The Oasis Reporters
June 30, 2022
By Greg Abolo
The unmitigated loss of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the recently concluded Ekiti state governorship election where they placed a distant third has remained a source of surprise to political pundits who watch elections in Nigeria’s South West.
This singular event shows the lack of preparedness on the part of the opposition PDP whereas on two separate occasions, they’d come from behind to upset the applecart and won gubernatorial elections in Ekiti.
This time it was different. There was perceived little or no enthusiastic support from the party. Worse still, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was believed to be hibernating in Dubai and did not come to lend critical support to a structure that he would have been expected to need in 2023, ahead of the presidential election. He has thus alienated the building blocks that would have helped his cause.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, his Bayelsa state counterpart, Douye Diri who is the Chairman Osun State Gubernatorial National Campaign Council, among several of their colleagues were absent on Wednesday when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)— korede (@sharafamuhamme1) June 29, 2022
Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar’s credentials towards unification are being called into question:
If Atiku can't unify PDP, how can he unify Nigerians?— Success Eloka (@ElokaSuccess) June 29, 2022
14 out of 17 PDP members recommended Gov Wike for Vice President, yet Atiku picked Okowa. Small test of democratic process and he has failed.
Anybody that can't grant the people's wish shouldn't be anywhere close to power
Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom first laid this acquisition in an Arise TV interview practically claiming that Atiku Abubakar may not be a team player after all. 14 out of 17 eminent party men asking him to pick Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike as his running mate and the delegates primary election winner, Abubakar rebuffed them. These are the critical stakeholders that he needs to go into the election proper with.
Here’s a snippet from the Arise TV interview with Governor Samuel Ortom.
There is fire on the mountain…. pic.twitter.com/e2DLdcEiBf— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 29, 2022
Despite what the PDP Constitution on rotating power states, the country saw the dizzying foot work the acclaimed PDP quartet of northerners obviously on behalf of Atiku Abubakar to expunge that clause in the party Constitution and allow everyone to run so as to retain power in the north, after an 8 year stint by Muhammadu Buhari. Atiku Abubakar, another Fulani man wants to succeed him should he win.
But despite all the noise about unifying Nigerians, it’s obvious that in the geographical north, there’s a chink in the armor. A low lying war exists. One group wants power at all costs, probably out of a perceived fear. Another group wants power out of the north, in another dimension of perceived fear of extermination because the constant and regular winners always ensure that Christians or minority tribes never get picked to run for the presidency.
It shows one thing. Northern unity is a complete farce.
"I will not support Atiku Abubakar because Nyesom Wike was cheated"— Chris (@Topboychriss) June 29, 2022
– Governor Samuel Ortom on Arise TV
Samuel Ortom is a minority northerner but he is going for a southern presidential candidate.
And this conundrum of passions on a hot topic is not only in the north.
Former Ekiti state governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose @GovAyoFayose has this to say:
“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness.”
Where is the fairness if a Fulani man is President for eight years and another Fulani man immediately lines up to contest, destroying set down agreements, hoping to win upon the sensibilities of the critical south.
If the leaders had been serving all Nigerians with a superlative performance, that would be a different matter altogether. But no. Their service is always with a distinguished lack of excellence.
These background facts are the current underpinnings beneath the make or break Osun gubernatorial election coming up in less than twenty one days.
The only thing happening in Osun right now are the puny voices of the Osun online reporters. Political heavyweights like Atiku Abubakar, Ifeanyi Okowa, Nyesom Wike, Seyi Makinde etc, are yet to storm Osogbo the state capital for a supportive dance with one of the most colourful dancers who has nimble feet, Ademola Adeleke, a senator who is the gubernatorial candidate.
As painful as it is, Adeleke won the gubernatorial election fair and square four years ago. But tactical rigging worked against him, so the matter went to the tribunal, and he won. Even up to the Appeal Court, he still won. But the Supreme Court stood on a technicality and gave victory to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
That was a party that had governed in an unmitigated fashion of cluelessness and owed workers decided to take their pound of flesh. The system failed them.
Four years later, it is now time for a rematch. But the metrics are different today. PDP moral fibre of fairness has disappeared as the south was denied the chance to run for the presidency, going by the party constitution.
The inertia to storm Osun is evident. Meanwhile, Osun State governor, Gboyega Oyetola is busy mending fences with PDP governed neighboring Oyo State. In an unprecedented fashion, Oyetola has given Oyo’s governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde cooperation on key issues like ceding Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) to Oyo State. This was a thorny issue that permeated the relationship between former governors Aregbesola of Osun state and Ajimobi of Oyo state. Despite being members of the same party, they didn’t see eye to eye on key issues in their relationship.
But Oyetola has made sure that he synergizes on key infrastructure issues like reconstructing the link Ibadan-Osogbo road.
Besides, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC presidential candidate needs to win his ancestral home state, desperately. It should reassure him of vital home support.
Government led enabling environments that help citizens lift themselves out of poverty is sorely lacking in Osun State. But their politicians in the ruling party are a very smart set of people. They’ve deployed branded bags of beans to assuage hunger before the elections and after the elections. Then there’d be business as usual.
The people seem torn between the conscience of choosing right this time, and the conscience of having the euphoria that a new president may be from their state. That bragging right is helping them forget the pains that they currently endure.
Nigerians wait to see how it all plays out.