Will Oshiomhole Survive this Onslaught?
By: Jude Opara
Many political observers were not surprised when on the eve of the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term in office, the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Lawal Shuaibu called on the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole to resign his position.
Shuaibu said Oshiomhole has since his tenure did more harm to the party than good including the various electoral losses which he insisted were as a result of the combative nature of the embattled Chairman.
Interestingly, the call for the head of Oshiomhole is not only coming from his deputy but some state governors and other party chieftains who believe that his leadership style has been anything but progressive.
Former governors, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
Oshiomhole’s travails started with the primaries of the APC ahead of the 2019 general elections. Many stakeholders especially the governors accused the Chairman of highhandedness in the conduct of the process of selecting their successors.
The leaders of the APC for reasons best known to them decided that states were free to choose the pattern of primary that will suit them. There were at liberty to conduct either direct or indirect primaries.
In most cases, this threw up a battle of wits between the governors who wanted to handpick their successors and other party stalwarts who insisted that the process should be done in a more transparent manner.
As the altercations with the governors were growing, the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) quizzed Oshiomhole over some petitions or corruption against him.
As a former labour leader, the former governor of Edo State does not shy away from conflicts and perhaps that is why he embraced them with both hands as it appears that hardly any month that passes without him engaging one person of group.
Remember he once engaged even top members of the government without batting an eyelid. For instance, he once threatened to suspend the former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige over the inauguration of the National Health Insurance Trust Fund (NHIF).
There is another school of thought that believes that Oshiomhole wanted to restore the supremacy of the party over its elected officers including even the president. Those who accept this argument say that is why while threatening to suspend Ngige, Oshiomhole said; “I will suspend Chris Ngige if he fails within 72 hours to inaugurate the NHIF, if Mr. President will condone indiscipline, I will not condone it.”
May be, the earlier desire of the members of the party to have a more forceful chairman, as against the gentle milieu of former chairman John Oyegun, who was removed shortly before the conventions in 2018 encouraged Oshiomhole to introduce his style of government.
Shuaibu in his statement among others blamed Oshiomhole for the eventual loss of the APC in all elective offices in Zamfara State adding that he was taking unilateral decisions.
He further noted that in other climes, when people fail to live up to expectations, they simply resign so as to give the organization or state the chance to chart a new course.
In his views, the APC has lost a lot of grounds under the leadership of the former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
“In advanced democracies, people who fail to add value or build over and above what they met on assumption of duty show some civilized examples, they honourably bow out.
“In that connection therefore, I want to advise you to take the path of honour, to step aside and allow the Party to embark on the onerous task of reconstruction and rehabilitation in those States it was weakened by the effect of manner the last primary election exercises were conducted or even the task of recreating the party where it is on the path of extinction, arising from the loss of a sitting APC Government, for example in Zamfara State, where you directly personally created the problem leading to the painful complete loss of APC’s electoral fortunes, from up to down! All these are uncontestable facts. You cannot exonerate yourself from blame on what happened to APC Zamfara State, thereby destroying the hopes and aspirations of 534,541 APC members and supporters, including my good self!”
To state the obvious, the fortunes of the APC have dwindled drastically since the emergence of Oshiomhole. After the 2015 elections, the party had 20 governors but this year only 14 were inaugurated. Yes I know that some of them may have decamped to other parties, but that still underscores the fact that some of them were forced to jump ship due to the leadership style of the party.
From what we know of Nigerian politics, there is always a fall guy when something like this happens and if Oshiomhole never suspected that people will call for his head then he was not thinking properly.
It will also be foolhardy to believe the Deputy Chairman was acting alone; usually there are the real masquerades that are hiding behind the curtains to pull the necessary strings to ensure that the comrade politician kisses the dust.
Another truth that is as clear as the crystal is the fact that if the APC really wants to heal some old wounds and recover lost grounds in most of their hitherto strongholds, Oshiomhole as the Chairman will not be a bright idea.
Unfortunately for Oshiomhole too, he is not in best of relationship with members of his National Executive Committee (NEC). Most of them are said to be very upset with him for his alleged highhandedness. In fact the zonal officers who he was said to have forced to relocate to their respective zones may be at the forefront of axing him when the opportunity arrives.
