Osun State needs our fervent, honest prayers at this very moment. The state is lost at a crossroads. It is in dire need of divine intervention.
You could see it coming. There were glaring landmines laid for the Osun State governorship poll last Saturday. There were many contradictions. Indeed, there were many wrong steps taken before, during and after the election.
You would think all these were deliberate to frustrate the election itself. Juxtapose that with its “inconclusive” outcome.
Samplers: Hours before the last Ekiti State election, Governor Ayodele Fayose was stripped of by his security details. He was literally naked.
The policemen attached to him were unceremoniously withdrawn. He was practically on his own throughout the conduct of the election.
His Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, Uche Secondus, lamented: “Recall that the police took away the security detail attached to Fayose. He was prone to attacks.”
That was not the first time. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, did it before with impunity in Anambra State. He got away with it; perhaps that emboldened him to do it again in Ekiti State.
He withdrew policemen attached to Governor Willie Obiano before the governorship election. Secondus was convinced it was done “in order to make him (Obiano) vulnerable just because he is not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
Let us imagine we try to reason with the police. They claimed the action in the two instances was to allow for the neutrality of the police in the conduct of the elections. What then happened in Osun State on September 22, 2018? It was a big gap by the same police. It was a huge misstep, as the neutrality claim collapsed like a pack of loose cards.
That claim couldn’t have held water in any reasonable sense. Police turned the other way. Policemen attached to Governor Rauf Aregbesola were never withdrawn. Secondus pointedly asked:
“But what has happened to the policemen attached to Aregbesola? Nothing. Instead of them being replaced, they have been fortified with policemen from Lagos State and neighbouring friendly states in order to manipulate the outcome of the election.”
Again, in Anambra and Ekiti states, movements were strictly restricted on election days. Obiano and Fayose were not spared. They were confined, never allowed beyond their polling units.
That was strangely not the case with Aregbesola in Osun State. He had a field day through and through. He was not alone. Unconfirmed reports alleged that, at least, eight other APC governors enjoyed the same ride. They had “invaded” the state a day before the previous Saturday with some national leaders of the party for the election.
Police just pretended they were unaware. They pretended it never happened. To all those contradictions and more, Secondus laid the blame on the doorsteps of the IGP. Who would not? The buck stops at him table:
“We want IGP Idris to tell Nigerians why he is applying different rules in the deployment of policemen for the conduct of elections (in states) being controlled by the PDP and the one under the control of the APC.”
Now, APC would not permit the PDP to have a free ride. That is why Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, came out of his shell. He took up PDP, as the media committee chairman, APC Campaign Council for Osun Governorship Election: “The PDP and some of its top members have accused INEC, the police and other security agencies as well as the NYSC of all sorts of things. They have made allegations of thuggery and rigging against the APC.
“None of these accusations has been substantiated. If only the party had invested its energy in preparing for the election, it may not have become so jittery. Unfortunately, the die is cast and the PDP has seen the (ugly) handwriting on the (cracked) wall, hence the party’s slip into the panic mode.
“On our part, we have confidence in the various institutions saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a successful election in Osun State. We have no need for thuggery or rigging because the people are solidly behind us.”
Both Secondus and Mohammed spoke on Friday, a day to the election. While Secondus voiced out in Abuja, Mohammed chose Osogbo, where he had relocated, to respond.
Sincerely, nobody expected Mohammed to behave otherwise. That would be unwise and politically suicidal. He acted within the political deceit and pretense peculiar to Nigeria. It is our own homegrown way of governance and democracy. He did this strenuously with all the strength and energy in him. That is the critical job he is handsomely hired to do, at least for now.
Sadly enough, he remained elusive on the heart of the matter. He left us more confused and confounded. We are baffled and bewildered.
We still wonder aloud: Why are all these eerie things happening the way they are happening? What exactly is wrong with us?
It is with this unsettled mindset that the “real” winner of the fiercely fought Osun gubernatorial election will be decided today. Strangely still, only a little over 3,000 voters will have the rare privilege of making that expensive choice.
That is why Osun State needs our fervent, honest prayers at this very moment. The state is lost at a crossroads. It is in dire need of divine intervention.
Imagine, these lucky less than 4,000 electorate will leisurely seal the fate of Osun citizens in just seven polling booths. There, they will make or mar the state in their decision.
All the same, God, please, guide their judgement.