Osun Election Tribunal: No Backdoor Victory
“Even now there were many good men who aspired to nothing beyond a seat in Congress, a gubernatorial or a presidential chair, such belong to the family of the lion, or the tribe of the eagle. Such honours were not enough for men of ambition and talents. These routine offices would not satisfy an Alexander, a Ceasar, or a Napoleon, from whom the greates danger to popular government must be expected..”
These statements were made by Abraham Lincoln, one of the Presidents and a man that ended slavery in America, while discussing his ambition with the people.
In the next few days, legal fireworks at the Osun Election Tribunal would begin and it is expected that both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would give account of the governorship election held on August 9, 2014. So far, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made available all necessary electoral materials to the parties in dispute over the result of the election.
However, the PDP, in a bid to win by crook or hook, has been feeding the public with tissues of lies about the ballot papers and other related materials, with the sole intention to biase the minds of the general public against the victory of APC candidate and governor-elect, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.
The first kite from the opposition was the fasle press statement ditched out on the suspension of two electoral officers by the INEC; while it was true that the two officers were suspended, the PDP blackmail against the APC was the alleged conspiracy between the officers and the victorious party. The desperate PDP was indeed the guilty party over the voting materials that were impounded at Ibokun, headquarters of Obokun Local Government Council Area of the state, on the eve of the election, when members of the public raised alarm over the diversion of electoral materials by INEC staff. The people themselves raised an alarm before security men arrested and impounded both the vehicle and the suspects. Almost all the newspapers reported the urgly incidence. Only for the PDP to turn around after the election, accusing the APC for the offence, which it committed.
Just few days ago, the desperate PDP was at its faslehood game again, calling wolves, where there is none, over the inspection and photocopying of electoral materials used for the said election. The parties at the tribunal were earlier granted an order to inspect the materials as a pre- trial procedure; a legitimate exercise. Apart from the initial exchange of blows by some of the agents of the parties at the INEC office over the said materials; as the PDP alledgedly declined the video recording of the proceedings, peace eventually prevailed after the eletoral umpire had stepped in.
Napoleon, the Emperor of France was notoriously noted for being ambitiously power hungry, but the kind of power that he sought was not for the benefit of the people, but simply for self-aggrandizement. Napoleon eventually ruined himself over power without genuine responsibility. The PDP and its flagbearer are desperately seeking for power, but the fact remains that the people have spoken and they have spoken well. They have given their mandate to the incumbent governor, because of his superlative performance in his first four years of administration.
For almost eight years that PDP was in the saddle of governance in the State of Osun,there was little or nothing to refer to as achievement. But on the other hand, the same cannot be said of the current regime, as the state has been turned around in almost every facet, and works are still in progress despite the limited resources available for the government. The Federal government under President Goodluck Jonathan has not been encouraging enough.
Instead of giving a helping hands by allocating more funds for the state, the state allocation has now been reduced from N4.6 billion monthly to N2.5 billion as at August, when we went for the election. The opposition in the state takes delight in the reduction in the monthly allocation by boasting to the public that they were the ones behind the reduction, a statement of lies, as the reduction in the monthly allocation is more of a general malady due to the flimsy excuse that the crude oil theft activities were negatively affecting the revenue acruing to the Federal Government. This lame excuse is untenable as the Federal Government has been paying ex-militia leaders millions of dollars for oil pipeline safety, despite the presence of Nigerian security outfits at the same oil fields.
The claim by Iyiola Omisore and his party that they discovered fake ballot papers and unmarked materials among the APC used ballot papers was another white lie. While their first accusation that electoral officers were suspended for conspiring with the APC was debunked by the electoral umpire, the PDP failed to apologise to the nation that it had misinformed the public till date. This second lies has also blown up in the face of the losers, who want to secure victory through the back door, yet they are claiming that their mandate was stolen.
Stolen mandate! By who? The people of Osun have rejected the impostors, who had earlier relied on the Federal Government and its coercive forces to rob the state of good governance. The people stood against over 100,000 security personnel, masked men and snifing dogs all over. The people voted with gun pointing at their backs, further resisting, when a Major General in the Nigerian Army was in the state to ensure victory for the PDP and its candidate at all cost. The people stood their ground against money for votes. Some collected and voted for the incumbent, others collected and ran away from the state and those who kept their own shares within the PDP are currently at logger heads, as the centre could no longer hold for the desperate party.
In an ideal state, the Police should have by now been busy prosecuting those that were involved in buying voters’ cards and other related electoral offences, in accordance with the Electoral Act. But the men and women, who are being paid from our taxes, pretended as if nothing happened. That explained why we remain infantile as a nation after 54 years of independence. That is why a man who knew that not until ten years after his impeachment, he could not re-contest, would ignore the provision of the law, only to turn thugs to descrate the temple of justice. The PDP must conduct itself in a modest way as the Tribunal resumes hearing of its petition in the name of peace and progress. The parties before the Tribunal must allow the law to take its course. We must not transfer the hooliganism that Fayose and his electoral thugs displayed in Ado Ekiti to Osun. Just as we said before the election in Osun that Osun is different from Ekiti, we must keep it in our minds as the Tribunal continue its duties.