I don’t know for instance how Okorocha despite his suspension and Oshiomhole will be in a peace meeting after they allowed their quarrel to get to the market place. If you talk of the former Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, the story remains the same.
The only thing that could save the Chairman today is if President Muhammadu Buhari decides to wade into the crisis. If not, it will be a matter of weeks before the man capitulates.
But given the posture of the President when it comes to issues like this, he usually likes to stay aloof so as not be said to have favoured or not favoured anybody. Also should he play the type of politics he played in Imo and Ogun States during the presidential campaigns where he urged his supporters to vote for him and vote for any party of their choice, then the days of Oshiomhole is numbered.
The other day immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha advised President Buhari to be careful with people like Oshiomhole. Though the statement was made jocularly, the message was nonetheless delivered.
Today most of the party chieftains who worked against Oyegun are regretting their action. I recall that when the name of Oshiomhole was touted as the man favoured by Buhari, former Governor Okorocha declared that returning the former labour leader as the party chairman was their mandate. Today I am sure he holds a different view.
Another thing that is seriously counting against Oshiomhole is his penchant to voice out words that tend to humiliate others. Since his party formed government at the centre, he carries on as if democracy should be a one party affair.
Shortly after the 2019 elections, Oshiomhole gathered all the elected members of the National Assembly of the APC to a meeting where he read ‘the riot act’ to them that they do not want the support of members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to elect the principal officers of the Assembly. He did not end there, he threatened that the PDP members will not even get the chairmanship of any committee unless those statutorily designed by the Constitution.
That singular unwarranted outburst is one of the nemesis hunting the preferred candidates of the party for the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
Today, with about 44 senators, the PDP if they speak with one voice can decide who really becomes the next senate president. And many stalwarts of the APC are blaming the chairman for making some unguarded statements.
Ahmed Shuaibu Gara: Bridging Information Gap in Gombe
There is no gainsaying the fact that Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state is among the best performing governors in Nigeria. Yes, Inuwa Yahaya has done well and has achieved a lot in his first year in office. The only problem the governor had was lack of adequate publicity and underreporting of his activities.
Well, the media will not be blamed for the situation as they only disseminate the information made available to them or at their disposal.It is the duty of government to blow its trumpet by informing the public about its stewardship. Many people only acknowledge what were done in their own domains and do not know much of what were done in other places. Thus, government’s officials, especially information managers or spokespersons of the government, are duty bound to communicate and showcase its activities for the citizens have right to know how their leaders govern them and or spend their funds.
Perhaps having realised that he is underreported, Governor Inuwa Yahaya appointed a special adviser on information management and strategy Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe some months back to help him in the management of information and public relations in addition to other existing media aides.
Of course, no government or organisation will have a good image in the eyes of the public without having a competent information manager and public relations officer. On the appointment of Gara as special adviser on information management, he swung into action by bringing the numerous achievements of the Inuwa Yahaya administration to limelight.
In the past, many people including myself thought the governor of Borno state Umaru Babagana Zulum is the best performing governor in the North. Yes, Zulum is a serious and passionate leader but I have come to realise that the present governor of Gombe state Inuwa Yahaya is also an outstanding governor. In fact, he can be rated better than Zulum and some of his contemporaries in the North, considering the meagre resources received by his state as federal grants and the mega projects he executed in the last three years plus of his administration. Zulum enjoys positive publicity more than any northern governor, perhaps as a result of his vibrant and formidable media team.
I have copious reasons to backup my argument. Some governors are good at projects execution but poor in terms of salary payments, workers welfare and vice versa. But in Gombe state, salary payment is not an issue. Every worker collects his salary regularly and gets promotion as at when due. For instance, all state civil servants get alerts of their salaries latest on 27th of every month.
In addition, the governor was able to employ 1, 000 new teachers and 400 new health workers at a time some states find it difficult to pay salaries of their existing workers let alone giving new employments.
