Monday, January 19, 2015

‘Notorious Bridges’ Link PDP With APC In Kwara Church
Never should you invite a politician to mount the pulpit to give a talk at a funeral ceremony especially during an election period. He may stir the hornet's nest and inadvertently pollute the atmosphere. That's exactly what happened Friday, January 9, 2015, when a politician stood up to pay tribute during a funeral service for the late deputy director-general of DSS, David Jide Awoniyi who passed on last November (see Milestones: Awoniyi’s Rites of Passage).

The representative of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had stood up to deliver what the congregation expected to be a tribute in memory of the departed soul but he chose to deliver a political treatise telling his listeners the need to "shine (their) eyes" during the forthcoming elections so that their desires might come into fruition especially in the provision of social amenities like good roads and bridges to replace those he referred to as "the notorious bridges in Igbominaland" an obvious reference to the dilapidated Oko Bridge on the Omu-Aran-Oro Ago Road.

The veiled campaign was not lost in the opposing camp. This became obvious when a representative of the All Progressives Congress, APC, government of Kwara State also climbed the pulpit to deliver an address on behalf of the government. But first he felt he had to deal with the political kite flown by his 'political opponent' and which was still hovering in the minds of the entire congregation. But if the PDP man had hit APC in the solar plexus he would not allow the "unprovoked attack" go unchallenged. He literally came out smoking with vengeance. In his preamble he said he could not understand why anybody should mount the pulpit to be saying things like these. Then he delivered what looked like a hammer blow. "All the things he has been saying do not make sense... Seriously speaking, this does not make sense to me".

Some murmuring could be heard among the congregation. The clergy noticed the disquiet and promptly organised a truce. The two ‘combatants’ were called out for a special prayer. Unfortunately only one was present during the special prayer "for our politicians". Smart Adeyemi, senator representing Kogi West, stood in for the PDP while S. A. Abifarin, representing the state governor stood in for APC. It was a clever move by the clergy who seized the opportunity to preach against politics of bitterness and the need for politicians to desist from acts capable of causing disaffection among the various political groups not only in Kwara State but also in the whole federation.

As if taking a cue from the impromptu truce organised for the warring parties in the Oro Ago ECWA church, Kwara State, the national leaders and presidential candidates of the leading parties also sat down in Abuja, Wednesday, January 14, to sign a non-violence pact as the countdown for the February elections began.

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