By Mukhtar Jarmajo
Mao Zedong, the founder of the Peoples Republic of China, once said, “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.” By inference, thus, there is so much correlation between politics and war, the only difference being that the former isn’t bloody while the latter is. Therefore, the art of politics is the same as that of war, where two or more opposing parties contest for supremacy either in terms of votes for political power as with politics or territorial control as with war. Additionally, politics and war involve strategies to subdue the opponent through deceptive techniques.
Perhaps this is why Sun Tzu, the great Chinese writer, philosopher and war strategist, noted that while differentiating victorious warriors from defeated ones, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Aside from that, Sun Tzu emphasised the importance of strategy in war. He also meant that only warriors who adopt strategies in defining the means to conquer the enemy are victorious. The third import of Tzu’s quote is that strategists conquer their opponents well before the offensive is launched.
So just as wars can be won and lost before the first Salvo is released, elections too can be won and lost even before any vote is cast. Meanwhile, it bears no repeating that only strategic politicians achieve such excellence. They study the prevailing political circumstance, analyse it based on the ambitions of the time, and then meticulously plan the best strategy to be used in conquering the opponents. Politicians such as the Bauchi state APC governorship standard bearer, Sadiq Baba Abubakar, are victorious political warriors simply because they understand the art of political warfare.
During the governorship primary election in Bauchi state, the erstwhile Air Chief turned political czar and let his fellow contenders believe they were more political than him. Therefore only they knew what the road to winning the party’s ticket looked like. After the contest, Sadiq Abubakar won the day, with the runner-up placed at a distant 92 votes away. While they were reluctant that he was not a factor to count, Sadiq Abubakar campaigned vigorously and reached out to stakeholders and delegates to convince them of the substance and import of his ambition.
In the end, they were convinced that aside from experience he would bring to the table, the erstwhile diplomat is one politician capable of giving the ruling PDP in Bauchi state a run for its money. Thus, he won the primary election before the first ballot was cast. And by Sun Tzu’s standard, Sadiq Baba Abubakar is a victorious political warrior. It raises no eyebrows that as a graduate of political science who also holds a master’s in strategic studies, the Bauchi APC governorship standard bearer can do even more than this.
Jarmajo can be reached via email@example.com.