Some of the social welfare projects of the governor include distribution of 1, 000 tricycles on loan to youth for commercial use and special jobs to 500 youths under the newly established ‘Gombe State Security, Traffic and Environmental Corps (GOSTEC) and engagement of 20, 000 youths to plant four million trees under the erosion control project tagged ‘Gombe Goes Green’.
On infrastructure, Inuwa initiated the construction of 100 kilometers roads in each of the 11 local government areas of the state. He built and upgraded at least one health facility in each of the 114 wards of the state including an ultra modern nursery, primary and secondary school at Kumbiya-Kumbiya community in the state which hitherto had no single public school since the creation of the state.
Of recent too, the governor built another modern Almajiri School in Yelenguruza community of the state as parts of moves to address the problem of Almajiri education in the state. In the integrated Almajiri school, pupils will learn Qur’anic recitation, basics of western education as well as vocational skills. The unprecedented school which is a storey building has hostels for Almajiris, library and skills acquisition rooms where the children will be taught occupations such as tailoring, barbing among others such that they will have a source of livelihood other than the usual begging.
Another project worthy of note by the administration of Governor Inuwa Yahaya were the construction of mega motor park along Federal College of Education where all commercial drivers and public transport workers will relocate. There is adequate space for shops, restaurants and offices provided therein. The idea is to boost business and facilitate availability of vehicles for movements of people, goods and services in and out of the state. This is even as the former Bauchi park will be taken over by the government to build a befitting state secretariat to house all ministries and parastatals.
At the moment, there is no befitting secretariat in the state and most of government ministries, departments and agencies are scattered in different parts of the state unlike what is obtainable elsewhere. That is why Governor Inuwa built a new modern motor park called Gombe Mega Park to pave way for construction of a big state secretariat.
Still on business and investment development, the governor has established an industrial park along Deba road to attract and accommodate investors, small, medium and big industries in the state. Prior to that, an investment summit was convened by the governor where investors and great entrepreneurs from all over the country and beyond converged and briefed on the park to encourage them to site their industries and enterprises at the newly established park named ‘Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park which was inspected by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
It is a known fact to anybody who knows Gombe State that many areas in the state face water scarcity due to the sandy nature of the soil in the state. However, Governor Inuwa has provided water in areas like Jeka da fari and awarded contracted for the establishment of water booster stations for areas worst affected by scarcity of water like Tumfure, Investment Quarters, Bauchi road and other parts of Akko local government to improve supply of water in the state.
Most of these gigantic projects by Governor Inuwa are not adequately publicized. And this is the gap Gara Gombe is trying to bridge now as a person saddled with the responsibility of managing government’s information.
He is determined to achieve that by making use of the available airtime or space in Radio, Television and other media houses within and outside the state. He gathered that many of those television and radio stations have airtime for discussion programs including political which are unutilized or underutilized due to lack of vocal government officials to make good use of them or just lack of knowing how important it is for the government to feed the electorates back on its stewardship in a democratic setting.
Within the last four months, the special adviser had visited and granted interviews in 17 radio and television stations locally and nationally including;
NTA Gombe, Progress Radio, Amana Radio, Vision FM, Jewel FM, GMC and GTV.
Others are FRCN Headquarters, Channels TV, AIT, Trust TV, Leadership TV and major newspapers like Daily Trust, Leadership, Premium Times and News Agency of Nigeria. Also, to bridge the gap between the government and the governed, the special adviser established direct lines for the state citizens to interact with the governor and to participate in governance by offering suggestions and complaints.
Furthermore, he initiated the Gombe New Media Internship Programme where the interns will be promoting government programmes on social media.
On the eve of the 2023 electioneering, he created the ‘DANI AKAJE’ programme on radio where a post mortem of every campaign trail of the governor is being reviewed.
With these initiatives, Inuwa’s silent achievements are now topics of discourse courtesy of the special adviser on information and strategy. Media houses are now bringing Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s hitherto obscure projects to limelight beyond the routine news programmes as part of initiatives by Gara.
To augment and complement his efforts of bridging information gap in the state, the special adviser conceived the idea of organising special training to information officers of all government ministries, departments and agencies on the skills of information management and public relations strategies. This is a welcome development indeed and I believe will go along way in projecting the good image of not only Governor Inuwa Yahaya but Gombe State government even after the reign of Inuwa.
