Ogun Guber Poll: Between Facts And Fiction | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ogun Guber Poll: Between Facts And Fiction

Posted: May 4, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Soyombo Opeyemi

Just as it is said in law that there must be an end to litigation in any dispute, there must also be an end to electioneering in any political contest. I am not aware of any rescheduled elections in Ogun State that could warrant an indirect return to the soap box to canvass for votes. To the best of my knowledge, no poll in Ogun was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the Presidential poll of March 28 and Governorship and House of Assembly elections of April 11, 2015. Losers emerged while winners were officially declared.



On a day the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the general elections took his dispute to the Election Petitions Tribunal, he also took his case to the court of public opinion, where he unleashed vitriol against the current government of the state. While we shall leave the former to lawyers, his denigration of both the person and the office of the governor should not go without some comments.

While one had thought the PDP candidate would take advantage of the olive branch extended to the opposition by the governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, during his victory speech by, at least, constituting himself into a credible opposition that is committed to constructive criticisms of government policies, what he merely regurgitated last Thursday were the rhetoric, empty sloganeering and other cock and bull stories that dominated the campaign of the PDP in the run-up to the general elections. Yes, we’ve heard them before. That the governor is so rich, that he bought many private jets, gave one to Obama, one to Putin another to Bill Gates! But the governor is so generous that he did not even remember to buy one for himself! We also heard that he left the planet earth and travelled to Mars and Jupiter, where he built one storey in the former and a bungalow in the latter! These tales by moonlight are actually good for children but not the type that can be relied on to win elections.

The problem is that these people do not know Amosun or pretend not to know him. Early in the life of his administration, Amosun used to spend weekends in his house in Lagos while the Government House was under renovation. Then one day, from nowhere, a file emerged. It contained travelling allowances running into millions of naira. “What is this for?” he asked the official. “Your travelling allowances to Lagos, Your Excellency!” Shocked, Amosun retorted, “Really, but I was going to my own house?” “That’s the way it’s done sir!” Amosun then dismissed the official with the file and warned against such frivolous expenditure in his own government.

While these people may prefer to denigrate the governor and his government, purely for political consideration, those who should know him actually know him. They include the masses, whose children enjoy free education, which they last enjoyed more than a generation ago. The market men and women, auto mechanics, battery chargers, barbers, hair-dressers, video-club owners, business centre owners, auto-mechanics, auto-electricians, welders, tailors, etc. who benefited from the hundreds of transformers distributed state-wide to revive their hitherto comatose businesses. These and others, who now sleep with their eyes closed, were the people that trooped out in their thousands to vote for change in Abuja and continuity in Ogun State. But for the fact that APC was denied thousands of PVCs in its strongholds and the PDP-led centre virtually strangulated the opposition states with funds in order to turn workers against them (which failed woefully here in Ogun State), the PDP would not have been able to garner up to one-third of the total votes in the 2015 elections in Ogun State.

How would they when the party (PDP in Ogun) was polarised with godfathers competing for hold on the party. It was evident to all that the Ogun PDP gubernatorial candidate only got, reluctantly, united support of his godfathers just 3 days (yes, just 3 days!) to the April 11 governorship election. How can you win such an election against a strong incumbent that has been widely acknowledged all over Nigeria as an outstanding performer? Besides, the ship of Ogun PDP Oke Mosan Campaign weighed anchored extremely very late and its sail was buffeted by internal or self-inflicted storms that almost capsized or wrecked the ship. This informed my several commentaries in the press asking the Ogun PDP to adopt the governor and APC candidate and prepare for 2019, and at another time reminding the opposition that it arrived too late as the train to Oke Mosan 2015 had already left. I am not a comedian and did not write those things for entertainment but laid bare the realities on ground. There was no magic that could have delivered the governorship seat to Mr Gboyega Nasir Isiaka of the PDP on April 11 and he knows this.

The PDP candidate Gboyega Isiaka should not dissipate energies and resources on contesting a free and fair election that is clear to everyone, including himself, that he lost. Now is the time to return to the drawing board with a team of respectable citizens as mentors or godfathers.

•Soyombo wrote in from Abeokuta via densityshow@yahoo.com