Ademola Adeleke of the “dying” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – whose “obituary” was dramatically declared by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo who publicly trashed his membership card a couple of years back – just gave the ruling party (both at Federal and State levels) a public trashing on Saturday.
Adeleke, a political rookie by many standards, floored a former Senator from the ruling party, Mudashiru Hussein, and in all but one of the 10 Local Government Areas of the Osun West Senatorial District too. That’s the kind of thing that does not happen on the Nigerian political scene. The norm is that the political party of the incumbent would usually crush any opposition – especially if the opposition’s candidate is a political newcomer. Remember the pharmacist, Jimi Agbaje‘s run against Babatunde Fashola in Lagos State.
This past Saturday, Adeleke, the PDP candidate for the Senatorial seat left vacant by his late brother, Isiaka Adeleke, polled a total of 97,480 votes to defeat Mudashiru Hussain who didn’t even stand a chance with his 66,116 votes. Mudashiru was only able to secure his home LG of Ejigbo (where he polled 12,226).
The only other time that this kind of political landslide was secured in Nigeria’s recent history was the epic 2015 election when Muhammadu Buhari floored then incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan whose future as Nigeria’s next President had been rather erroneously “secured” by PDP‘s claim to 60 years of power (á la Uche Sencondus).
The APC in Osun must have also been misled by the same false sense of security because it was just five days ago that Governor Aregbesola was reported to have been bragging about how Hussein‘s win on Saturday was already assured.
“Why will any sensible politician at this time want to associate with a party that is not only drowning but dead in the South-West (a clear subliminal directed at Adeleke who moved from APC to PDP weeks before the election)
“It will be an exercise in futility for anybody to now want to wake up a dead horse through the July 8 Osun West Senatorial bye election when founding fathers of the party have not only deserted the party but wouldn’t want to associate with it.”
The import of all that is the fact that politicians like Governor Aregbesola are yet to finally come to terms with the fact that power in any democracy actually belongs to people, the constituents, the ones who do the electing – no matter how flawed.
The last couple of years of Governor Aregbesola’s administration in Osun State has been nothing short of a total mess. He spent more than half of his second term without Commissioners which did very little to help hide the lack of execution of any tangible infrastructural projects. He also falls into the category of the many State governors leading States so incapable of generating any funds internally that their civil servants have had to work for many months without pay.
The same kinds of frustrations that led Nigerians to revolt against Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 is what led people in Osun West senatorial district to massively vote against Aregbesola’s APC on Saturday. And we are certain that this won’t be a one-off.
If the 2015 elections was not warning enough, the Osun West by-elections should confirm it to our ruling class: Nigerians want results and, having come to terms with the immense powers that their electoral power bestows them, will not hesitate to boot out those who don’t deliver.