- Why Nigerians should not give up on change
By BOLUWATIFE EZEKIEL OLALEYE
Several stakeholders in Osun State are of the view that the victory of Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in last Saturday by-election in Osun West senatorial district has transformed the climate of politics in the State and the country.
They articulated that the victory on Saturday was in many ways a challenge to the common belief in the overwhelming influence of the Executive in the State. It was one election the executive governor was rendered insignificant by voters.
This victory was historic in view of the fact that Dr. Adeleke moved to the PDP from APC within a short time to get the ticket, proving to the world and the APC, the superiority of the Adeleke political dynasty in the state and the potency of the political machine of that dynasty which demystified the hegemony of APC in Osun State.
“Adeleke’s victory was not slim, neither was it supported by malpractice. It was as radical alteration of the power equation of Osun politics; we could, in the language of tech enthusiasts, define it as some loose form of disruption,” a stakeholders in the state had declared.
“It was to give hope to ordinary Nigerians that being involved in the political process is not a futile undertaking but the only action necessary to determine your genuine representative or leader,” they declared further.
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It has been argued that Adeleke’s victory can be said to have come from entirely a clear and uninterrupted will of the common people. “For the most part, the landscape of selecting and anointing candidates remains a distant issue far removed from the touch or understanding of the average man or woman on an Osogbo street,” it was added.
What Dayo Israel expressed as “the story behind the story” will still have to be demystified before we arrive at Kumbaya.
Accordingly, it will be stoic not to admit that PDP’s triumph here means something. Not only does it represent a trample on the austerities of Aregbesolaism but a soft trump on the perception of an invincible Executive influence on legislative positions.
Very importantly, it waters down, to an extent, the Asiwaju influence to anoint and appoint. While no singular influence determines party choices in the East and South-South, the North and South West remain the regions where legacy choices of former leaders bear on current nominations. Lagos continues to be the stronghold of the former Lagos State Governor to dictate and declare who gets to power, but recent occurrences in other parts of the South West indicate a rise in the questioning of his directives. It does not take away the fact that he is still widely popular and revered – as Ayodele Fayose confessed his loyalty to him – but the significance of not being able to get his boy (Aregbesola) consolidate the base of the APC in the state and in the Senate cannot be reasonably overlooked.
Adeleke’s victory is one battle won, thankfully not pyrrhic, in the continued struggle for a credible democratic system in Nigeria: elections by the people, for the people.