As Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general elections, our team of analysts and reporters have provided a detailed intelligence assessment projecting the outcomes of the elections. The report disaggregated data in profiling several issues and stakeholders, supported by evidences, motives appraisals, distress factors and other critical indicators. Our Editorial Board has directed a redaction of the original report for a white paper, given the security and sensitivity of the facts well documented in the initial report.
It is instructive to note that Southwest Nigeria will pose the greatest challenge for the forthcoming elections as a result of irreconcilable differences among key gladiators. Historically, the defunct Western region was responsible for the abrupt termination of the first Republic, and has always served as the intellectual, spiritual and physical battleground for the two major politically conflicting worldviews.
It is on record that the newly elected Governors of Osun and Ekiti States are obliged to consolidate their Party’s positions in defiance of estranged predecessors. While the situation in Ondo State will remain fluid till February, Oyo State will be quite intense and conflicting in its gubernatorial and state legislative elections.
The PDP has missed it in Lagos yet again with the separation of Agbaje’s headline campaign from the Party’s structure, leaving the coast clear for APC whose leadership is ready to declare Governor Ambode persona non grata at the slightest opportunity.
Perhaps, the most interesting faux pax is happening in Ogun State where Governor Ibikunle Amosun in defiance of his own Party APC, is promoting a candidate that lost out in the Primaries conducted by the Party under his watch. The opposition Party PDP has fielded candidates who may have in all fairness, emerged from a process that is absolutely beyond the contemplation of the law with regards to which faction is entitled to conduct primaries and present candidates for the general elections.
Developments across the Southwest brings to mind, the refusal of Yoruba leaders to be reasonable during the first Republic until the convening of Yoruba Leaders of Thought meeting in Ibadan on the 1st day of the month of May in the year 1967. Despite that resolution, the embers are still very much alive today.
Disagreement over Yoruba alliance led to the demise of the first Republic. Alliances are lines that should give way commensurate with the degree to which it is pushed. Nobody seems to understand this basic fact better than His Excellency, Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose visionary leadership and sacrifice has positioned Yoruba people as the brides of politics, governance, business and social sectors.
Given the ancestral relationship, economic significance and strategic political security which binds Ogun State with Southwest Nigeria and other Yoruba communities within and beyond West Africa, it is easy to understand why unity of political leadership will advance development efforts in the region and Nigeria at large.
Nigerian elections are fraught with intractable difficulties among which are the incredibly long ballot papers, large number if participating political parties, results transmission, election observers, materials distribution and logistics, security, equipment and personnel. It is unclear how these will be tackled in the coming weeks. Politicians have kept emphasis on “stomach infrastructure” instead of solutions for issues of development. Voters see vote buying as ” dividend of democracy ” and this has become quite institutionalized over the last few months. An appraisal of campaign promises made by all the governorship candidates indicate no fundamental shift in strategy. It is unclear how these elections will address youth aspirations, the future workplace or socioeconomic improvements.
(Written by: Samuel Odebowale)