The bullets of the harmless rabbit: Lukman fires an advisory shot at The Bisi Akande led National Reconciliation Committee (NRC)


After every war, the terms of peace are not set by those who were right, they are negotiated by those who are left. As the reconstituted National Reconciliation Committee (NRC) of our great party ably led by the pioneer national chairman, Pa Bisi Akande, kicks off after the inauguration, I sincerely pray that the committee would do justice to the enormous task before it. It is my fervent prayer that the NRC would appreciate the fundamental requirement of the word RECONCILIATION. A reconciliation committee is not a court for judgement but an opportunity for peace. While the court gives judgement based on the facts and evidence available before it, a reconciliation committee identifies and mediate the issues of interests between the feuding persons or groups. While a court is purely judicial, a reconciliation committee is purely political. Political disagreements are never about who is right or who is wrong, they are simply issues of conflicting personal or group interests. They are about who gets what and how. Therefore the job of a political reconciliation committee is simply to accurately identity and profile what these conflicting interests are, and then summon the honesty, the creativity, the will and the wisdom to find accommodation for all these interests. A reconciliation committee that appreciates and embraces this vector of strategic direction is most likely to succeed in its assignment, but a committee that jettisons this fundamental requirement of political reconciliation would definitely not achieve its goal. While I appreciate the committee’s assignment is spread across the 36 states and FCT, it is obvious that its immediate task is situated in Edo and Ondo states due to the political exigencies occasioned by the 2020 gubernatorial elections in the two states. It is therefore expected, or strongly suggested, that the committee should commence its activities from these states. Of more interest to me, however, is that of my beloved state, The State Of Edo. Though the Harmless Rabbit Platform had carefully chronicled and documented what the Edo political issues are in a bullet series titled “EDO POLITICAL UPHEAVAL, THE FACTS, THE FALLACIES & THE WAY FORWARD”, copies which would be made available to all the members of the committee, this special bullet series becomes necessary considering the reality that so much water has passed under the bridge after the publication of that bullet series. Without mincing words, the political issue in Edo state is simply about who would fly the gubernatorial ticket of APC in 2020. This is the generic issue, though the problem has been escalated by the breakdown of TRUST between Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki. Every previous attempt to resolve this issue has failed, not because the mediators had no capacity to mediate on the matter, but because these two gladiators no longer TRUST each other. While Obaseki seems to have completely lost the trust on Oshiomhole’s capacity to honour any terms of reconciliation, Oshiomhole no longer trusts the political trajectory Obaseki would follow after securing the second term. This mutual distrust is what is fueling the escalation of the Edo political crisis. But it is important to reiterate that this distrust did not start of late, contrary to what many hangers-on and escalators of the needless crisis would want the public to believe. This seed of distrust was actually sown during the 2019 party primaries in the state when Oshiomhole and Obaseki agreed on the list of APC candidates for the election, only for the same list to be unilaterally altered at #13, Aso Drive, Abuja without recourse to government house at Osadebey Avenue, Benin City. So the first task of the Akande led committee is to find a creative way to restore that lost trust between the two gladiators. Some ideas about how this can be dealt with abound and shall be privately communicated to Pa. Bisi Akande for appropriate action. Though trust is like water that cannot be recovered after it has been spilled, some confidence of each of the gladiators keeping to the agreed terms of reconciliation can be built. And once that confidence is put in place, either via a post-reconciliation resolution of our party’s NEC or a stamp of moral authority of president Buhari, it is my opinion that all the issues revolving around these centrifugal interests could be easily discussed and resolved. This bullet series would attempt to profile all the interests, both the primary and the secondary, and it is my hope that a genuine accommodation of them is tangential to the amicable resolution of the issue. May God be our guide and give us the wisdom and the courage to do that which is in the overriding interest of our great party. Salam alaykum.

Engr. Lukman, firing live from my room.