By Oluwajuwonlo Afolabi
Godwin Obaseki’s re-election as the Governor of Edo State has become the talk of the nation with the People’s Democratic Party, PDP wilding about the liveliness of Nigeria’s democracy at the instance of the conducted gubernatorial election, the people of Edo jubilating on the victory of the Governor, while Ize Iyamu and All Progressives Congress, APC continue to study the results to decide next line of action.
Going by the heavy congratulatory messages trooping to Edo for Governor Obaseki, one can sense the insinuations forming the basis that, by the results of the poll and open celebration commenced by PDP, that the reactionary colouration by the party is that, ‘Nigeria’s democracy is not in danger.’ A ray of this is ascertained by the messages such as that of Atiku Abubakar, a former Presidential Candidate of PDP, saying, “There’s a new dawn in Edo State, and the hard-work victory of Governor Obaseki is not just a victory, but a declaration of Independence from anti-democratic forces of godfatherism and militarism.” In short, democracy is no longer in danger, at least, by this victory.
The jubilations by the people of Edo State and beyond, the drums of long-live our dear democracy and spoken activation of the gallantry of the Edo people is a testament to the reality of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s socio-philosophical concept of ‘common will’ which encapsulates that human beings are able to function with one common agenda shared amidst the people and the ruling class; influencing the peoples’ thoughts around a more liberal concept of governing, in this case, the people of Edo State freely choosing their Governor for the next four years.
However, it should be pointed out without ado that PDP remains as an opposition party at the federal level in Nigeria and some states in the federation, and that democracy by practice is not always only out of danger when it favours them; the umbrella party should remember that politics is premised on either winning or losing as people are at the helm of affairs in electing whom to offer the mantle of administration as displayed in the Edo poll. It suffices to ask PDP if democracy would have been in danger if APC or any other party of substance had emerged as the winner of the Edo election, perhaps by the response, the true colour of the democracy liveliness as declared by PDP would have been known.
The tenets of the opposition parties in a democracy is to hold the ruling government accountable; PDP has been docile on this, maybe before their awakening to Edo election; but has majorly banked on name-calling, and trumpet blowing when the breeze of election blows in their favour. The opposition parties are responsible for forming a credible alternative for the people. A result-oriented opposition is built on building hope for the masses and not counting the numbers of misrule or coming to life only when elections are won.
One can’t but pay attention to the icing on the cake of Obaseki’s emergence at the just concluded poll which has been largely described by assenting views and opinions as a defeat of godfatherism; not only in Edo politics but also in Nigeria at large. Indeed, power belongs to the people! Obaseki’s victory has sent a viral signal to the ministry of the godfathers to retire themselves in Nigeria’s politics or be gifted mass retirement as exhibited by the good people of Edo; the people have not only actualized but are also dancing to the popular saying, “Edo no be Lagos.”
If there’s a hot ironed message passed to godfathers and political jobbers by the success of Obaseki, it is that, the masses are angered by the anti-people policies being hurled on Nigerians daily by the Buhari-led administration in the country, and that the people have discontinued to give APC the usual popular support; this in a way shapes and tensions the political future and camp of APC in Ondo and ‘Bourdillon’ cum 2023. Albeit, APC has no reason to be tensioned if truly they believe the people are on their side, if not, here’s a reminder that “democratic principle is that the will of the majority will always prevail, and that” ll always be.”
Now that Nigeria’s democracy is not in danger, it’s safe to believe that the coming gubernatorial election in Ondo State will also be smooth, fair, and credible; and that PDP will also be strong to commend the liveliness of democracy even if the table turns against them. Nevertheless, whether the table turns or not, the people of Ondo, come October 10, 2020 shall decide who govern them in favour of Nigeria’s dear democracy.