Why The Rape-like Threat To Igbos Over Vote Outcome In Ibadan Is Counter Productive

The Oasis Reporters

March 1, 2019

APC Candidate, Adebayo Adelabu of the APC (left), and PDP candidate, Seyi Makinde. They are the two front line candidates.

Smart politicians always know when to retreat and call it a day, as they wait for another season especially if it is in their off season, for ultimately, their power comes from the people. Even if they came into power through the backdoor, the day of ‘O to ge’ (enough is enough) will come, unexpectedly. The politician’s best bet is to court the people.

According to a Vanguard newspaper report from Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, Igbo traders were said to have been prevented from carrying out their daily commercial activities. Several spots in the market where most of the traders businesses are, were empty over President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory.

A female trader who spoke with Vanguard News on the condition of anonymity, lamented that they were being subjected to hardship, noting that they earned their living and took care of their family from whatever proceeds they made daily.

She disclosed that they were being told that they would only be allowed to continue doing business on the condition that they swore to an oath secretly that they would vote for candidates of APC in the governorship and House of Assembly elections slated for March 9, 2019.

“We are appealing to the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi, as well as the State Commissioner of Police to come to our aid because we are peace-loving people.

“The condition they gave for our shops to be reopened was that we would swear to an oath to vote for APC candidates in the governorship and State Assembly elections. Some people have already done that out of fear. Governor Ajimobi, please come to our rescue,” she pleaded.

The futility of this action is that the Igbo voters in Ibadan may not even be significant enough to alter the figures that could give the ruling APC victory in the coming gubernatorial election. The most jubilant of the crowd that spread the news with glee from voting booth to voting booth with exceeding joy in Ibadan on the day of the presidential and national assembly elections, were Yoruba indigenes. They were the ones that had a score to settle with Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the APC, as to make them lose, not the non indigenes. Many of them did not even vote, out of fear of intimidation.

Assuming all the Igbos and other non indigenous people were to troop out of to vote on March 9, it is possible that a good chunk of them will line up behind the APC gubernatorial candidate, Adebayo Adelabu because of his late grandfather, Chief Adelabu (Penkelemesi) who died about 60 years ago. Penkelemesi (Snr) was a flamboyant NCNC politician, so smart that he mastered the art of fielding ethnic candidates where he knew the tribe had a strong presence. He never discriminated against anyone. NCNC was mainly an Igbo led party. Adelabu won overwhelmingly and was on his way to becoming the premier of the Western Region, and unknown to him, Chief Obafemi Awolowo secretly cut a deal with the elected NCNC parliamentarians to defect to his Party, the Action Group (AG) and with his new majority, became the Premier of the Western Region.

Therefore to shut the shops of those that would have been Adelabu’s natural allies is bound to provoke a backlash. Forcing them to swear to an oath would galvanize more Ibadan indigenes to reject APC resoundingly.

Ajimobi should really thank Almighty God for the blessings he has received so far. It is recorded that Oyo state hardly ever returns a governor for a second term. They won’t even allow a politician to install his godson back to back. That jinx was broken by Ajimobi. Not necessarily because of any spectacularly outstanding performance. It was circumstances and the special grace of Almighty Allah. The Buhari tsunami so easily swept him back to power for a second term, even though he had failed to develop the state economy and civil servants had been owed many months of outstanding salaries. Anger had boiled over, yet they gave him a second chance. There hardly was any improvement. A clear sign of palpable anger was displayed when people defied the privilege of being in the same party at the center, to reject him in his Senatorial bid.

That should have warned him that Ibadan people had issued a verdict. After all, two other APC senators were chosen. He the most visible one who even gave Ibadan people free sachets of dry Garri and Kulikuli ( groundnut cake) to chew, was resoundingly rejected. If that is not a loud warning, what else is ?

If his supporters are doing this oath thing on non indigenes to force them into voting for Adebayo Adelabu as next governor, then it would be seen as a disservice to the young man. It would be like Rape. Like women, they generally have a great revulsion for forceful Rape. The people will make the loss even bigger.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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