I am happy that the public both within and outside Gombe are now hearing the good side of Gombe and the works of this prudent, patriotic and performing governor Inuwa Yahaya. While applauding Gara Gombe for the feats, I encourage him to sustain the tempo.
Adamu, an author and public affairs commentator, writes from Akko local government area, Gombe state.
Why Nigerian Democracy is Still Held Down
By John Tine
Americans define Democracy as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. But if you are a discerning Nigerian, you must have realised by now that this borrowed progressive concept has since been distorted to imply “government of opportunists, by the opportunists and for the opportunists, and their cronies”– a system of rent seeking bosses, firmly entrenched in Nigeria’s democratic and political firmaments, otherwise known as cronyism.
Watching Prof Kingsley Moghalu, a former Dep Governor of the CBN, and erstwhile presidential candidate, on Arise TV’s “News Prime” with Charles Aniagolu; and Prof Muhammad Kabir Isa of ABU Zaria on NTA Network News’ “Metrofile,” with Cyrils Stober, respectively, yesterday evening: 24/12/2022; my insights and convictions were reinforced as to why Nigerian Politics and Democracy have been held down for decades on end.
Indeed, watching these two gentlemen asseverate dispassionately in their articulation of the undercurrents that have consistently undermined and threaten Nigeria’s nascent democracy and progress, stirred in me an indomitable spirit of hope for Nigeria’s future.
At the same time, I was miffed that the nation’s odious political system would compel a world class intellectual and technocrat in the mould of Prof Moghalu to abandon the patriotic struggle he had commenced, only to recede into his comfort zone in the USA.
But I also understand that not too many international citizens will be willing to operate in the ever mischievous, highly monetised, complacent and toxic Nigerian democratic system.
Be that as it may, i also completely align with the postulation of Prof Kabir Isa, that the Nigerian Democracy and its processes have evolved into a cash and carry power game that thrills and benefits only the opportunistic Godfathers and their cronies, instead of advancing the systematic building of enduring democratic institutions and ethos that promote the welbeing of the masses.
On the other hand, and like the cerebral Prof, I also belong to the school of thought that the history of Nigeria’s underdevelopment is traceable to the nation’s post colonial political foundations that were bereft of ideological underpinnings that usually promote the spirit of nationalism, patriotism and development; but were hinged instead on regional tripods with their centrifugal tendencies. Thus, the inability to evolve a political system that was based on enduring sociocultural, political and economic ideologies of the people, undergirded by pragmatic and strong global leadership models; successive Nigerian leaders and their cheerleaders have continued to define performance in terms of brick and mortal, otherwise known as physical infrastructure. Truth is: without a well equipped and nationalist type of leadership, infrastructures will depreciate and become eyesores for inability to maintain if leadership is not adequately prepared and lacks foresight. Until recently, there were innumerable dilapidated roads across the nation.
As I write, the road to my village on Gboko/Katsina Ala axis; the Makurdi/ Otukpo among so many others are glaring examples of leadership failure on the part of successive Nigerian governments.
Unfortunately, after decades of democratic dispensation, the Nigerian political elite is yet to realise the dire need of arresting this dangerous retrogressive trend through aggressive educational programmes, as well as reforms that enhance democratic tenets, processes and sustainable development. Why ?
The reasons are not farfetched:
So many Nigerian politicians, after successfully expropriating the common wealth of the people through official chicanery and subterfuge, and in their bid to perpetually entrench themselves in their vain vainglorious status, seek to sustain the exploitation of their ignorant, hungry, and weak followers to acquire more power.
Ironically, this deprived class of the Nigerian society are the ones who are often recruited to fight the political battles of attrition for their so-called political leaders.
Our democratic experience has clearly shown that these opportunists with native intelligence of their local folks, have continued to amplify the socio cultural fault lines of the people in order to sustain themselves in power for their own selfish gains, whereas many of them don’t even have an inkling into the essence and uses of power. They simply think that after the initial opportunistic acquisition of power and influence, they will always be in the position to purchase the votes of the poor, without advancing the cause of humanity. Unfortunately, many of them are eventually ousted in the process. Yet others come into public office with the initial positive intents, but their political will is overcome and adumbrated by the lack of knowledge of the nuanced workings of democracy; coupled with the base, animalistic, and vainglorious predatory instincts of uncivilized demagogues that they are.
