Senator Ademola Adeleke (PDP) and Adegboyega Oyetola (APC)
Many political thinkers have described the just concluded election in Osun state as a "gunboat election", a step away from ekiti election 2018.
The election has been tagged as one of the most controversial elections in Nigeria democracy and worst election conducted by the APC led government.
This is because of the violence that greeted the rerun of the election and role played by thugs. The fear is, will the conduct of this election be a simple summary and analysis of what will be obtainable in the next general elections in 2019?
It is clear that the INEC declared the election inconclusive because of the violence that erupted in the seven (7) polling units, yet declared the election as conclusive after a heavy war that took place and despite the condemnation of the rerun by PDP, NBA, national observers and international observers respectively.
If the APC were declared winner after scoring the highest votes in the midst of violence, why was the PDP not declared winner as well because of violence that erupted in those areas during the main contest?
As an astute observer, I followed the events towards the election at Osun with keen interest. I have listed some points that took place before the elections.
The PDP to a large extent abandoned the music star Davido and his uncle senator Adeleke to battle federal might, APC governors and the incumbent governor. The duo gave the ruling party a big fight indeed. They did all they could and left no stone unturned. Indeed, their strategies worked for them.
STRENGTHS OF SEN. ADELEKE
1. His family name.
2. His nephew "Davido"
3. Sympathy over the demise of his brother, late Senator Isiaka Adeleke
4. PDP as an experience party
5. Senator Adeleke's grassroots mobilization
6. His good relationship with people and acceptability
REACTIONS OF THE APC TOWARDS SEN. ADELEKE PERSONA AND POPULARITY
a. Alleged freezing of his account and those of six(6) other members of his family as postulated.
b. His WAEC certificate saga
c. Threat to his life
1. Federal might
3. Recruitment of 50,000 O'YES staff and payment of #50,000 to them
4. #10,000 soft loan to traders by the Vice president
5. Armed Forces
WEAKNESSES OF THE APC
a. Lack of payment of salaries
b. Forceful uniform to students in the state
c. Death of Sen. Isiaka Adeleke
d. Perception of APC leadership at all levels
e. Debt profile of the state
All those factors played a huge role in the election. In the words of the governor "Osun shocked APC "
Vote buying was a factor that played in both parties. APC and PDP are both guilty as charged. So this is not a strength in favour of any of them.
According to professor Iwu, former Inec boss, there was no justification for INEC to declare the election as inconclusive because all the results was collated.
While many onlookers believed that, the SDP candidate was a deciding factor to who wins the rerun, because the APC and PDP were gunning for him.
Despite the contradictions that mare the election, the fear and apprehensive dispositions of the ruling party was so visible.
Many analyst have query the APC leadership over the rough steps the took to land at victory, forgetting that they are in power today because a party handed over to them for the sake of peace and because of respect to democracy in the nation.
Under the PDP, Edo, Anambra Kogi and Lagos were won by them. The PDP wasn't that desperate to use force to win by all means.
The Osun election has been described as a litmus test towards 2019 election. Others are asking how the "not too young to run" bill will be effective based on what transpired at Osun.
Accusation has been levelled on INEC, for taking side with the ruling party. While the PDP heads to court to seek redress on what they described as a political "Coup" on democracy.
We are looking forward to seeing the judiciary giving justice to whosoever deserve it. Nigerians are worried over the president's comment "that the governor elect should build on the legacies of his predecessor" is it in area of governance or lack of payment of salaries or 'indebting' state the more?
As a political scientist, I will strongly advised that the INEC should brace up for a most strongest elections in 2019. The election will be very tough in all ramifications. The tension and expectations are high already.
As a nation, we must not repeat what happened in Osun again in our political history. We must try to build the Democratic institutions of the nation.
The leadership must show good examples. Election mustn't be a "do or die" affairs.
The verdict and choices of the electorate must be allowed to count. Due process must be followed sequentially in our elections. Good legacies must be left to future generations.
The president in his capacity must be father to all, either APC or PDP. He must try to write his name in gold by allowing free, fair and credible elections to take place under his watch.
MISTAKES OF THE PDP
The PDP should have protested, head to court and boycott the election. That would have been the only way. I wrote severally that the PDP shouldn't go to rerun because, it will take miraculous act for them to be declared winner.
This played out seriously, it is worrisome and devastating that what happened in the state happened. We must bury our faces in shame as a nation.
Note: if PDP victory was denied because of violence, why was APC given victory despite the political war and coup that took place?
In future elections, the Inec should remain neutral and mustn't do anything that will dent it image as a partisan establishment.
I wish Nigerians all the best. I insist that a new path of our democratic expeditions should be sort for the sake of posterity.
Rwang, Patrick Stephen
Department of political science
Federal University of Kashere Gombe state
Osun Decides 2018: A Pathway Towards 2019?
Sunday 30 September 2018