Move Over, the Rice Bazaar; Fufu Is the New Game in Town, By Adekoya Boladale
Around the streets of Osogbo, Modakeke, Ife, Ede and even far away in Bourdillonian Circus, the beats of victory and sounds of jubilation has continued to roar in a tempo similar to the echoes felt that day in Pompeii when Tetraites defeated Prudes. But unlike Tetraites, the victory of Aregbesola has been foretold long ago when the Peoples Democratic Party chose Senator Iyiola Omisore as its gubernatorial candidate.
In the last few weeks, political narrators and wielders of the mighty pen have written epistles on how the victory of Ekiti will have an immediate effect on Osun State. Some even postulated the end of the ‘broom revolution’ basing such conclusion on human psychology and what they called the Yoruba’s voting pattern. While some drifted on the margin and effect of palliatives such as rice on the decision of the electorates, others simply concluded that stomach infrastructure if effectively mined will decide the fate of the contestants.
Let me state clearly that the victory of Rauf Aregbesola is not in any way connected to the acceptance of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its model in South west and Nigeria as a whole, rather it is a clear demonstration of the power in the will of the people over every other factors that decide electoral outcome. While the political parties struggled to outshine each other in sharing of emergency ‘social welfare’ packages such as Rice, Odourless Fufu and even Kerosene, the following factors played significant roles in determining the choice of the people.
In every society there is a class difference between the ruler and the ruled, the class difference over time may take the form of envy, hatred or respect depending on the disposition of the ruler. While the Africa society value respect and tradition it has often been discovered that human nature transcend over cultural provisions especially when the people feel a sense of injustice and shortchanging. When event such as this occur, the neuroplasticity of the human brain takes effect and create a rigid desire for change no matter the alleged effectiveness of such ruler.
The ruler in an ideal society is one with close relationship with the ruled. A ruler acts as a mentor, a father figure and a signature of hope. A ruler is one who sees, feels and cares for the needs of the ruled first before any other thing. It is the desire of every ruled in every society to have a ruler who they do not see as a ruler but a fellow ruled with better understanding of their feelings.
In the parlance of Nigeria political realm the above are classified as grassroot administration and elitist system. This theory played against Omisore in Osun state as the incumbent governor Rauf Aregbesola is generally believed to be close to the people and even act more as a man on the street than a governor. In simple term, the people of Osun state saw in Aregbesola what the people of Ekiti saw in Ayo Fayose. Street credibility!
Omisore haven identified this loophole at the last minute shot himself in the foot by trying to play a fast one on the people through his Corn-ocracy. He failed to realize that you can’t suddenly give what you don’t have.
To those who have often shelved the idea of inclusive government, the Osun State election should be a learning field for them. In the build up to the race, Aregbesola got the backing of the powerful political figures in the state that enjoys a great pull of followership; one of such is Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who delivered beyond expectation. While the élites may not consider this area an important field those who are politically exposed understands the fact that election is about creating relationship with the chain of leaders within the community, a successful effect of this will see the followers of such individual become an immediate apostle of one’s political mission.
Like the general saying, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand’. The Peoples Democratic Party in Osun state failed woefully in managing the crisis that engulfed the party after the primary. Aggrieved party members who ought to be persuaded into supporting the candidate were virtually left in the cold. This triggered couple of decamping and revenge from these angered fellows. The APC on the other hand was in absolute unity speaking with one voice, pursing a common goal.
Beyond these however, the All Progressive Congress (APC) should not rejoice as all the factors that played in favour of Rauf Aregbesola in Osun State are currently against the party in Ogun, Oyo and probably Lagos state. Rauf Aregbesola is a direct opposite of the APC governors in Ogun and Oyo state. While Rauf campaigned with other neighborhood projects which has direct effect on the lives of the rural communities same cannot be said for Amosun and Ajimobi of Ogun and Oyo state respectively who are not just elitist in attitude but in style and mode of governance. If Aregbesola had campaigned with mere roads he may not have won.
The Ogun state All Progressive Congress (APC) is in total disarray with faction and counter faction, while that of Oyo state is far from being at peace. The political bigwigs in Ogun state in light of Olusegun Osoba and Gbenga Daniel known to be enjoying wide acceptability of followers especially in the grassroot are against the party and government and such goes for Oyo state where powerful elements are moving out of the party in droves.
Believing a miracle will play out in Ogun and Oyo state without correcting the abnormalities on ground will be living in a fool’s paradise. And same applies to all other troubled APC states in the country.
Finally, it will be unfair not to recognize the efforts of President Jonathan in ensuring a free and fair election in Nigeria albeit some imperfections. It is should be taken that the heavy security presence in Ekiti and Osun is not to manipulate the election but to safeguard the sanity of electoral proceedings and those who have claims of unlawful arrests may either be guilty of hindering the smooth conduct of the election or merely over-amplifying half-truths.
It is my firm hope that friends such as Seun Odewale, Babatunde Rosanwo, Ayobami Oyalowo among others who drummed the noise of complicity of the police chief, returning officer and the Commander of the troops in overturning the election in favour of PDP can now withdraw their statements in the spirit of integrity.
Congratulations to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, please accept the assurances of my highest consideration.