Loss at the Polls: Fayemi not the First to Concede Defeat; By Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir
One good thing about conceding defeat in any contest, especially politically, is that it deflates the victory candour and elated celebration in the camp of your opponent and the winner.
In Nigeria, the winner takes all mentality is so brazen and discerning, especially since the coming of President Goodluck Jonathan to the presidency.
Between 1999 and the time Jonathan succeeded late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, the Federal Government as well many State Governments operated what was tagged government of national unity. It invites candidates from the opposition to join the government. This went a long way in neutralizing certain tension in the polity.
But not so since the coming of Jonathan. And you may be right to say this single act would have defused some of the obnoxious hara-kiri we now witness in the polity.
It is this winner take all mentality that is making the ruling party (PDP) thumbs it chest for the victory at the Ekiti guber polls. But Governor Fayemi deflated the air in the feet of the victory dancers in Fayose’s and PDP camp by conceding defeat and congratulated his opponent.
But since that act, many have inundated us with how maiden Fayemi’s decision is. Many took it to the level of pronouncing him the first politician in recent Nigeria’s democratic history to have tread such noble and less traveled path. But no, loss at the polls; Fayemi not first to concede defeat and congratulate his opponent.
In 2003 after coming from no where to beat his boss who once moved him from Permanent Secretary position to the class room, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau got a congratulatory message from Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso after defeating him at the polls.
Kwankwaso did not only conceded defeat, but congratulated Shekarau and also urged his (Kwankwaso) supporters to be calm, pray for the security, peace, unity and good of Kano state under the new government. Shekarau went ahead and broke the jinx of “two term” tenure in Kano. He got re-elected in 2007 while Kwankwaso went ahead and became a Federal Minister incharge of Defence under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo while keeping away from Kano politics.
Kwankwaso, like whirlwind took Kano by storm in the 2011 election and snatched victory from the incumbent Governor Ibrahim Shekarau who fielded one of his lackeys. While Kano voted PDP as governor, they rejected PDP as President and voted CPC just like Sokoto, Kaduna among others.
Professor Charles Soludo left his footprints in the apex bank of the nation; CBN. He tried his political luck at the Anambra guber race on the platform of PDP and lost to the then incumbent and now former Governor Peter Obi on the platform of APGA.
Soludo did not only conceded defeat, he went ahead and congratulated Mr Peter Obi and moved on with his life.
And like many Speakers before him, Honourable Dimeji Bankole emerged the Speaker of House of Representatives like a storm, tried and was as independent of the executives as possible. He made a mark and left with his head high despite lazing the route out for him with corruption charges. But the Courts later cleared him of all charges.
Bankole re-contested the same seat on the platform of the PDP and lost to his opponent on the platform of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) now All Progressive Congress (APC). He did not only conceded defeat but went ahead to congratulate his opponent and the winner in Ogun state.
From the above, we can see Dr Fayemi was not the first to have conceded defeat and embrace his opponent in recent times.
But like Kwankwaso, Fayemi may bounce back to reckoning again in Ekiti if not in national politics.
Let us not turn history upside down. This is just for the record.
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