Ondo State gubernatorial elections and the internal contradictions- lessons learnt
In this piece, the writer traces the probable reasons why outgoing governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko lost the political structures of the state at the recent polls
By Morgan Omodu
The last gubernatorial elections of Ondo State that was held on 26th of November, 2016 has come and gone, but no doubt it is trailed by lots of sound bites from the major players and the electorate.
While there is need to congratulate the outgoing Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko for the peaceful transition it will not be correct and proper if we don’t do a bit of reflection on what happened and how we ended up with a change of government knowing full well that most of our outgoing governors always want to have a successor for reasons most times best known to them.
The theory of internal contradictions is applicable in what transpired in Ondo state. As propounded by Karl Marx, it recognizes that society like matter is always in process of change.
The laws of every society therefore also develop and change through internal contradictions.
It states further that, the fundamental cause of development of a thing or process is not external but internal; it lies within the contradictions within the thing, which brings internal issues in everything.
Quantitative development is chiefly the result of such internal contradictions. These contradictions in most cases usually lead to creation of a new society, in this case a new regime.
It is on record that, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, known as ‘Iroko’ of South West Politics is the first person to do two terms as Chief Executive of Ondo State.
His emergence for second term against the major forces of South West under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu didn’t come easy as it was made possible via the performance recorded during his first term via visible and verifiable projects across the states and with some seeing him as the best alternative to governance in the region based on his antecedents.
The recorded high performance index no doubt made his re-election easy and it was the first time, a campaign was issue based as the south west governors under the then auspices of ACN were quick to ask Ondo State to join other states within the region so as to have a uniform party.
This was resisted as there was nothing visible on ground to show that alliance of the states under same party would translate to better life for Ondo indigenes.
The issue of godfatherism was also brought to the front burner and the people rejected it via their votes for second term for the incumbent.
One expects that after the victory at the poll, Iroko would have galvanized on the existing structure and not withdrew back to his shell.
Even though he is known to be a political strategist, things no doubt fell out via internal contradictions within his structure and that of APC which caused minimal implosion.
The loss of Iroko’s political choice at the poll can be attributed to some factors part of which are not limited to: his inability to hold back his structure after the choice of Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the candidate of the party knowing full well that since he decamped to PDP from Labour Party, some of the leaders of the PDP has not been in good terms with him.
We should not forget quickly the long battle he fought then until he was eventually settled and became the leader of the party in South West. Even at that, some were not happy with the scenario, part of which played out during the last Presidential elections.
The internal contradictions were the first and major factor that eventually led to the outcome of 26th of November election.
Contrary to some analysts, had it been the structure that delivered him for second term was still intact and the choice of Eyitayo Jegede SAN was well managed, curtailing the ‘Poroye’ and ‘Jimoh Ibrahim’ factor would have been easy as there would have been a major battle to face instead of protracted ones that sprang up which he couldn’t manage due to time factor.
Although the rest is now history, there is a lesson no doubt to learn from this.
This is essentially because he has impacted positively in area of governance across the major sectors in the state.
Sadly, that could have been a good selling point.
The internal contradictions were not limited to PDP alone, as the same happened within the APC which led to a major block in south west politics pulling out and reinforcing the Alliance for Democracy with Olusola Oke as their candidate.
What they failed to understand was that the Ondo that voted against ‘imperialism’ in south west had not forgotten and thus it was easy for them to do it again. One would have expected the said ‘force’ to align with Iroko but they choose to go solo and the record further reiterates the fact that seemed to say, ‘we don’t need outsiders to come and lead us in the state.’
Had it been it was well managed, it wouldn’t have fallen off his hands again and coming third shows total a rejection and a ‘No’ to godfatherism in Ondo Politics.
By this, it is crystal clear that the internal contradictions that happened in all the political parties no doubt produced the change that favored the ruling party, that is not to say that the party is the choice of the people or that people are happy with the policies of the party at the Centre, but rather it is a result of what internal contradictions which in this case brought about this quantitative development as seen in the outcome of the votes casted.
The Ondo State result thus shows that, party politics was left out of the whole process of selection of who would lead for the next four year.
Iroko didn’t come to power with a major political party, but rather he was seen as their own project.
One thus expects the incoming Governor to look at these variables and ensure that he does what the people want. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has no doubt set a good record without much noise in the media. One expects the Governor-elect to take it from there and give the desired needs to the people.
Governance is beyond party politics and this he must know. The Ondo election lesson should be a major lesson for the active political players especially the ruling APC.
Morgan Omodu was the political secretary to former House Speaker, Dimeji Bankole.
He can be reached through- firstname.lastname@example.org