Rauf Aregbesola: A Victory Greater Than Goodluck By Odusote Oluwakayode
Some Nigerians –if not most, it must be admitted, are not always keen on political issues. They prefer the news and afterwards, nag -end of discussion. It’s the blunt truth.
The invention of stomach infrastructure became easily seductive in Ekiti state due to the level of poverty and ignorance on the part of some electorates and without bias, insensitivity on the part of the incumbent to the material needs of the people.
Truth, the policies of infrastructure and education may be fantastic; however, politics as a game must be played without allowing petty, but important loopholes for the opposition to tap in order to gain emotional advantage.
The nation, by the victory of APC’s Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in the recently concluded governorship election in Osun state is at this moment alive and paying attention to critical political issues especially as it relates to election. It is important to note that manipulations indicate itself in several ways, and for our democracy, if continued intimidating militarization of election persists, before we know it, we may be drawing up the burial rites of true democracy.
From several campaigns, politicians ignite sentiments by taking advantage of glaring failures that exist in the society into political discourse. The success of such sentiment depends on — in the words of Habermas — the “rationality” that society finds in it.
The momentum of politics is generated to win supports, which sometime, in our landscape brew tension between politicians. Democratically, the society is a raw material from which the politician creates strong and desired mobilization to secure votes from the people.
The people respond to some sentiments of the politicians which range from fear, anger and sometimes awareness on several issues of concern. These designed or derived sentiments are used and sometimes manipulated for political advantages. Manipulations exist in every political terrain but consequences of such selfish adoption create a society full of rogues. As Chairman Mao said changes in society are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in society, that is, the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the contradiction between classes and the contradiction between the old and the new; it is the development of these contradictions that pushes society forward and gives the impetus for the supersession of the old society by the new.
The governorship election that held in Osun state on the 9th of August, 2014 is still on our lips because with the massive presence of security operatives sent to effect a credible, free and fair election, unlike Ekiti state, the people of Osun state monitored their votes closely. In some manner, the reason adduced for heavy security was to ensure the election was not rigged, however, when security operatives are allegedly sent to do a yeoman’s job, what manner of credibility will such election attract?
Before the election and from bitter experience, the assurance of a credible election as promised could not be believed due to lack of trust in a government that do not have a history of fulfilling promises. I do not understand reasons for assurances when elections are militarized for alleged manipulations.
There is no problem having security operatives on ground to guarantee safety, maintain order and ensure peaceful conducts but when allegations are, that some officers got involved in money distribution, then, you wonder what kind of assurance the electorates are to depend upon.
The roles of some desperate politicians call for concern. A minister of the federal republic of Nigeria holds a significant public office, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with other ministers towards assisting the president in the discharge of his responsibilities. This is to ensure and guarantee efficiency in government. As a minister of state for defense, the political roles of Musiliu Obanikoro in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun states’ elections call for serious concern.
Beyond unnecessary manipulation of state resources, the Nigerian armed forces are well equipped and trained to handle security issues. Of recent, the minister of state has extended his responsibilities to coordinating operatives on the field. As a responsible minister, understandably appointed by PDP, his roles are expected to be measured maturely while his utterances made sensibly and diplomatically. The dangerous aspiration to please his master at all cost is becoming alarming and worrisome.
Aside Obanikoro, Femi Fani-Kayode’s repeated claims in Osogbo, Osun State capital that some members of the APC, particularly those from the North, were sponsoring the operations of Boko Haram -possibly to win sympathy and support for the PDP candidate- is dangerous. Such careless statement from a politician whose antecedent cannot be adjudged progressive is divisive and cunning. A politician that is inconsistent and controversial cannot be trusted with powers to lead and govern. It will be interesting if Fani-Kayode would explain the relationship of the PDP with Alli Modu Sherrif and Sen. Alli Ndume.
In all, some of the illogical and confusing trends before the election did not deter the electorates from being courageous to exercise their rights as enshrined in the constitution. The good people of the State of Osun refused to be co-opted into the “stomach infrastructure” political hall fame, known to have earned some states a disappointing record of lacking in political intellect, mental alertness and vigilance.
Irrespective of the alleged plans to rig, the people stood to ensure their votes were counted without fear. The Ekiti election was marred by fear of the unknown, some people compromised, mobilizers arrested without genuine reasons and a descent result thwarted. As strong as the controversy over Gov. Fayemi’s popularity may be, the election couldn’t have been a landslide. Electoral practice is not this loose that performances are not recognized.
The political calculation of the 2015 general election should not be allowed to steal electoral mandates. The federal government in ensuring that votes are secured as always proclaimed should see the urgent reason in mobilizing such heavy forces to Borno state in curbing insurgency and to bring back our girls.
If the votes of electorates do not worth the blood of any individual, then the actions taken to secure states belonging to the opposition parties through alleged calculated rigging, manipulations and impeachments should be channeled towards developing the country, make it safe, secured and worth living.
As for Aregbesola, his victory is not colored in luck; he connected with the people and won their hearts genuinely by his performance and without propaganda.
For the APC, the Osun state victory is not one to over celebrate. The APC controlled states need to be human with their efforts at genuine development. Education, infrastructure, roads, employment and security are paramount but they can come with human face.
As for the people of Nigeria, cast away illusions and prepare for the 2015 democratic struggle ahead.
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