That is why today, both the thoroughly undermined, hungry and ignorant scrum of the Nigerian polity and their mercenary intellectual counterparts, have been systematically subdued, emasculated and conscripted to continually defend and justify why these unprepared, weak and selfish leaders must continue to be rewarded with public office, despite their lack of character and patriotism in previous official assignments.
In 2015, having been backed by a very powerful capitalist interests, the APC came into power basically through the exploitation of primordial sentiments, smartly harnessing and coordinating media propaganda that poignantly and chillingly exposed the frailties of the then PDP Federal Government; just as the party of the broom feasted on the unpreparedness of its predecessor and its inability to arrest the then adverse prevailing insecurity challenges in the land that had caused ubiquitous fear and pandemonium.
But in the twilight of its incumbency, despite the personal integrity record of President Buhari; and the accompanying unprecedented infrastructural development to butt; many have argued that if the APC Federal Government was as altruistic and well equipped as it portended before ascending power, the APC government at the centre would have substantially accomplished the fundamental existential task of nation building which could have engendered the desperately needed Nigerian nationalism.
But like I had alluded earlier, political thinkers have opined that, it is one thing to have the political will, it is another altogether if that will is effectuated, because it is oftentimes overshadowed by vested interests of countervailing forces, operating on the same political power chessboard which often initiate seeming noble and patriotic programmes that end up being a distraction to the possibly well intentioned leader in the long run.
It is rather regrettable that after almost 24 years of power sharing between the PDP and the APC and the numerous other than lip service and pretensions; democratic institutions have not been adequately strengthened through drastic legal, judicial and other relevant reforms, in order to curtail the inherent corrupt practices that permeate our institutions and democratic system of government. For instance, the Nigerian leadership recruitment system from top to bottom has been flawed and cannot be described as probono publico. Indeed, it has become a game of the highest bidder. Character, experience, competence, physical and mental fitness have become secondary; and intellectual mercenaries are procured to defend the indefensible, without any iota of chagrin, and some courts still deliver controversial judgments, despising the express provisions of the Electoral Act; and, since the electoral process is bound to run the whole hug, the unpredictability of the indispensable variables in the political and judicial systems portend grave danger to our nascent democracy.
This is because, effective leadership that has been universally identified as pivotal in all human endeavours over the ages, has been consistently advocated that it should be anchored on the principles of transparency, competence and experience rather than impunity, pecuniary or any other consideration.
Therefore, should our leadership recruitment system is compromised at the governance level, how do we counsel some of our students who have become inured to cheating in exams, including those that seek to be admitted into higher institutions of learning?
In the circumstances, if the primary elections which is the foundation of leadership recruitment system in any democratic setting is skewed to favour the super rich, how can the election proper will be safeguarded from the same trajectory.
The good news is that Nigerians now have alternative platforms of like minds that are professing and who, by their antecedents, and presently demonstrating zero tolerance for corruption both in democratic leadership recruitment processes and in governance with promises to overhaul not only the foundations of the Nigerian State, but also its superstructure with intent to erecting a new order of the Nigerian Society that is beneficial to all citizens, at all levels and within the context of an enduring democracy; irrespective of creed, ethnic, gender, demographic or any other considerations.
Finally, the entire world is keenly watching to see the choice the Nigerian electorates will make in the 2023 elections: Whether they will subscribe to the universal principles of advanced democracies by choosing credible leaders based on their proven Character and Competence or they will continue to allow Primordial Sentiments to influence their choices.
It is now left to the ordinary Nigerian suffering masses who are clearly in the overwhelming majority, to take their destiny into their hands. It will however, be abominable, if the Nigerian suffering masses will still consciously go ahead to sell their birthrights and those of generations yet unborn to their oppressors — God forbid.
For the hierarchy and rank and file in the oppressive Nigerian system of cronyism and Godfatherism, they will conjure all kinds of rationalisations to justify their warped democratic choices.
