Still on the last governorship election in Edo State, new facts emerging suggest that political decisions must not be taken in a hurry because the ramifications of these decisions might take longer and bitter toll on the society to rectify. Specifically, facts emerged that, principally, it was the _All Progressives Congress_ (APC) that destroyed APC in the exercise; and it was because the centre was not holding. It is good when Nigerians attribute these decisions to subjective issues. But, in a subjective combination, if a part of the system is faulty, the rest of the system will carry the weight.
The electioneering period in Nigeria is only designed to make our politicians sober a little. Once it is over, good judgment takes flight, leaving the stage for _‘to your tents O Israel’_ to thrive. For instance, if you’re voting away a qualified and promising candidate because you dislike his sponsors, that cannot be said to be rational, or in the objective interest of the system, the political structure, or that of the benefits of the people. Apparently, if the reasons flying around about the purported _”patriotic decision”_ by Edos to reject Osagie Ize-Iyamu are true, then, one can only hope and pray that the consequences would not be a matter of monumental regret and an unwitting outlet for what the people did not bargain for. When Godwin Obaseki also decided to decamp to the _People’s Democratic Party_ (PDP), that, was enough ground to send him packing. Interestingly, Obaseki knew that everything in this part of the world has a price; and he was willing to pay! Otherwise, how come other aspirants in PDP were able to easily forgo their ambitions and step down for the decampee, as if they never nursed any hope of victory in the first place? These are the bigger issues.
The main reason Ondo voted out Rotimi Akeredolu in 2012 was because they did not want _‘Lagosians’_ to come and start dictating anything to them’, not necessarily because they had something better than what the then _Action Congress of Nigeria_ (ACN) candidate was bringing to the table. In the end, Akeredolu lost, even in his Polling Unit. A similar fate almost befell Osun in 2018, where the question of an _‘Ajele’_ governing the _‘Land of Virtue’_ almost ruined the building of a probable improvement in the people’s life chances. Had the result gone the other way, only God knows what the reality on ground would have been by now!
By the way, those who are drowning themselves in _burukutu_ today because they have defeated Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole might have forgotten that the duo are two individual Nigerians exercising their civic rights to join, solicit votes, and organize others to participate in a democratic process. The two are two-term governors in their respective states. While one is the reigning National Leader of the ruling party, the other is its immediate past National Chairman, and a two-term president of Nigeria’s _‘can-only-bark’_ labour movement. Tinubu is not an upstart and has been living in Bourdillon, long before the nuances of politics and the storms of the political deterioration that pushed him into politics were even initiated. Let’s not deceive ourselves, Oshiomhole is also worryingly comfortable. When the masses are, therefore, incited against these people and/or their interests, it is ultimately the masses that still bear the brunt.
In the interest of Nigeria, the people’s voting rights should not be taken for granted, for the basic code at the heart of democracy is that all votes must count! The reality of the social conditions of existence in Nigeria, which doesn’t make people to reason well to be able to plot the graph, has to be addressed. If, for instance, Governor A could leave his domain to cause troubles and political upsets in another state – because of some selfish interests – and gets away with it without possible rebuke or sanctions at the party level, then, the society is in for perilous times.
All said, when will our _‘emergency democrats’_ begin to ponder the kind of legacy they’d want to bequeath to the ailing Nigerian state? Won’t posterity record their appearances and passages in their respective domiciled societies?
By Abiodun Komolafe