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Sunday, 23 December 2012

PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND PERFORMING OPPOSITION PARTIES

 In the 1999 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party won with a landslide with the President and 21 state governors. In the 2003 general elections, the PDP garnered more votes as it produced the president and 28 governors, leaving the remaining political parties to share eight state governors. The PDP dismantled the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the South-West which hitherto held sway in the region. It was only former governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu that was reelected in the region. AD lost to the PDP then because the South-West wanted their son, incumbent President Olusegun Obasanjo reelected for a second term so they voted for the PDP. The PDP also defeated the ANPP in Kogi and Kwara States but lost to the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State when Governor Chris Ngige’s election was overturned by the Appeal Court, Enugu on 15 March 2006.
Thus, with the victory of the PDP in 2003 general elections, the party adopted the sobriquet of the largest political party in Africa and vowed to rule the country for 60 years! However, the 13 years of the PDP leadership of the country has nothing meaningful to show in terms of development. This is so because the electricity problem is still with us, the roads are still bad, there is no potable water, the education sector has collapsed, the standard of living has also falling and there is insecurity across the country. But former governor Bola Tinubu of the Alliance for Democracy which later transmuted to the Action Congress (AC) and much later to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) performed creditably in his first tenure and won the admiration of Lagosians in particular and Nigerians in general. So, Bola Tinubu replicated the developmental achievements of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo the first premier of the defunct Western Region under the defunct Action Group (AG) party in the first republic. So, Bola Tinubu laid the foundation of development in Lagos State and sent a heartwarming message to all Nigerians that indeed, a political party can deliver the dividends of democracy to its people. Nevertheless, with the massive developmental achievements of the ACN in Lagos State, the people of the South-West and Edo State in the South-South, voted for the party overwhelmingly in the 2007 general elections. The ACN won outrightly in Lagos State but lost to the PDP through rigging in Osun, Ekiti and Edo States. Elections observers from the European Union described the 2007 general elections as “The worst they had ever seen anywhere in the world” with “rampant vote rigging, violence, theft of ballot boxes and intimidation”. ACN however reclaimed its victory in the above mentioned states at the Appeal Courts. Moreover, in the 2011 general elections, the ACN had become a household name due to the enviable performance of Governor Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State and won all the five states in the South-West where elections were held except Ondo State where Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party who assumed office in 2007 through the Supreme Court that overturned the election of governor Olusegun Agagu. Everywhere in Nigeria, people are singing the praises of ACN because of the achievements of its governors. APGA snatched Imo State from the PDP also because of the performance of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State. The newly registered CPC humbled the PDP in Nasarawa State. Thus, it was not a surprise when the people of Edo State voted wholeheartedly for the ACN led-government to reelect the incumbent governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The four years of Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, ACN-led-administration has witnessed a major transformation in all areas of Edo State. New schools are being built while dilapidated ones are also being rehabilitated. New roads are being constructed while the old ones are being upgraded. In fact, space and time will not permit me to enumerate all that the comrade governor has achieved in Edo State in the last four years. Attesting to his performance, the youths from the Esan part of Edo State where Chief Tony Anenih, a PDP stalwart also hails, called on him to support Governor Adams Oshiomhole. The youths under the Esan United Youths Worldwide said it, “Hereby unequivocally and without reservation, adopt and endorse the Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, for a second term in office to complete the good work he has started”. Also, the people of Okpella in the Etsako East Local Government Area of the state commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the construction of the Afokpella-Imiekuri Road, the construction and renovation of primary and secondary schools, provision of water etc. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain from Okpella, Major General Fred Irepita said, “We shall punish those who deceived us for many years and reward our dear Governor through the ballot box”. This promise, the Edo people have fulfilled on July 14, 2012 by reelecting Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for a second term. It will interest you to know that the nine years of the PDP leadership in the state, 1999-2008 were described as wasted years as there was no commensurate development in terms of the allocation received by the state. Nevertheless, one may be tempted to ask the purpose of this analysis. One of the aims of this analysis is to draw the attention of the PDP that wears the toga of the largest political party in Africa that Nigerians are more politically enlightened and can no longer be deceived by the PDP’s sobriquet of the largest political party in Africa. All that Nigerians want is a political party that will produce leaders that will provide infrastructure and social amenities for them and not the biggest political party in Africa that has nothing to show for its bigness. The electorate wants a political party that will provide succour through regular supply of electricity, affordable accommodation, potable water, motorable roads, cheap food supply, qualitative and quantitative education, jobs, security of life and property etc. Some of these things, the ACN-led-governments have provided for the people in the states where the ACN is the ruling political party. Also, this article aims to make it clear to all political parties and god-fathers that elections in Nigeria will no longer be business as usual where a so called god-father sits in the comfort of his bedroom and appoints his stooges as governors or presidents without the votes of the electorates. The message from the Edo State electorate is clear to all and sundry. The message is that from now onward, nobody can impose anybody on Nigerians as a governor or president without the mandate of the electorate. It is also to sound a note of warning to all political parties in Nigeria that no aspirant will be reelected under any political party without having performed in their previous tenures. In fact, the message from the Edo State governorship election is that from now onward any aspirant under any political party that did not perform in their previous tenure should not seek reelection because that will amount to a mere waste of funds, time and energy as such an aspirant will not be reelected! This article also aims at appraising the role of the electorates in Edo State who ensured that their votes count. They protected their votes by staying behind to ensure that their votes were counted and recorded before leaving the polling booths! That was a commendable action by the Edo people which should be emulated by people of other states in Nigeria. The action of the Edo people will definitely serve as a guide to the 2015 general elections. This is instructive because there will be no room for corruption- ridden and ineptitude politicians that will rig themselves into office as the electorates are now wiser and will not allow that to happen. So, the general elections in 2015 will be won by the political parties that have performed in their first tenures and not those that have nothing to show for all the years they have been in office since 1999. The message from Nigerians to all political parties is clear, perform in your first tenure and be reelected into office for a second term but failure to perform in your first tenure, you will be voted out of office period! And there will be no room to rig the elections in 2015 because the electorates will not sell their votes as they now know that N1000, salt, six yards of Ankara cloth etc cannot tar the roads for them. The electorates have realized that N1000 cannot build houses for them or pay their children’s school fees. So, they will cast their votes for only the political party that performed in its first tenure and not the political party that claimed to be the largest political party in Africa but has nothing to show for its large size.

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