Democracy and Expectations of the Electorates: A Lesson from Ekiti By Agboola Abdulrahman
The effect of the pattern showcased by the electorates in the just concluded gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State on the attainment of productive governance in Nigeria cannot be ignored by any progressive minded Nigerian irrespective of ideological leanings. The pre-election opinions placed the outgoing Governor of Ekiti State at a vantage point to win a re-election to an Office he has credibly discharged his duties, strictly based on the designed blue print for the development of the State by his administration, but the judgment of the electorates that massively voted to deny him continuation in Office dictates otherwise.
The votes of the people casted in an election judged by election observers as model for credible elections in Nigeria, in terms of the vigilance and positive dispositions of the electorates to a fair contest as seen in the zero record of violence and skirmishes on the day of election that defeated the violent natures of previous elections deserves an appraisal. The electorates voted candidates of their choice owing to factors of sentiments of hope and believe in the ability of that candidate to fulfill their willful expectations.
The Fayemi led administration was described by the electorates as elitism government by their x-ray as the domiciled citizens, leading to a high conspiracy across Political Party lines against his re-election to the favour of Former Governor Ayo Fayose viewed by majority of the electorates as a personality with charisma to share the wealth to all interest groups in the State even at the expense of public good.
In other contemporary States in Nigeria, the Civil Servants in Ekiti State are adjudged as one of the best paid in terms of Salaries and Allowances under the administration of Fayemi with hallmark of sound security of lives and properties, efficient health delivery, qualitative basic and secondary education, effective urban renewal projects which are inherent in the APC manifestos, but majority of the electorates in Ekiti demands otherwise.
In the midst of the good performance of Fayemi administration, the Governor was alleged of refusal to conduct a Local Government Election to expand the genuine participations of people in governance and enhance efficient delivery of dividends of democracy at the grassroots level. The electorates are not well convinced on the pattern of governance by the Governor in the midst of high level of poverty in the State. In truism, people complained of hunger and lack of opportunities to make end meets under a Governor that refused to pave way for sharp practices and abuse the State Wealth.
In democracy, it is reasoned that the will of the masses is supreme even if it collides with the good manifestos of the party in power. The manifesto of the party in power must be redressed to accommodate the demands of the people base on peculiarities and occasions, failure on this leads to loss of confidence by the electorates in that administration and the result is the voting out of power for a suitable candidate that can manipulate events to satisfy the greed of the people.
Over 400,000 votes were returned at the just concluded gubernatorial election in Ekiti where the winner polled two-third majority at the expense of the outgoing governor with just one-third of the total votes casted. The Statistics revealed that majority of votes for the winner were casted by Students, Youths and Labour which defies all logic going by the poor reputation of the Governor-Elect in public accountability, credibility and progressive inclinations.
A proper investigation revealed that the outgoing Governor did not satisfy the expectations and demands of the Students for Bursary and Scholarship Awards cum high tuition fees in the tertiary institutions, while the Youths majorly unemployed decried absence of largesse to Youth groups by the government, the Labour needs better inclusion in decision making and representatives of governments became defiant to the advice of the populace.
In corollary, Governor Fayemi with the notion that the masses are convinced of his good conscience and performance to earn their unalloyed support equally relied on loyalist and agents of his administration to positively reach out and convince the electorate on the future advantage of the good programmes of his administration for public goods failed to widened his horizon by resolving issues with the Students, Youths and Labour Cadres.
In real essence, the emergence of Ayo Fayose as the Governor Elect of Ekiti State is on personal recognition as against the believe of many that the Peoples Democratic Party platform was the fulcrum that paved way for his victory at the polls. It is on record that many PDP Chieftains covertly supported the re-election of Fayemi while many APC Chieftains did same to Fayose, due to misgivings among the party stalwarts. The victory of Fayose belongs to the people against the perceived elitism government of Fayemi.
Fayemi has greatly fulfilled the manifesto of his party and delivered the dividends of democracy to the people of Ekiti State to the best of his ability, but reference on his failure to win a re-election indicted the All Progressive Congress for not properly evaluating the performance of Fayemi in tandem with the demands and needs of Ekiti people before presenting him as a flag bearer of the party.
It is the responsibility of the party to gather and weigh opinions and reactions of the people on the performance of people seeking elections on their platform and properly dissect the activities of the elected persons in order to repose the confidence of the party in the general masses and seek necessary corrections in the interest of the party that represents public good. All Progressive Congress as a Party failed in this herculean responsibility to checkmate the actions and inactions of Fayemi administration which has resulted in the failure of the party at the Ekiti State Gubernatorial Election.
Since Ayodele Fayose was disgracefully removed in office as Governor of Ekiti State in 2006, he has romanced all relevant political structures in Ekiti State in a creed for an opportunity to serve his people as Governor again, he has pursed his ambition with all the vigour required in spite of many negative attributes attached to his personality and has succeed with his aspiration in a rare manner but the will of the people remains the ultimate in a democratic setup.
Many have queried the intelligence, honour and integrity of Ekiti People on the outcome of the gubernatorial election that elected an acknowledged dubious as Governor but the end will definitely justify the means. It is too early to conclude whether Ayodele Fayose will unleash terror on his perceived opponents again, as he did in time past or reposition himself as a true Governor of the entire people of Ekiti State, but must be monitored and guided by the groups that coarse the confused electorates in the failure of intelligence that led to his emergence as Governor once again.
The All Progressive Congress Chieftains are expected to seek caution in the implementation of the progressive manifesto and stance of the Party by prioritising the pecuniary needs of the people, environments and demands of the electorates in governance where ever they reign. The Ekiti loss has exposed the incompetence of the APC Mobilisers and the party is charged to address the machineries for effective mobilization in order not to suffer serious setback in the preparation of the party to gain authority at the Federal Government Level in the 2015 General Elections.
Comrade Agboola AbdulRahman
Mass Action for Good Governance and Grassroots Development in Nigeria
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