Government of the people for the people and by the people often describes democracy of our time as it is the popularly acceptable definition in the current context, where the people are said to decide who governs or leads them. In democracy, the people are free to choose who their leader is and what they want at least for their common good.
An election considered as free, fair and peaceful is demonstrated by the desires of making a change in the domain, system and polity of a people.
Free, fair and peaceful election do not just come to be rather by concerted effort by those at the grassroots and voters who work assiduously to enhance such needed atmosphere for the people.
Before now the masses had loss hope in Nigeria electoral system where even those who never contested elections were sworn-in while votes were not counted.
Today, it is evident that even the international communities have found pleasure in the country’s electoral system and are encouraging it to grow.
Late President Uma’ru Musa Yar’dua of the blessed memory had admitted that the system was porous then and pledged his administration’s commitment to ensure that things are done in the right perspective to the benefit and interest of all Nigerians. Though he never lived to actualize his visions in governance, his vice and successor in office, His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (PHD), GCFR, who promised to keep that administration’s agenda afloat is doing his best to the admirations of the majority of Nigerians.
Nigeria’s electoral system is indeed on course as the citizenry are beginning to have confidence in the system as professor Atahiru Jega’s led Independent National Electoral Commission is on the fast lane to total victory irrespective of minor challenges, which is associated with every institution.
In recent times politicians who were not satisfied with the electoral system in Nigeria have now seen reasons to be proactively involved in the selective processes of any public office holder, because things have tremendously change for good.
The Anambra governorship election was a test run of the process after the 2011 general election which was adjudged best, fair and peaceful. Before that election in Anambra, there were pandemonium as people were frightened that the ruling PDP would capture the seat by rigging the election judging from its level of preparations, but they were disappointed when the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) clinch the seat with wide margin and was subsequently sworn-in, what a victory for INEC.
Anambra State is now an APGA State because the people love the programmes, ideology and operations of the party.
Against the expectations of the people, the Ekiti State gubernatorial election had come and gone with the PDP massively voted for and declared winner in an APC controlled State which attracted a wonderful ovation even from the defeated Governor of Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The incidence at Ekiti was widely applauded both by Nigerians and international communities, when the defeated Governor in less than 24 hours of losing election, congratulated the winner in a national broadcast.
The question now is, can any Nigerian emulate that Governor who publicly disclosed that he was not going to challenge the election in any court of law as it was generally characterized as peaceful, fair and free?
The outgoing Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Fayemi has demonstrated what was difficult to achieve in the past. Here is the man everyone believed would not join his party to engage in any litigation as threatened by APC, but if he does, he would however, make public show of himself.
Similarly, precisely Saturday 9th day of August, 2014, the people of Osun State will be going to decide who governs them in the next 4 years as the various political parties in that state are vigorously campaigning and state their manifestoes, leaving the stage for electorate to decide whom their next governor is or will be.
This task of democracy, to note how matured the Osun people are and how ready is Nigerians and Nigeria’s Democracy to thrive.
Who bails the Osun people is a question that must be answered by the people themselves comes Saturday August 9th, 2014.
Is it the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), or Labour Party (LP). The question is definitely to be answered on Saturday as the people decide.
For the PDP, they are ready to win the state as they have transverse the length and breadth of Osun State during its ward and LGA’s rally to sale the party for the citizenry.
But, for the people of APC, rather than focusing on their rallies which was equally gathering momentum, accusation of how the PDP have concluded plans to rig elections in 10 LGAs now becloud them.
It is obvious that the PDP cannot rig elections in 10 LGAs in an APC controlled state without them doing something also. While it behooves the APC in Osun to bend down to their home work as their rival the PDP, it is expedient to note that Osun is another test of democracy of this generation; therefore what is good must be pursued with vigour without rancour, blood spills and thuggery.
Let the matured experience demonstrated in Ekiti be replicated in Osun as the winner as well as the loser see Osun state as everybody’s affair hence the need to collectively grow rather than killing it. If there is understanding, maturity the winner cannot take all but all would celebrate together.
While the outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Fayemi, deserves more commendation, it is the prayer and expectation of all that Osun stakeholders, power brokers and candidates of the various political parties remain civil to break yet another record of the understanding of the South-Western Nigeria.
Let whoever bails the Osun State comes Saturday 9th August, 2014 be a living proof of Nigeria’s Democracy and symbol of Peace, Unity, Fairness, and Goodwill. ###
With James Mgboineme