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Victories in Delta, Bayelsa and Kogi States

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On Saturday, 16 November 2019 gubernatorial elections were held in the Niger Delta State of Bayelsa and in the North Central State of Kogi. In the first-mentioned State, Yahaya Bello, the incumbent governor, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was re-elected as all of us now know.

In the latter mentioned state, a new governor in the person of David Lyon, also of the All Progressives Congress, won the election. He is to succeed the outgoing governor in the person of Seriake Henry Dickson of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) as all of us also now know. With respect to Delta State, Ifeanyi Arthur Okoya also of the PDP has won his gubernatorial re-election in his state at the polls, the gubernatorial election tribunal and at the Appeal Court.

Because Delta is my birth state, and because his gubernatorial opponent Great Ogboru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been a recurring decimal in Delta State’s gubernatorial elections for a pretty long time, I feel the need to begin my comment earnestly with Governor Okowa’s latest court victory over Great the consistently, frequently and regularly great loser of gubernatorial elections in my dear, dear birth state afore-mentioned. This sentence that I have just uttered is long indeed because Great Ogboru’s defeats have been truly historic on account of their rhythmic long length that is historical of no use to him and his followers. Great Ogboru should throw in the towel now and send truly practical words of congratulations to Dr. Okowa at once. Great should not fight on to the bitterest end. The forces against him within and outside Delta State are massively more than massive. And the state’s Spiritual Masters of Contemplation and Meditation (SMCM) are not on his side. Induce me not to explain what I mean. All I know is that the last phase (his going to the Supreme Court) will provoke more pain in his heart and the hearts of his especially peasant supporters.

As a matter of fact, his peasant supporters should have the resources that he is unsatisfactorily going to waste by going to our apex court on appeal. Let me even say this: even if the apex court rules (which in any case is not going to happen) that the gubernatorial election should be re-done, a horrifying conflict will rear its ugly head in the state, and it will provoke things yet unknown in our dear, dear state, and dear, dear country.

My simple concluding statement: Great Ogboru should greatly resist the temptation of entering the next phase of his historic gubernatorial struggle, and concede victory to Governor Okowa and congratulate him accordingly in our overall interest. I am non-partisan. He should kindly hearken and listen to me big time – as the phrase goes. But will he? And his party? His Delta party inner circle or caucus should appeal to him to jettison what will end as a nauseating optimism. Will they, and will he listen to them?

The gubernatorial electoral result in Bayelsa State, a supremely rich PDP state, is interesting and un-interesting at the same time or, better put, the gubernatorial result in the PDP super-rich mangrove state is confounding and un-confounding at the same time. Most of the followers of the events in the state, at least a few days or weeks before the voting-day, knew that a deviation from the norm of the politics there had been imposed on it by circumstances. That former President Jonathan cut off himself from Governor Dickson and his alleged authoritarian and bureaucratic system that produced a candidate that was allegedly imposed on the people and supporters clearly spelled doom for the party. And former President Jonathan’s visit to General Muhammadu Buhari on the eve of the election played up before our very eyes the popular history of “carpet crossing” or betrayal and its movement in our country’s politics.

The ruling central party that has always wanted more than a footing in the South-South is more than happy now. As a matter of fact, the man of contradictions called Adams Oshiomhole must be luxuriating now in his fantasies and exploits in Bayelsa State. That Bayelsans deviated from the line is a great thing that merits for the chairman of the All Progressives Congress a wonderful honour and so much praise. The diminutive former governor of Edo State has redeemed his alleged poor image of a party manager who withers his party. He cannot be called any longer a purger and an authoritarian expert on deportations of party faithful who do not share his sentiments or who do not compromise their principles. He is without doubt ready now to replicate his success and victory now in Edo State where he is having a running battle with his erstwhile god-boy called Governor Godwin Obaseki – who he must move out of the hearts of Edo people. What a huge practical error this will be in the hugely contradictory state of contradictions! One thousand Oshiomholes cannot rubbish or remove Obaseki. They need to reconcile, no matter what.

Now did APC fairly and squarely win in Bayelsa State? Hear the submission of Timi Frank, a former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress now of the PDP, I believe: “Victory was not won by the APC but by the people of Bayelsa who have resisted imposition and oppression with their blood because of their implicit confidence in the capacity of Lyon to transform the state and change their story for the better.” (See The Guardian of Tuesday, November 19, 2019, page 6). But what is the message or defensive construction of the PDP candidate, Mr. Diri? As this paper’s reporter in Yenagoa Julius Osahon reported in the paper’s edition already cited, “Diri declared himself winner, urging INEC to overturn its declaration of Lyon as the victor. He told newsmen in Yenagoa that results monitored by his party showed he won and he should, therefore, be declared governor-elect.” Does the PDP candidate honestly believe that INEC will revoke its judgment which is a reflection of the “judgment” of the people – if Timi Frank’s pronouncement is to be accepted as the summary of the gubernatorial result which INEC has reflected with its released result?

In any case, we wait to hear what Governor Seriake Dickson himself would say as his reaction to what happened in his state. (I hear, as I was preparing this column, that he would address a press conference in which he would highlight the reason(s) or the what that was no-what before, during and after the election).

We can see the PDP hurrying to court as President Buhari has bluntly told all the losers in Bayelsa and Kogi States to do.

Kogi State! What a gubernatorial victory won by suffering, violence, and death! When will the error and terror of violence and death vanish from Kogi State? In fact, I was worried by Yahaya Bello’s initial post-victory statement which I do not want to paraphrase or quote here verbatim. But I am more worried about President Buhari’s statement.

Rather than commiserating with the families of all those who lost their lives to the brutal gubernatorial election in Kogi State last Saturday, President Buhari was telling us blatantly that all the losers in the election should to go to court to seek redress. No, Mr. President! I can say far more than what I have said here on the dark and withering away State of Kogi where sufferers and losers have been told to seek redress in court in an authoritarian manner and tone. I can say more truthful things. But I won’t. I don’t want my strong and truthful thoughts to be criminalized as per the forth-coming “Hate Speech Bill.” But I must affirm here that our president has committed a presidential error with respect to his aforesaid speech that did not move our peoples’ hearts that it should have necessarily moved for the correct construction of our tomorrow. The time is more than ripe for Mr. President to be giving us theoretical and practical speeches that are devoid of theoretical and practical errors.

Afejuku can be reached on 08055213059.


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