-By Austen Akhagbeme:
At about this season four years ago, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP governor-elect of Osun state, was exhausted, arm twisted into a facade of a re-run election that left him emotionally bruised and battered. But he wasn’t discouraged.
He was accused of not being educationally qualified to govern the state. But he went ahead to enrol in a degree program and came out with a degree in criminology from an American University shortly before the next election and today, he’s smiling, prostrating, appreciating and dancing in victory everywhere.
It was a tough battle for both political parties as many extraneous factors were competing to sway the results either way. The PDP whose house was badly in disarray after the presidential primaries quickly put their house together in readiness for the battle ahead. Little wonder they won overwhelmingly in 17 out of the 30 local government areas of the state.
The APC on the other hand was wallowing in animosity and unforgiveness among the political power blocs such that powerful interests like Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola were far away from the state during the electioneering campaign.
Some others believed that such calculated absenteeism was an anti-party move from within, to punish those who denied his preferred candidate the party ticket in the first place. Some hitherto trusted folks in APC clandestinely turned foes of the party and moles for the opposition. This was how it happened in Edo state a few years ago.
Lessons, no doubt are being learned here and there. To the ruling party, losing another state in her supposedly strong base is a bad omen and a negative sign of the battle ahead.
While the two frontline political parties were slugging it out, soaring like eagles, the remaining thirteen political parties were trudging behind like turkeys. This means that there is still work to be done to extricate Nigeria from a looming two-party state such as we are witnessing today.
APC must have learned a big lesson: that of putting her house together by disciplining erring members as a deterrent to the future. Those who betrayed the party in Edo from within the party were never punished. Hence the repeat in Osun elections.
Congratulations to the dancing senator. May he dance well and govern well, too. * Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online