The Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) has conducted elections into the 18 Local Government Areas of the state. One of the very striking highlights of the election is that it was conducted, concluded and commended by all and sundry including the over 70 State electoral chairmen and commissioners from across the country and over 30 independent local and international observers.
Apart from recording a massive turnout by voters, some including septuagenarians who had to walk some metres to ensure they performed their civic duties and exercised their rights to choose their leaders, the elections were not only free and fair but also peaceful and transparent throughout the state as there was no single incident of violence recorded anywhere.
It is noteworthy to say that the election was also free from any form of manipulation, interference and or undue pressure from the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who provided a level playing field for all participants to vote and be voted for. This is the reason why the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, also recorded victory at the polls despite being largely unknown in Nigeria’s political turf.
With that election, the people of Ondo State have spoken loudly and clearly of where they would be aligning their support and votes at the state’s forthcoming gubernatorial election come November 26, 2016. With the massive victory recorded by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the election, the people have confirmed that they indeed know who their true leaders are.
Despite the massive campaigns of calumny and propaganda embarked upon by members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, purportedly bankrolled by a certain godfather from Lagos whose penchant for acquiring states by imposing his lackeys as leaders through fraudulent and compromised electoral processes, the people have rejected them and their falsehood.
You can only tell a blind man that there is no oil in the soup but you cannot tell him that there is no salt as he has tongue to taste it himself. The sophistry of the APC has found them out. Nigerians now know that all their promises are empty and easily deniable as is being done at the federal level. The people of Ondo State are wise; they have refused to repeat the same mistake Nigerians made at the 2015 presidential polls.
The suffering which the APC government has subjected Nigerians to is legendary; their reversal of Nigeria’s good fortunes as handed to them by the last administration is unpardonable, and just like every sin, they must pay for their deceit and their knack for always taking Nigerians for granted. The only and best way to do this is to continue to reject them at all levels of governance including in Ondo State until we rid our nation of political parasites and paralytics who parade themselves as agents of change.
No sane people would want to give their state up for destruction. Having married two wives, Nigerians now know which one is better, and the people of Ondo State have chosen the PDP whom by all standards they now agree is better. So, no matter the noise APC makes in Ondo State, Nigerians have heard it before: they were swayed the first time, but they would never be swayed by mendacity again. This much Ondo people said during the local government election.
The fact that residents of Ondo State trooped out in their large numbers despite the scorching sun to vote massively for PDP at the council polls is a testimony to the fact that the desperate attempts by the state’s APC to discredit and malign the government of Olusegun Mimiko has hit the rocks. Such attempts have since become an exercise in futility and puerility.
By those deliberate multiple actions of turning out massively, voting peacefully and orderly, and accepting the results of the election as a product of a transparent process, the people of the state have once again reaffirmed their faith in their governor and are ready to queue behind him to have his legacies continued by supporting and voting for the PDP in the next gubernatorial election.
This is the way to go!
INEC must also learn from the Professor Gbenga Ige-led Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission for the peaceful and transparent manner it conducted the election as confirmed by the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commission’s (SIECs) chairperson, Mrs Ukpong Gloria, who also led her colleagues from all over the federation to observe the state’s council polls.
When the Ondo council poll is used as a model for elections in Nigeria, all the negative things that trail our electoral system including violence, ballot box snatching, intimidation, rigging etc would be a thing of the past and the people would always use their will to hire those they find fitting to lead them.
This is what has happened in Ondo State, and this is what will happen again in the state come November 26, 2016 at the governorship polls. Congratulations, once again to the people of Ondo State!
Jude Ndukwe is a political analyst who lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a member of The Trent’s Elite Columnists. His column is published every Friday. He tweets from@stjudendukwe.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.