Why Lagos PDP should be honorable in defeat
I have watched the scenario playing out in Lagos State as fallout of the recently conducted Local Government Council elections with abated breath. That the Action Congress of Nigeria won in all 57 local government councils is not news. But what is
news is the recent call for the cancellation of the exercise because the almighty PDP under the watchful eyes of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro claimed it won 5 local government councils out of the 57 local government councils there are in the state.
For want of a better expression, I think it would be foolhardy for the PDP in Lagos to make such spurious claims, especially as we were aware of the drama that played out on days leading to the election and on Election Day. The 'big' actor was Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Nigeria's Ambassador to Ghana because his son Babajide Obanikoro contested for the chair of Ikoyi/Obalende local council.
I decided to pen down this piece not because I am a fan of Governor Fashola and a resident of Ikoyi in Lagos, but simply because I am astonished at the level of falsehood and distortions been bandied around by the PDP. It is despicable and smacks of disillusionment especially on the part of Senator Obanikoro who was supposed to be at his duty post in Ghana.
If the truth must be told, the acts of gangsterism and idiocy displayed by the bandwagon 'rented' by the PDP in Lagos State was at the behest of Senator Obanikoro, whose son Babajide Obanikoro was trounced despite the presence and 'heavy pocket' of his father. Senator Obanikoro was very visible on the day of election. I recall that as a registered voter in ward C001 in Ikoyi, Senator Obanikoro threw tantrums at some people for not delivering on their promise despite paying heavily.
This happened in the full glare of all. He later moved towards Falomo and Bourdillon road in Ikoyi distributing N500 and N1000 bills to voters. Trust Lagos voters; they collected his money and voted their choice. And that is what Senator Obanikoro cannot come to terms with.
For the average Lagos voter, you can spend all you care, but they would always vote their choice, not especially where the 36 members of the State Assembly are ACN, the 25 members of the House of Representatives are ACN and also the 3 Senators. Then what are we talking about? In my opinion, it would have amounted to saying the ANPP won the governorship election in Gombe State that produced Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of the PDP.
The electoral law is clear about how to pursue disagreement over election results. You don't incite the public to disrupt relative peace, especially in areas like Ikoyi and Victoria Island in Lagos. Rather you should go the court to air your grievances. I believe the ACN understood the nobility in pursuing electoral discontent in the Court of Law, hence the victories it recorded in most South Western States, including Edo State.
It was a great show of shame that played out for a party that claimed it would rule Nigeria forever. Little wonder the meddlesome action of the presidency and the inglorious role of security agencies that allowed PDP thugs to invade the secretariat of Ikoyi/Obalende Local Government Council to declare victory for the PDP candidate in Babajide Obanikoro.
Interestingly, Babajide Obanikoro is a personal friend and also a friend on face book. I was quick to tell him off when he declared himself winner on the social network platform on Sunday October 24 th at about 12.25pm. This was at a time when the constituted body charged with the responsibility hasn't. How else can one explain this act of mischief with intent to cause or instigate crisis? Regardless, I think decorum should not be thrown into the air in the name of politics because you cannot declare yourself winner of an election under Law. It could pass for a treasonable offence.
I am sure that if it were the candidate of the ACN that declared himself winner in like manner, the securities agencies would have swamped in like bees! That is how it works with the PDP. Wait a minute, if they actually won 5 out of 57 local government councils, is that a justifiable reason for the call that the entire elections be cancelled? It is comical to realize that victory in 5 councils is less than 10% of the total.
I think the PDP should stop crying wolf where none exists. The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) under retired Justice Abdulfatai Adeyinka did a marvelous job despite the difficult environment that it operated in due to the activities of the PDP thugs that pervaded every nook and cranny with the active connivance of security agencies. It may be sufficient to state that these PDP thugs at some point chased away officials of LASIEC, who had to relocate to a safer place to collate and announce results.
I wouldn't guess that they are insinuating that LASIEC was compromised by the ACN. And if true, I beg to ask what the results of previous elections conducted by INEC were? If under INEC the PDP could not win a seat in the House of Assembly, how could they have dreamt of winning a key local government council like Ikoyi/Obalende? Needless I mention that Ikoyi/Obalende and by extension the state voting pattern is structured along deliverables, which the administration of Governor Fashola has provided.
This piece like I mentioned earlier is not sympathetic to the ACN, but just setting the records straight and to also advice the PDP in Lagos State to be honorable in defeat. After all, during the gubernatorial elections, was Wahab Dosumu, its gubernatorial candidate, not trounced by Babatunde Fashola of ACN? Let's call a spade a spade in the interest of the relative peace and tranquility Lagos State has enjoyed over time.
The case must be made that the electoral act is very clear on what to do and the rights of everyone to head to the tribunal over election disagreements. Under the rule of law, propaganda, gangsterism, fabrications, incitement to violence and manipulation of public sentiment cannot substitute for victory. As aggrieved as CPC was over the results of the Presidential elections, it went to the court to prove its case. Let PDP and Obanikoro do likewise .
By Yahaya Etila. mailto: