Osun Election Shocker: Three Crucial Lessons Ruling APC Must Learn Ahead Of 2019 – COMPLETE NEWS
Prior to September 22 governorship election in Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, the governor of the state who was campaigning for his Chief Of Staff, Gboyega Oyetola as successor thought the election will be a walk-over considering the massive logistics at the disposal of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in the state.
Alas, he was shocked to the marrow. The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Demola Adeleke , who was distracted by post primaries crisis and a sensational case of his WAEC results which was alleged to be forged, humiliated the much touted ruling party and garnered highest number of votes at first ballot.
Aregbesola was once again exposed as a paper weight politician whose popularity was just a creation of the media . The governor was beaten defeated in his Ilesha hometown! The ruling APC and its candidate escaped defeat through a controversial re-run which was adjudged not credible.
COMPLETE NEWS, in this post-election review of the controversial poll which APC narrowly won, identified few lessons to be learnt for the ruling party as the nations head for general elections.
Imposition Not Longer Fashionable
The culture of imposition or outright criminal substitution of winners at primaries by powerful chieftains of the party contributed to the poor outing of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Osun. The nomination process which produced Gboyega Oyetola as the APC flagbearer was fraught with fraud and blatant violation of the party constitution.
The Adam Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee had about three days to the primaries changed the method of nomination from indirect to direct primaries which allowed all party members to vote for the party candidate. The guidelines for the exercise were loose and aggrieved aspirants either dumped the party or challenged the process in court. Kunle Adegoke(K-RAD) explored the later option.
The broad day injustice meted to the aspirants who had paid about N8.5m for expression of interest and nomination forms compelled them to work against the party. They indeed did damage to the party at the polls. Moshood Adeoti moved to African Democratic Party, ADP with his massive supporters and took away Iwo block votes from the ruling party.
The sentiment in town before the election was for the power to move to the West Senatorial District of the state which comprises, Ede, Iwo and other towns. Therefore, the people of Iwo saw the ‘imposition’ of Gboyega Oyetola who hails from Iragbiji in Osun Central District as an affront on the collective agenda.
Billboards, Posters , Intensity Of Campaign Not A Strong Factor
When the COMPLETE NEWS crew vehicle was approaching Ikire, in Osun state from Ibadan on Thursday, September 20, APC candidate’s billboards and posters flooded the highway through Gbogan, Ede and Osogbo metropolis.
No doubt, Oyetola dominated the public space. If elections were won by bill boards, posters and publicity, PDP’s Demola Adeleke should not had crawled to catch up with Gboyega Oyetola.
The hypothesis of politicians and their handlers who see electorate as undiscerning voters was demystified by the way Osun voters conducted themselves at the polls including the illiterates.
The truth is that regardless of outdoor campaign, which is worthwhile in an election, the people are hardly swayed by the magnitude of billbords or aesthetics of posters.
Incumbency Not Longer A Magic Wand
The power of incumbency is not longer as strong as touted. It happened in 2015 to the then ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP which had boasted to rule the nation for atleast 60 years. But the sixty years dream was cut short to sixteen.
The ruling party in Osun which has been in power for close for over seven and half years banked on the incumbency factor to win the election. Voters essentially are the king in the new scheme of things if the INEC sustained the tradition and enforcement of secrecy of voting.
The secrecy of voting in the last governorship election in Osun helped electorate to freely vote according to their conviction despite heavy monetary inducement from agents of the two leading political parties in the contest. Unlike the Ekiti experience, vote buyers found it extremely difficult to confirm if induced voters voted for their respective political parties.