• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Winning Edo not pointer to PDP’s victory in Ondo – Analysts

Edo-election

Political analysts have asserted that by winning the recent Edo governorship election is not in any way a pointer that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would also win the October 10 Ondo governorship poll.

The analysts argued that the circumstances which led to the victory of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the PDP against Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are quite different even as they did not predict for any party.

The declaration of Obaseki as winner of the polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) changed most of the narratives that preceded the exercise and doused the mounting tension as the anticipated war turned to jubilation.

At the end of the Edo election, the PDP and its candidate that were initially crying foul accepted the outcome of the polls and praised the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC to high heavens and expressed optimism to win the Ondo polls too.

Immediately after the declaration of the results of the Edo governorship, the PDP held a press conference in Abuja where it said: “Our party also notes the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Prof. Yakubu Mahmood in ensuring that Edo election was conducted in a manner that was largely adjudged to be free, fair, transparent and credible.

“Nigerians hope that what we have witnessed in Edo state will not be an off-season procedure in the Commission. We demand that this credible process applies to all our elections.
“The PDP applauds the use of virtual portal by INEC to upload results directly from the polling unit, the base of our election, which made it impossible for electoral violators to hijack this electoral process.

“It is our hope in the PDP that this new found image of INEC will gather more thresholds in future elections, particularly the October 10, 2020 Ondo governorship election.”

The APC despite initial grumbling finally accepted defeat and described the election as a reflection of the will of the people of Edo and congratulated the winner, Obaseki.

APC in a statement signed by the Chairman of its Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai-Mala Buni said the peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent victory for Nigeria’s democracy.

“Our attention must now shift to Ondo State and ensure that we win the October 10, 2020 election. September 19, 2020 Edo election should present a new watershed. We will work hard to win the Ondo election,” Buni said.

INEC, which received commendations even from its ardent critics, assured that it would do everything humanly possible to ensure that the Ondo State Governorship Election scheduled for October 10 is free, fair and credible.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu insisted that: “Equally and importantly, we used the zee pads to upload the results on the Election Day in real time. We have moved the zee pads from Edo to Ondo State for the election. At the polling units, you will see both cards readers and the zee pads. So, we are fully prepared for the election”.

Unlike Edo, APC has a sitting Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu as its candidate while PDP is fielding Eyitayo Jegede as candidate for the October 10 Ondo governorship polls.

Pundits argue that the victory of Obaseki was also determined by his power of incumbency and the desire of the people to do away with the antics of Adams Oshiomhole, the immediate past APC national chairman who was backing Ize-Iyamu and the incumbency may work for Akeredolu who like Obaseki is not in camp of Oshiomhole.

Speaking to Business on the correlation between the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, Idayat Hassan, Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) said the victory of PDP in Edo cannot snowball into victory in Ondo as there are different shades to both polls.

Hassan said: “The Ondo and Edo elections are different as Ondo is an issue-based campaign and the voters are also sophisticated. The fact that PDP won Edo doesn’t necessarily mean it will repeat the feat in Ondo. However, I will like to state that the elections may go any way and the citizens will decide.”

According to her: “We at the CDD have set a benchmark for INEC in the elections; we expect the Commission will improve on logistics and particularly ensure it implements its policy on conducting elections during Covid-19. The introduction of the result-viewing portal is a useful innovation which expects to run more efficiently in Ondo”.

Speaking in a similar manner, Christian Okeke, a Political Science lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, enjoined both PDP and APC to accept the outcome of Ondo governorship election as they did for the Edo governorship election.

Oke noted that: “Politicians are sore losers and either APC or PDP may accept the outcome of the Ondo elections if they lose. And I will like to point out that election is a process not an event, putting the toga of free and fair is no longer best practices, elections are now adjudged based on her integrity quotient.

“The political class constitutes the greatest danger to Nigeria’s electoral process and democracy. The determination by the political elites to derail both is legendary, and accounts for citizens’ loss of faith in the two important concepts.

“Obviously, the fear over whether our electoral process cum democracy will succeed is worsened by the desperation of the politicians, first and foremost.

“For instance, on the day of Edo governorship election, Gov. Obaseki reportedly raised an alarm after casting his ballot in which he discredited INEC but when he eventually won the election, he made a u-turn and swallowed his accusation, and even praised the electoral umpire and the President to the high heavens.

“Same also came from his new-found party. But no one is sure if the party and its candidate will maintain their accolades on INEC and the electoral process in the case of Ondo, especially if they lose.”

According to him, “Edo election was not perfect but whether all the politicians and gladiators will finally accept its outcome and move on is something that will become clearer in coming days. But citizens expect an improvement in conduct, from INEC, security agencies, the political class and the voters in the next governorship election.

“The Edo outcome is a huge lesson for the APC. Aside the peculiarity of the Edo politics at this time, the APC should see the outcome as a verdict from the people, a blighted referendum of sort on its 5-year administration at the centre, characterised by excruciating pain and hardship for the masses.”

“However, the country’s politics should not necessarily be about political parties, particularly the two dominant ones. But a new-normal should now focus on individuals and movement towards freeing the political space from the clutches of the veteran demagogues whose knees have remained choking on the necks of the common man for a long time now,” Okeke said.