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By Kennedy Ikantu Peretei

The last has not been heard on the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Primary. The National leader of the party and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed was said to be scandalised by the cacophony that greeted the exercise.

The President himself participated in a primary in which the powers that be persecuted and tried to stop him from emerging as Presidential candidate of the APC in 2022. But he became victorious. While some aspirants have been “settled” to keep quiet, the dust is yet to settle. The APC leadership is still at the crossroads on how to put out the raging fire in Ondo State.

Perhaps, what has complicated Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa’s candidature are Certified True Copies of Independent National Electoral Commission reports that the primary election did not hold in the majority of Electoral Wards in the State. By Section 84(3) of the Electoral Act (2022 as Amended), INEC has the power to reject names submitted as candidates if the primary election was not monitored by the Commission. This may be the real danger lurking behind Lucky’s luck come November.

But because l am not a lawyer, l will leave the legal fireworks for the lawyers. I will confine myself to the political dynamics of the November election vis-a-vis the chances of the incumbent occupier of the seat in a State that is said to be the most sophisticated and politically enlightened in South West Nigeria.

The impunity and the commando-like operation that characterised the primary election have pitched many lovers of democracy against Aiyedatiwa and his APC. I am not talking about a few people who are merely maintaining table manners by not talking while eating. Even some APC members are ashamed of how the primary was conducted, especially when the Peoples Democratic Party demonstrated how party Primaries should be conducted. To make matters worse, because the APC primary was supposed to be by Direct Primary, the show of shame was witnessed throughout the State. The anger against “taking people for granted” cannot be mitigated against by mere luck. During the general election, the anger of the people will be expressed in their votes against impunity and high-handedness. Lucky’s luck will count for little.

In the last couple of months, there have been protests in many cities in both Northern and Southern Nigeria against the hardship faced by common people. Even the South West has not been insulated from these protests. There were protests in Lagos (Ebi Npa Wa) and at the weekend in Abeokuta. In an election year, the dashed hopes of the people will play a major role on where the lever of victory will tilt. Not luck.

On November 16, the people in Ondo State will go to the polls holding their destinies in their own hands. In seven years, we have experienced pain, hunger and anguish. Many parents watched their children drop out of school, when the APC government increased tuition fees from N30,000.00 in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, to N150,000.00 . Fees at the Ondo State University of Medical Sciences, Ondo sky rocketed to more than N2m per session. Husbands lost their wives in Mother and Child Hospitals, because they could not afford the required medical bills. Bills that were borne by the State under Olusegun Mimiko’s PDP administration.

When the Campaigns commence in July, the political class will decide whether seven years of an administration without constituting Boards and parastatals will be preferred to a PDP administration when Boards were fully constituted and functional.

More importantly, since the emergence of H.E Agboola Ajayi as the PDP standard bearer, leaders of APC have been awake all night. Because it has dawned on them that, Lucky’s luck will be insufficient to secure victory.

According to Greek mythology, Caerus, the god that personified opportunity, luck and favourable moments, had hair on his forehead, the sort that covered his face, not allowing people to recognise him easily but was bald at the back. The moral of the appearance was clear. If you had to prosper, you had to grab opportunity by the forelock, for once the fleet-footed god goes past you, there will be nothing for you to grab it by. In the case of Lucky Aiyedatiwa, it is clear, he will be unable to grab the forehead lock of Caerus, because the odds against him are insurmountable.


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