Like Ekiti; Unlike Osun By Abdulkabir Badmos
The past few days has been one of the most memorable ones in the political lives of the people of Osun state. It is the period when the long awaited gubernatorial election of the state is to take place. All political parties have been at the top of their game in the past weeks, with each trying to outdo the other in their quest to win the race to “Bola Ige House”.
For the bulk of the political parties that partook in the Ekiti election, they all seem to have come out with either a new lesson or a new gimmick. These were the artillery that they all strive to import into the Osun state elections. A careful analysis of these tactics show that it favoured some, while some failed woefully.
There have been the now familiar cliché of “militarization of elections” which seem to be a practice that has come to stay in our polity in this country. The Federal government moving almost all of its security personnel to any state that is having the gubernatorial election. One wonders where all these “sudden might” have been when our ChibokGirls are still languishing somewhere in the wilderness.
The people of Osun state, haven seen the tactic of the “powers-that-be” knew what to expect when they were going to polls. Thus, despite the heavy security presence, the people defied the fears, summoned courage to go out and vote en masse for their preferred candidate. By this, the electorate have demonstrated their correct understanding of the electoral process vis-à-vis the role of the security personnel. They seem to now understand that the men in uniforms are paid with tax-payers’ money and they need not be feared by any law abiding citizen.
It is also worthy of note that some political parties learnt some bitter lessons in this election. The political party is that important fulcrum, around which the democratic process revolve. In my opinion, it is the bedrock of any political party. Thus, an abuse of its process or activities portends a great danger for the party and indeed the entire society. A political party that lacks internal democracy is simply gradually moving towards political extinction.
It’s no longer news that a particular candidate in the just concluded elections can be said to have virtually imposed himself on that party as hell was almost let loose when he seemed to have opposition to his candidacy. This singular act (perhaps with some similar events) led to the party losing some of its chieftain to the opposition, and this appeared to be a blow below the belt for them. The rejection that candidate ‘enjoyed’ in some wards even in his senatorial district is meant for the Hall of fame.
Now that the election has come and gone, parties and politicians alike should return to the drawing board. The winner should consolidate on the gains and dividends of democracy, while the “not-so-lucky” group should take solace in the fact that it’s the service of the people that made them contest and the same people have said it’s not yet their time. Osun is greater than all of us put together.
Modakeke-born aspirant to the Nigerian bar.
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