As the November 26th governorship election in Ondo State draws near, every concerned Nigerian, particularly those conversant with the history of Ondo politics, have every reason to show concern and voice out opinions that will not only ensure a free and fair process, but also guarantee security of lives and properties before, during and after the election.
Events of the past few days have further raised the need for the above. We will recall that only few days ago, the APC Candidate and its party, were preoccupied with the distribution of Bread and cash for votes in some parts of the State. This was after series of reports that thugs allegedly working for the APC, attacked in Owo and some other parts of the State, some loyalists of the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the election, Chief Olusola Oke.
Reports also have it that these attackers have, threatened to launch further attacks on the AD and its supporters by claiming that “We have the Federal”, meaning they are assured of the support of the Federal government. Why AD? Some of you may ask. The fact is not farfetched. Today, the AD, has become the toast of the average Ondo State resident, the soaring popularity of its candidate, Chief Olusola Oke has become a major threat to the APC and other political parties, eyeing the Alagbaka Government House in the State. Day in day out, the camps of the APC and the PDP majorly, gets depleted as their members in hundreds leave to join the Rescue Train and positive Leadership being offered by the Alliance for Democracy in Ondo State.
As keen observers, we are not unmindful of the antecedent of some of the key actors in the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC). We are aware that their preference for violence is crystal clear for all to see. Already, Ondo State people are blaming the APC for cases of violence in the state, especially the attacks of the past few days.
Rotimi Akeredolu’s electoral adventure speaks about his relevance and limitations. He amplifies his relevance by scaring his targets, even as he trades in threats. The Nigerian politician is at his worst moment of trepidation just about the time of elections. He is more susceptible to whispers, sounds of the soil and the conference of listless leaves.
It is the time the most miserly of them spend the kind of money which rends his heart with sadness. The kind of money he told all before election that God had not been kind enough to bless him with.
There is no moment of greater vulnerability for the APC in Ondo State than now. The rate of their failed promises to Nigerians at the centre is untold. Since the APC took over governance at the centre, the gap between the rich and the poor is obscene. The leadership of the APC particularly in Ondo State is uncouth and uncultured as exhibited daily. The common man and his family members want to vote for food in their bellies.
While the APC at the centre nursed a dilemma over its thirst to bring a candidate known for failure, the APC in Ondo appears to think it is a problem peculiar to the APC. Nothing could be more foolish. It tells that Rotimi Akeredolu will go the whole hog and mess up his party’s chances. He is not fighting for the governor’s seat, he is fighting for his daily bread.
The people of Ondo State have great expectations. They want a visible development of their state, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. They want less of media-powered performance. They are craving a lot less looting, huge indebtedness and empire buildings at the cost of continuous impoverishment of the people. People like Rotimi Akeredolu and his gangs are too small to stand in the way of all of us.
For the people of Ondo State, it would it be better to have a chance in a small pool, than face a certain failure in a large one infested, fractioned and in very sinister party like APC, as it clearly shows right now.
We are sure that Rotimi Akeredolu himself knows he is going nowhere in this election, hence his resort to violence and propaganda which he is determined to continually foster.
As a people, the choice is clear, it is the credible alternative that the Alliance for Democracy has offered us through Barrister Olusola Oke. Oke is a stone, once rejected by the builders, which has now become a Chief Cornerstone. With Olusola Oke as the Next Governor of Ondo State, the Hope of our people will surely be renewed and there can be an assurance of lives in abundance.
Olufemi Lawson is an Activist and Publicity Secretary, Ondo Rebirth Network ORN