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Victory for PDP in Osun: What does the future hold?

Many people were not shaken when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ademola Adeleke, as the winner of…

Many people were not shaken when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ademola Adeleke, as the winner of the governorship election in Osun State. He polled 403,371 votes to beat Gov Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who got 375,027 votes.

The campaign of Adeleke was not particularly striking. Howbeit, one thing that was clear in all his appearances during the campaign was his sympathy for the people of Osun. He is a beneficiary of the expression of the people’s frustration against the government of the APC. There is a clear indication that people are disappointed because of the failed promises made by the APC and chose to express this through the rejection of its candidate in Osun. 

The woeful performance of the government at the centre, the lackluster show of Oyetola and internal party conflicts also aggravated APC’s misfortune.

As a governor seeking re-election one would’ve expected that Oyetola’s campaign would be laced with highlights of measurable achievements. The instrumentality to measure the performance of any administration is based on how well it has met the needs of the people. Most importantly, this must be coupled with a strong leadership ability to manage human and material resources. These were evidently not strong traits in Oyetola. He looks more of an administrator good for taking orders than a politician responsible for drafting policies. Regular payment of salary took the centerpiece of his campaign, no thanks to the debt the previous administration of Rauf Aregbesola plunged the state into.

In the build-up to the final campaign, the best the two major political parties could do was to pitch two young artistes in the music industry – Davidoo and Portable – in their campaigns. The Facebook post of one of Oyetola’s commissioners read: “If you Davido me, I will Zazu you.” On the one hand, this speaks volumes of the emerging role of young artistes as campaign figures for politicians. On the other hand, it points to the need for a cultural shift in Africa’s agenda for its youths in giving them a voice not only when they are needed to canvass elections but also to contribute their quota to governance.

If the election were to be won by ideas and visions for development, none of the two leading candidates would be in that position. Unfortunately, elections in Nigeria are neither won through grammar nor competence. The third force did not play out in Osun politics for several reasons. The candidate of the Labour Party trails behind in a distant third position.

So what should we expect in the next four years? The student movement, which had hitherto been a political appendage of the government, will pretend to wake up to its responsibilities. Do not be surprised. Also, student leaders who have lost their means of survival will now either re-group with their counterparts in the PDP or wake up to realize that public institutions in the state are grossly understaffed and comatose.

What lessons can revolutionary organizations take from this? Firstly, there is the need to identify what our problems are. Beyond this, building structures and methods of struggle is equally important. One lesson has been learnt that politics, like other institutional systems, is about building structures. Big vocabularies about socialism and communism on social media will produce little or no effect. There is no doubt that the people are suffering amid abundance. The living condition worsens daily and the people need a united front to fight for their rights.

Now that Osun has decided, what performance will Ademola Adeleke put up in governance? What will he do differently to raise the revenue of a debt-ridden state? How exactly does he intend to revive the economy of Osun despite the heavy salary burden? How fast can he settle for serious governance and jettison entertaining people who have been plunged into misery through governance?

It is a good thing that expectations are not unnecessarily high on the Governor-elect. Many people believe his love for dancing will impede the leadership quality he will provide. It rests on him to prove this opinion wrong and make the world see that hobby and work are two different things. In the next four years, we will be here again. When the music changes, so does the dance. The drummer will change his beat, and the dancer must also change his step.

 

Matthew Alugbin, PhD wrote from Modakeke, Osun State.

 

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