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Opinion

#OsunDecides2022: A Message From The Dancing Senator

Observer Diary

Times and seasons shall pass, so thus eras and leadership structures, otherwise known as government.  But the state and people remain forever. As in every other election, most recently the Ekiti election where it was assumed that there’s a slight improvement from the Electoral body of the country. Osun state proved that they are ready to come to the general elections. But much more than all assumptions, the Osun election had a lot of takeaways for us all. 

 

I have my reservations, I have enough in my tank of writing, and however, these few memories shall remain with me for the many years in the history of Osun. They are PDP, defeating an incumbent, the power of family, the electorates are still not ready for the political mandate, there is a long way to go come 2023, a solid message to the ruling party at the central, that all isn’t rosy after all. These and many more are my takeaways in what was relatively peaceful if neglecting the aftermath of 50-lawyers hired by the incumbent is to be put into perspective.

 

Journey To Osun

 

After Ekiti, all attention was turned on to Osun, as well as my fellow comrades in arms. And as the date gets closer, so was my preparedness, Osun bigger, and with more local government areas, I knew pretty well that there won’t be Fiyin-foluwa this time around. In fact, I was prepared to walk alone. I was now used to the naivety that comes with closer days, so all my mind was just fixated on the 16th of July, the day of judgement. And two days before, I set out on my voyage, through the thick thorn roads of Ibadan, down to Ogun, and finally in the cold state of Osun, where my next 72 hours would be determined. 

 

Knowing My LGA And More

 

First it was Gbonyin in Ekiti, but in Osun, though I had hoped for Ilesha/Ijesha, it wasn’t meant to be, for the gods had given me Egbedore, literally translating into (peers becoming friends) a place situated at the western part of Osun, interwoven to it is EDE, and north to it lays Ejigbo. All forming one bug family, Egbedore had about ten wards, with over 52-polling units, and over 50 thousand voters registered, even though its outcome usually results in voter apathy. All to determine the fate of two major parties, in my opinion, there is the APC and PDP, and then we have the rest. 

 

Getting to AWO, where the local government secretariat and INEC, office is situated, the place was already bubbling with materials and INEC officials on the ground to claim their voting equipment.  I joined the team, I sit to map my area, to also know the significant areas I would be covering and set out to get logistics for the whole day, for a tedious day lays ahead. But indeed adventurous days as well.

 

Down there in my Egbedore, I found trenches raising shoulders to trenches, I found fear, I found happiness and I found the unreliability of men. These had shaped my perspective about the people of Osun, or perhaps of that small geographical terrain.  Elaborating further, a place where my bike man skewed away with the money been paid, and the place I am supposed to sleep had no suitable flooring but mats, no windows but iron bars, no sweater but cold lonely and rainy night. 

 

A 16th To Remember For Oyetola And The APC Hierarchy 

 

When the APC national leader visited the people of Osun, I thought it was going to be business as usual, considering the season we are in, and the phrase of EMI LOKAN, Oyetola was again sold to the people and hoping to get a return ticket. But in the words of JIMI-DISU, some words might have been left unsaid, or wishes were a horse, then perhaps Tinubu would have reverted and removed words like ‘’ELEYI’’ while referring to the Ogun state governor then. Also famed for being more affluent than the whole of Osun. All this might seem minor to the more prominent elites. The presence of the PDP aspirant presidential wise might have also played a part; all in all, it was an equal political battle, toe to toe, money for money, and campaign for a campaign, totally different from what we witness in Ekiti, where it was a one-sided battle between the powerful and the weak. A great point remains in their decision processions. And then again, we have the Aregbesolas’ angle to it as well, although denied by the interior minister, in the famous phrase ‘’we know what we know’’ and so politically, there’s a lot to learn from all these shenanigans. 

 

The PDP didn’t seem to have also outdone their counterpart; the truth is that the people just seem to have decided their fate by the ballot. And subjectively, to me, it is somehow poised for the highest bidder in the long run. Votes were bought, and revolt played its part; to some, it was the revenge of a stolen mandate some four years ago. While in another route, it was the show of Davido and the love of family, but most importantly, and directly to the Adelekes’ there is entertainment, and there is governance.  

 

While at Egbedore, where I spent my whole day, it was totally different; while in some units that I visited, it was APC, and while in some units, it was slightly PDP, perhaps it’s the stronghold of the APC. However, the outcome read out by the presiding officers says otherwise to what I witnessed, but the majority shall continue to have their ways, while the minority will continue to have their say.

 

We Are Not Ready Yet

 

With what we witnessed and the aftermath of the election, it is apparent that the citizens aren’t ready, at least to a more significant percentage, they had voted not just to make a political statement but because they were simply bought. Money had exchanged hands, and I witnessed people travel to Osun just to vote and be paid. I saw youths contributing the more significant percentage by voting and waiting to be paid. I saw tally cards being distributed to voters by youths for giving their thumbs to the highest bidder. Isn’t it a terrible thing for our political thinking? We have a long way to go come to the general elections. 

 

And when people talk about the structure of political parties, I know it was the grassroots. This is to the online campaigners of the labour party presidential aspirants that down there in Osun, the labour party had no significant unit, nor won any place at all. In other words, structure wins you votes, not some media hype.

 

First in Ekiti, now in Osun, it is so evident that poverty has been used as a weapon to leave the people helpless and with no choice but to collect what is supposedly their share in the next four years. However, there’s what can be done, but it entails sacrifice and rigour for the true change that we need come 2023, but in utmost sincerity, the tunnel isn’t bright yet.

 

Deus ex Machina

 

The elections are over, and Oyetola’s days are numbered; like my opening speech, the state is permanent, and it is the government that is temporary. The people of Osun should brace up for another four years of challenge and positives, hopefully. While to the larger Nigeria, vote buying and selling will have to stay for some while, as long as poverty continues to remain a weapon against the helpless masses.  

 

So end a thrilling encounter, although not the favourite way some had wished, it did end on a good note for some people. But the people have spoken.

DISCLAIMER: This story has been published on Campus Reporter with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author.

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