Among others, Olusola Oke is more prepared to govern…. by Debo Akinbami

Written by: Debo Akinbami

The tussle for the governorship position in Ondo State is now reaching for the crest. Other things being equal, political parties would, in a matter of days, elect and herald their flag bearers. By the end of April, candidates for the various political associations would have emerged, and, by then, the tone of political transactions would change, significantly.

The sundry fisticuffs, thenceforth, would take inter-party shape and denizens would, afterwards, begin to compare serious notes in relation to specific party manifestos. As of today, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is at the cynosure. Her ticket appears to be the shortest route to the Alagbaka Government House, hence anxieties visibly heighten within its fold.

In order to win the APC ticket, aspirants run between poles and pillars; they deploy, daily, both serious and subtle ploys. Those who are popular among them strive to solidify substructure; the not-so-popular scout for presidential nod so that ‘all things could be possible’. The pressures occasioned by the tournament are helping to separate those who merely want to update ego with gubernatorial tag from those who have serious plans for the oil-rich State.

The dossiers, in any case, are not so opaque. And, despite the gambits, those who are genuinely loved by the people for their sort of leadership retain their lustrous places; and, by the virtue of the direct primary option approved by the party, the ordinary party members whom, in the usual estimation of regular politicians, are believably dispensable have now become the kings who would determine the fate of aspirers.

The direct mode of primary election is arguably the best as it enables and empowers the people to choose the leader they want. That is not to preclude the possibility of winning by other means. Authoritative sources have identified aspirants who store up monies for the purpose of buying electors to compromise; and those who, out of desperation, have enlisted miscreants to cause havoc where the tunes do not favour them.

It becomes uneasy, irrespective, to sway a people who have determinedly resolved to help themselves. And, the opportunity to do exactly is what has been offered through the direct mode of primary election. Already, the 16 aspirers have been screened and all found fit for contest, putting paid to the hitherto contentious issues, including the question of academic suitability of those aspiring.

With the clearance done, aspirants look forward to a fair and transparent intra-party contest. Meanwhile, it looks more like a consensus among political parties that the south senatorial district should produce the next governor, since the central and northern sections have had their turns in the order of governance. The putative concession perhaps explains the scramble from the southern belt.

Those jostling among the southern brothers are mostly qualified, no doubts, but it must be necessarily stressed that the position of the governor of a state is not an all comers’ affair. The scramble, nonetheless, we must raise pertinent questions in order to draw the lines among those who truly understand the business of governance and those who want to exploit the system for reasons of certain tenuous trump cards.

The position of a governor requires more than relying unthinkingly on happenstance. It taxes intellect more than it cares about the size of affluence. It is a position that fatly feeds on the erudition and versatility of a prepared mind; and, these are the imperatives that ennoble the aspiration of Chief Olusola Alexander Oke, who, overtime, has proven sufficient preparation for the position that he serially seeks.

Oke, in his leadership credential, has demonstrated capacity, courage and compassion. He has both the clout and the contents, and has shown tangible knowledge of what the faults are and what needs to be done to bring about visible difference.

He is convincingly loved by the people and parades a cult of following heaped on established political structure and substructure. And, indications are rife to the extent that the people are willing to take another risk with him.

The south, where Oke hails from and looms preeminently large, prefers him on good grounds, given his towering experience in politics, public administration, legislative and executive insights, exposure, community leadership finesse, established fine public spirit and professional excellence. Oke has the humility and honesty to take home truths; he has the advantage of giving the south, not just the sought 8 full years of power share but impactful and progression leadership.

We must, per force, note, as the day of decision draws closer, that Oke truly represents what the people want in a governor, in a time like this; that the intricate governoship assignment does not hold a place for those who wish to learn on the job, but a hand prepared enough to fix gaps. It is pertinent to harp that the destiny of a people is too important to fiddle with by careless theorists. And that the people who now have the rare latitude to choose a candidate for the party should do that in the interest of progress, prosperity and posterity.

  • Akinbami writes from Igboegunrin.

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