REFLECTIONS ON 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS
There is no doubt that this year's general elections came with many surprises. A surprise that humbled the mighty and produced new set of leaders who are relatively underdogs! The most revered incumbency power was demystified as the collective will of the people prevailed over it. In lieu of this, I truly pray that many will survive from the shock of the polls, because, by the time the fallen mighty will embark on journey of loneliness; a time when the clout that hypocritically claim to love them than they love themselves will desert them or even turn against them in their challenging or trying moments, then, they will know that the world is a stage which every actor whose turn it is to act must be circumspective while acting, because nothing in life lasts forever.
However, it is saddening to observe that at a time losers are conceding defeats as well as congratulating winners of elections being good example set by President Good Luck Jonathan, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Dan Orbih is crying wolf even where there is none, by alluding electoral irregularities to the crushing defeat the party witnessed in the State House of Assembly Election where the All Progressives Congress (APC) won in 21 out of 24 seats while PDP clinched the remaining three seats. But nobody in PDP raised an eyebrow when the party won five out of nine House of Representatives seats and two of the three Senatorial seats in the state during the Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
The truth is that people who made the National Assembly victory possible in the state are no longer there to repeat the feat during state assembly elections. After the March 28, Presidential and National Assembly elections, former governor Oserheimen Osunbor and former PDP governorship candidate for 2012 guber polls, Major-General Charles Arhiavbere defected to APC. Similar feat was witnessed in Etsako Central Local Government Area, where the former Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe of the PDP lost his council to Chief Richard Lamai of the APC.
Similarly, listening to the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, on “Day Break Africa”, a programme of the Voice of America, where he alleged that INEC officials and security personnel teamed up to work against the party during gubernatorial and state assembly elections, one will have no other word than to paradoxically describe it as a hunter crying blue-murder in familiar terrain. When the party allegedly used jiggery-pokery to win elections across the country, the results reflected the popular wish of the people, but now that INEC's card reader has exposed those who have been swimming naked, conspiracy theory is now a popular parlance in some quarters.
With APC being tipped to win the rescheduled Imo State governorship election of April 25th because, preliminary results showed that the party is leading with 79, 529 votes, while the cancelled votes which would be re-contested is 144, 715 votes. So, with APC's 385, 671 votes and PDP's 306, 142 votes, the votes the later would get will complement its existing lead. Hence, the APC is on its way to making successful inroads to the South East in subsequent polls using the popularity and acceptability of the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha as a launch pad. Outside Enugu State where the PDP won landslide because it fielded an extremely popular and widely acceptable candidate, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) and even if he had contested under any party besides PDP, he would have won; in other states of the Southeast, the much acclaimed unalloyed loyalty of the region to PDP was missing. For example, in Anambra State, the All Progressives
Grand Alliance (APGA) swept all the available seats in the State House of Assembly. In Ebonyi State, while the PDP got 289, 867 votes, another opposition party, the Labour Party got 124, 817 votes during the governorship election. Even though the governorship election result for Abia State is inconclusive; the reminiscing defeat the party witnessed in some federal constituencies of the state during the Presidential and National Assembly elections are enough to tell that the party got good run for its money in the region. And with popular politicians like Elder Eunice Orji Uzor Kalu and the rest of Kalu political dynasty joining the APC with their supporters except Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who is waiting to know the outcome of the Senatorial election he contested for Abia North, before joining his siblings in APC, the aphorism that southeast is a no-go-area for APC is a big fallacy. All that is required is for them to field popular and acceptable candidates during polls.
Furthermore, in traditional PDP states like Bauchi, Kaduna, Kastina, Niger, Benue, Plateau and Jigawa States, the party got the blow it never anticipated before the polls. The sickening defeat of the party in other states can be tolerated, but, the outright sack it got in Kaduna and Bauchi States have called for real questioning of the leadership style of the outgoing Vice President, Arch. Namadi Sambo and the party's game changing National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, who cannot change the dynamics of politics in his own state. For example, in Kaduna, while APC got 1,117, 635 votes, the PDP got 485, 833 votes during governorship election. During the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the same Kaduna which is the home state of the Vice President, while APC got 1, 127, 760 votes, the PDP got 484, 085 votes. The same feat was repeated in Bauchi State where APC got 654, 934 votes while PDP got 282, 650 votes during gubernatorial polls.
During the Presidential and National Assembly Elections, while APC got 931, 598 votes, the PDP got abysmal 86, 085 votes. There is God ooh!
The truth exposed by this year's polls is that, Nigerian voters are wiser than they were in 2011. In 2011, the electorates voted for party, but this year, they voted for candidates. By 2019, the electorates would be voting for both candidates and manifestoes. They will study the manifestoes of respective candidates and vote for candidates with the best programme for them and hold them by the black and white letters in their manifestoes. So, by 2019, they would not have to wait for four years to change the leadership they do not want, but they would learn how to recall non performing leaders when worse comes to worst.
Comrade Edwin Uhara is a Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator.