ISAAC OLUSESI writes that the brazen penchant for rigging, pathological violence and criminality entrenched in the physiology of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with breakdown of law and order, selective democracy dividends for a selected few, and deliberate neglect of the poor masses, their sociology, psychology and anthropology in the aftermath, are enough a reason the PDP can’t win in the State of Osun.
In the reported skirmishes in the rambunctious but combustible Ife-Ijesa epicenter of the State of Osun politics over the recent voters’ registration exercise, the quantum of destruction and wanton electoral privations are a pointer to the pathological violence, confusion and criminality entrenched in the physiology of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to be unleashed on the state to arm twist the voters’ registers come August 9, 2014 governorship election in the state, with a view to nullifying the popular will and subverting the gubernatorial poll.
For all practical purposes, or as consequent development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has emerged the only party in Osun, not de novo; and the PDP has no chance of ever winning an election in the state as the party has lost the raison d’etre for its existence. In the circumstances, the PDP is fast fading by its members defecting to the ruling APC in Osun as the hazards of opposition weigh more and more heavily on the PDP.
The PDP cannot win. The party’s wholesale election rigging in the 2007 governorship election in Osun that kept the party’s Olagunsoye Oyinlola in office as Osun governor against the votes of the majority of the electorate only deprived PDP of the legitimacy, the moral authority that popular mandate bestows. The popular pain of the rigged gubernatorial election was not as much devastating as the pain of woeful performances of PDP in the governance of the state, that also forfeited the PDP’s claims to have its mandate renewed in 2007, talk more of coming back to power again in Osun next August.
The fear among the most articulate members of Osun populace that the PDP policies would only benefit the bourgeois, the aristocrats, the powerful monarchical lords, the privileged wealthy few and the PDP egg-heads was confirmed by the carriages of PDP in power in the state while Oyinlola lasted as governor. The party neglected the governed as much as it liked, looted the state treasury as much as it wanted, and ruined the state economy for near eight years in the governance of the state. And still wants to come back come August, to render nugatory the contemporary responsibility and accountability of the ruling APC government in the state.
A far more serious implication of the Osun PDP’s rigging propensity is that the party could make any public election become unavailing as a means of voters’ expression of preferences, with sure breakdown of law and order as consequence. The PDP brazen rigging of the 2007 governorship election in Osun attracted use of lethal weapons and ignited sounds of explosive tear gas and sights of billow smoke as the party cracked violence in its raw form on the state.
Gun fire cracked with the Osun electorate running zigzags from blood and death, from brute force and absolutism, from the gun-trotting police frightening hazard lights, and from the blaring intimidating sirens of the Fire Marshals and hospital ambulance, with consequences on democracy and rule of law.
The PDP cannot win. The voting behaviour of Osun against PDP has always monumentally been influenced by the Osun voters’ primordial odium for the conservative PDP by Osun voters’ experiences with the zero performances of the PDP’s candidates in power; by Osun voters’ perception of the conservative PDP’s catholic failure to improve and increase public infrastructure and address basic public welfare issues; by Osun voters’ symbiotic relationship with the progressives in the APC with whom, they share emotional bond for effective leadership and effective followership, electoral tie for ideological consistency, and mobilization blitz for grass root penetration; by the PDP zero value system, conflicting headlong with the positive values of the people , hence the PDP’s resort to criminality and correlative breakdown of law and order in the electioneering space, networking violent political attitudes, violent political behaviour and violent political opinions; and by Osun voters’ detest for PDP’s offers of juicy board appointments, pecuniary compensation and promises of police protection and immunity from the wraths of law as rewards for the perpetrators of electoral violence.
Going by the analysis of the 2007 polls in the Southwest Nigeria, the PDP failure is explainable in terms of the enormous de-consensus within the party about collective good, pervasive distrust of the PDP’s leadership acumen for effective governance, and the popular dissatisfaction with the PDP’s policies on issues that touch on the values of the Southwest populace: policies that awoke reminiscence of the deliberate neglect of the poor masses, their sociology, psychology and anthropology.
One analyst, Chief Keye Oyekan, aged 91, the Mogaji Adini of Alimosho and Aaree Musulumi of Shashaland, Lagos had in 2007, predicted the overwhelming fall of PDP in the Southwest, using the predictability of the party’s performance indices in government of the states in the Southwest and the party’s antecedence as the progenitor of the old National Party of Nigeria (NPN). The old man’s prediction came through as the carpet was swept off the feet of the PDP in the Southwest states and the government of the then AC, later ACN, and now APC has been in place in the Southwest. Kudos to the wisdom of the nonagenarian. The prediction will certainly come true again in Osun and Ekiti States where governorship elections hold this year.
In every general elections in the Southwest including Osun, the rule of law, justice, freeness, fairness, and credibility as electoral imperatives are always honoured by PDP in the overwhelming breach than in the strict observance, characterized further by brazen disregard for the individual right to vote and be voted for. The electoral formalities and modalities indispensable for incubating and nurturing democracy are officially and unofficially violated by PDP with implications for popular participation in elections and attendant electoral violence.
It is only a decadent and decay PDP that breeds political bandits who would never for once give thought to what the verdict of history would be. A ex-Senator and PDP governorship aspirant in Osun, Iyiola Omisore’s hiccups about threats to his life recently are Omisore’s fear of self political bandits. Let Omisore look inward to save himself of threats, if any.
PDP cannot win, come the August governorship election in Osun.
Olusesi is Assistant Director, Directorate of Publicity, Research & Strategy, All Progressives Congress, State of Osun.