics without Bitterness to underscore the fact that we don’t have to go into a political contest with the desperate aim to win at all cost. Winning is good but we have to always give space for losing. Waziri argued that if winning has to come at the expense of what we believe in and stand for, then winning is not worth it.
If politicians of today can imbibe the simple but principled politics of the icons of the days of yore like Waziri, we wont be talking about political thuggery, violence, tension, needless cross carpeting etc and the country would be better for it.
This is however the great spirit of sportsmanship displayed by Governor Yahaya Bello recently when he lost the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary election to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. After a keenly contested poll in which he made his mark and made all Kogites proud, Governor Bello was the first to congratulate the winner and pledge to work with him to deliver victory to the ruling party at all levels.
When other contestants were still dealing with the agony of the loss, Governor Bello issued a powerful statement congratulating Tinubu and rallying support for him ahead of next year’s election.
According to the Director, Media and Publicity of the Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Organisation, Yemi Kolapo, “the Governor had accepted the outcome of the primaries and would give the needed support to ensure the victory of the flagbearer and the ruling party in the 2023 presidential election.”
While other contestants followed suit and began to congratulate Tinubu after Bello did so, the Kogi state governor took a step further by donating his expansive and well-furnished Campaign Office to the APC candidate to use in prosecuting the general elections.
He announced this gesture when the Tinubu alongside Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) visited him at the Campaign Office in Abuja.
To the delight of the visiting team, Governor Bello also read a well written congratulatory letter and presented same to Tinubu.
In his response, Tinubu hailed Governor Bello for making a mark at the primaries. He noted that the Governor, alongside the campaign team, was resolute in their mobilising the consciousness of the youth and the women to their advantage.
He added that the faith with which the governor ventured into the competition was highly commendable.
“Great things were done during the convention, many of us lined up knowing that only one person, assisted by a Vice President would eventually emerge as the party’s flag bearer”, he stated
While donating the Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Organisation Secretariat to Tinubu, Bello said he will lead the youths, women and people living with special needs to ensure his victory at the polls.
There is no doubting the fact that the enigma called Governor Bello has crossed the Rubicon. He has learnt from the best and he is surely set to blossom at the national stage after the expiration of his tenure in early 2024.