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By Kennedy Ikantu Peretei

At the peak of the impeachment saga of Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa as Deputy Governor, a song by an Ikale crooner, Oluwatoyin Ojagbemi got traction. “Maabaja” which roughly translates to mean, “Don’t Fight him”. The melody was quite captivating. The lyrics admonished all not to fight, one who had God behind him. Having God behind him, in this sense was Lucky’s name as Lucky.

The song almost became an Anthem everywhere the Governor went, whether as intimidation or as proof that his luck was sufficient to see him through all political battles.

However, recent events have proved that, Lucky Aiyedatiwa will need far more than luck, come November 16, when Ondo State people will decide who becomes their next Governor.

In the first part of this series, l have given detailed reasons why Lucky may not be lucky in the battle ahead. But let us x-ray further some of the impediments that will render Aiyedatiwa’s luck impotent in November this year.

Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, an APC Senator who was an aspirant in the hotly disputed APC Governorship Primary has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to nullify the primary election or to disqualify the APC from presenting a candidate for the Governorship election. The matter is already listed for hearing on May 14, 2024. It is unbelievable that, some persons are banking on Lucky’s luck to survive in the Court of Law.

Since the beginning of this week, the APC media machinery has tried every trick in the books to discredit INEC verdict of “There was No Election in Ondo State”. Again, Aiyedatiwa’s team is relying on his luck to see him through. Maybe, they are unaware that, by the INEC Guidelines, the last day for Governorship Primary Election is 27 April, 2024. If the Courts say, APC did not hold primary election, like everyone is aware, luck will play no role in this.

Two days after the Supreme Court dismissed Jegede’s Appeal in a 4:3 Judgement in the matter of Eyitayo Jegede VS Rotimi Akeredolu on 28th July, 2021, I wrote an Opinion titled “The Supreme Court Verdict on Akeredolu Vs Jegede: Matters Arising”.

For the record, let me reproduce only three paragraphs. “Since 2018, the APC has been consistently emasculated in one impunity or the other with fatal consequences. But its leadership has not fared better than the proverbial stubborn housefly that accompanies the corpse to the grave”.

“On 24th May, 2019, five days to the inauguration of a new government in Zamfara State, the Supreme Court voided all votes cast for APC in all elections, held for Governorship, House of Assembly and National Assembly elections. The 5-man panel in a unanimous judgement held that, a party that has no valid candidate cannot be said to have emerged winner of elections. There were 36 casualties (including Abdulazeez Yari, immediate past Governor who had attended Senate Induction ceremonies as Senator-elect). 24 House of Assembly members, 7 House of Representative members, 3 Senators, a Governor and Deputy Governor were all sent home on the eve of their swearing in. The reason was very elementary, APC refused to comply with INEC deadline of conducting Party Primaries on or before 7th October, 2018”

“In Rivers State, APC did not hold valid Primaries and therefore could not field any candidate for 2019 Governorship elections. Again, they went home with bloodied noses”

The APC has not learnt any lessons on internal democracy in all these years. And the banana peel is always in wait for them. The case of Ondo 2024 will not be any different.

His Lordship Okoro Justice of the Supreme Court while ruling on APC Vs Karfi (2017) has this to say, “The era of recklessness and impunity by political parties is over. It is an aspect of corruption for a political party to disobey its constitution and guidelines in order to impose candidates on the electorates. This Court has taken a firm stand that this must stop. It is in the interest of our nation that political parties observe internal democracy for the smooth running of democratic process”.

These are the landmines, Lucky will navigate to access Alagbaka Government House in 2024. I have no doubt in my mind that, Lucky may not be Lucky after all, because, he will need more that luck in this battle field.

This series will be concluded with part 3.

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