I’m aware that the prayers of the children of God across sundry denominations in this country are ongoing for the Almighty to help exorcise in our nation, the insatiable spirit of mammon, materialism, selfishness, greed and in His infinite mercy; and enthrone the noble, glorious and pius spirit of love and truth, tolerance, benevolence and honest leadership in our beloved nation at all levels, and the best choices for the Nigerian masses at this critical juncture of Nigeria’s political history are no doubt Engr (Dr) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, National Leader and Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and his running mate, Bishop Isaac Idahosa; and Professor Bem Angwe, a renowned Human Rights Lawyer and Gubernatorial Candidate of the NNPP in Benue State; and his Deputy, Lady Comfort Ogbaji.
John Tine Writes from Gboko, Benue State.
Leaders Point to Nigeria’s Political Future at 2nd IBB Legacy Dialogue
By David Shodeinde
The IBB Legacy dialogue is an annual event convened by Aisha Babangida, the first daughter of the former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim B. Babangida.
The annual event started at the 80th birthday and also held in August 2021 as well to expand on his legacy.
This year’s edition held under the chairmanship of Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo, former Vice President with key note speaker, Prof Jibrin Ibrahim, Senior Fellow, Center for Development.
The 2nd IBB Legacy Dialogue was a gathering of the powerful in the nation’s political space as it was attended by members of the Federal Executive Council, former ministers, former governors, heads of international organizations, Chieftains of the political parties, media icons and a cross section of the Diplomatic Corps.
This year’s dialogue was anchored on the upcoming 2023 election in Nigeria and the expectedly, the issues security and inclusive democracy in Africa.
Participants at the event dwelt on the all important question of leadership and the governmental policies that will bring up accountability.
In a speech at the occasion, the convener, Aisha Babangida explained that it was former President Ibrahim Badamasi and Maryam Babangida presidential library and Foundation and the works of the library that gave birth to the Ibrahim Babangida Legacy dialogue.
“This Legacy dialogue is very important platform where we have serious discussions and address issues or give solutions to issues that are very important in Nigeria,” she told the huge audience at the International Conference Abuja, venue of the Dialogue.
According to her, this year’s event provided an opportunity to build on the success of last year’s Maiden edition and to take forward issues discussed there but more importantly, offered another opportunity to build on the wider Legacy of progress towards Democracy in Nigeria.
Acknowledging the presence of some presidential candidates at he event, Aisha said there was no calling more noble than the leadership of a great nation adding those who took over the mantle of leadership deserved respect and gratitude of Nigerians.
Aisha was hopeful that the 2023 elections would not only produce the leadership that Nigeria deserved but also usher in the kind of policies that inspire young people to see politics as a noble calling so that the best and the brightest of the youths would commit themselves to public service.
“That way in 2027 and in 2031 and beyond, the calibre of candidates will be more noble,” she stressed.
“Over six decades since we won our independence, the path to full democracy has been slow and uneven. We all know that we are not there yet but patriotic leaders like my father have played their part in keeping our country together and bringing about the stability and the guide required for economic growth and human flourishing but of course it would be an understatement to say that not all of our leaders have served us well. Even since the advent of the fourth Republic in 1999, the history of democracy in Nigeria has been a chequered one, so it is natural that Nigerians are weary at election time but it is also important that we do not give in to cynicism,” she stated.
She said 2022 electoral bill has been an important step forward adding she was hopeful it would give voters great confidence in the conduct of the elections.
“It is important that the elections are not only free and fair but must show evidence of transparency, which is a key principle along with the integrity and independence of electoral officers and of course, the judiciary as a strong and independent judiciary is as essential as democracy and elections themselves because it is only when voters have faith in the rule of law that they will participate actively in elections and trust the results naturally,” she explained.
She noted the concerns of many Nigerians about the monetization of the electoral process and its negative impact on the polity and quality of governance.
Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who also joined the discussions through a virtual platform advised Nigerian politicians to guard against all issues that had potential create disunity of the country.
He warned that as the campaigns drew nearer, there was ultimate need to avoid campaign messages and activities that were capable of creating divisions in the polity.
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