To all keen observers of the political activities and romance in Ondo State, one thing should be of great interest: the plurality of aspirants jostling for the most coveted seat in the Sunshine State, all of whom are eminently qualified to provide governance and economic policies that may rescue the State from going bankrupt in the nearest future.
Equally interesting is the the fact that two political parties have equal likelihood of winning the gubernatorial election slated for 26th of November, 2016.
Surprisingly and expectedly, the battle for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress among the over 20 aspirants has assumed a dangerous dimension in the last few days. This is primarily caused by the alleged preference of the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for a particular aspirant and alleged doctoring of the delegates’ list by the State Chairman of the party to favour another aspirant. While both the National leader and the State Chairman of the party had dispelled the allegations, there is always an element of truth in every rumour.
One thing that is certain is that the good people of Ondo State have a way of rejecting any form of imposition of unpopular candidates and this will continue to be until His kingdom come.
(History has it, that) In the build up to the 1979 general elections, the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his political associate, Late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, both flew to Oka Akoko to impose late Chief Olukoju as the candidate of the UPN for the House of Assembly election against the wish of the people of Oka. So convinced of their reasons for not wanting Chief Olukoju of blessed memory, the people of Oka were led by some prominent persons, most of whom are already in the great beyond, out of the popular UPN in the region to the unpopular NPN to pursue their interest in the emergence of Late Hon Folayegbe. Oka therefore became the only constituency that produced opposition to the ruling UPN in the old Ondo State. The leaders of that struggle, most of whom were civil servants, were dealt with by Governor Adekunle Ajasin but they were happy to have had their wish done and one of them, Late Hon Ogedengbe, a victimized Secondary school principal at that time, would later be appointed Minister of the Federal Republic by President Shehu Shagari. The leaders of the party came to impose but the electorates had their ways.
In 2003, late Chief Adefarati was imposed on us by the leaders of AD who are mostly Afeniferes, but the good people of Ondo State opted instead for late Dr Olusegun Agagu.
In 2007, Ebora of Africa politics, the only Baba Iyabo well known to all, Oloye Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, was in Akure to impose late Agagu on the good people of Ondo State, but my people decided to take money from their slim purses to finance the election of the incumbent governor WHO COULD NOT HIDE HIS FEELINGS AT CAMPAIGN GROUNDS BY ALWAYS CRYING AT THE SIGHT OF THE CROWD WHO WERE BENT ON ENSURING HIS VICTORY AT THE POLL WITHOUT FINANCIAL INDUCEMENT.
2012 is still very fresh in our memories when the Lagos candidate failed woefully even at his poling unit. The rest of the story we all know.
If the man at the Bourdillon, Oko Senator Oluremi, the Jagaban of Nigeria politics, feels that his preferred candidate is the best for the job, the APC delegates in Ondo State tell him who they feel is the right man by the ballot on the 27th of this month. After all, the essence of elections is for the people to choose who to govern them and never to choose who to lead them to worship a godfather.
Tinubu is a human being like all of us who has the right to associate with any person of his choice. He has not done anything wrong under the law or in the temple of morality. Stop insulting him who is a great achiever and a great actor in the democracy we all enjoy today.
This piece was written by Tosin Alonge. Click here to connect with Tosin Alonge on Facebook.