Speaking with newsmen who met him in his country home at Iragbiji during the Sallah holidays, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the State of Osun addressed key issues that further revealed his strong belief in the supremacy of the people to swing victory in elections. He told his guests who wanted to know if he could win a second term in the July poll next year: ‘’Election winners are determined by performers or ratings by people, but most importantly, God determines the winner of the election. If God ordains it, people will determine the next governor.’’
Cynics might retort that this is a trite reflection, not a profound perspective, on the universal notion of democracy, and therefore it ought not to elicit a second glance. I disagree. In the Nigerian clime, as experience has taught us repeatedly, we have imported extraneous factors into what determines democratic norms. In our cosmos, a winner at the ballot produced by other means. We have introduced the play of money; we have brought ethnicity into the game; we have ushered in violence; we have presented religion; we have offered depraved forms of horse-trading.
So when a member of the elite league like a governor solemnly declares that for him, his performance, the will of the people after assessing him, and absolute trust in God to put a seal on the popular process, are what he is counting on to secure victory at the poll, we must look in his direction and inhale a fresh breath. He says he is not part of the old political order that discards the will of the masses and dashes for undemocratic levers. Not adhering to procedural politics by leaders and their parties is responsible for the death and dearth of sustainable values in the system.
Therefore, we should hail a governor who has publicly sworn on his honour, in a manner of speaking, that as far as he, Oyetola, is concerned, he will approach the July 2022 gubernatorial poll with the conviction that only the traditional determinants of ballot success will clinch him victory. He implies that he will not go the way of Machiavellian tactics. He is simply going to lean on his performance in his first term in office to honourably grab another constitutional term. He wants to be seen as the lily in the murky waters, untainted by the mud in the environment.
It was the same point Chief Bisi Akande, former chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, when he solicited support for Oyetola to be given an encore. When a group, Opomulero Osun, visited him at his countryside resort in Ila, State of Osun, last month, Akande gave the members a charge. He told the group to work for the reelection of Oyetola by leveraging his achievements. He enjoined all the members (of Opomulero Osun) to “rise up and support the ongoing move to embrace new members that want to join the party and also work on improving the fortunes of the party in the forthcoming election to secure a second term for Gov. Oyetola and continuity of progressive ideals in the state.’’
Thus, for those who want violence-free politicking in Osun as well as the upholding of abiding democratic standards along with the continued enjoyment of the best in good governance, the choice remains APC and its candidate, Oyetola, with his vow that he will stand by the will of the people as ordained by God, after a close examination of his scorecard.
Nigeria’s politics needs this refined mentality to overcome the challenges that have befallen us over the decades since independence, knowing that if we get it right on the political scene, we shall surely get it right in the other sectors in our national life.
Ileri Oluwa gbodo se….
Kunle Oyatomi, is the spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of Osun