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Politicians Watch Out… Voters Have Ganged Up!

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The biggest lesson for me, from the Osun election, is that no two elections are alike but most voters now think alike. It is now the voters’ market and I believe this is good for all of us. Free and fair elections are trending, thanks to the Transformation Agenda in that sector as powered by President Goodluck Jonathan. Thanks too to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the leadership of Attahiru Jega. Thanks again to the ruling party, PDP that has put aside its commando takeover tactics of the past.

But it is the electorate that we must really attribute the success of the new dawn to. Voters are getting more sensitive. And politicians, especially those seeking office must wake up and smell the coffee.  The days of buying votes appear to be ebbing away. Gone too is the hope that winning the primary ticket is the most important thing to do. You may get the ticket and then get the boot. And there is equally no magic in the best paid campaign ads as the electorate can read between the lines, go beyond the sound bites and make up their minds on what or who they want.

And what are the voters looking for? True leaders and not pretenders! In the Osun episode for instance, the PDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, comically tried to show he also has “street credibility” by grabbing a corn and chewing it in the public. Trust the Osun electorate! They immediately saw through the charade. You can’t suddenly become a Fayose if you are not one from day one. The people would see through the façade. 

Another politician dying to be loved is Governor Rochas Okoracha. There is a current television advertorial of the Owelle standing atop a crowd screaming “my people, my people”, to which the crowd would chant back “my governor, my governor”. It is almost funny but I’m easily reminded of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany or Benito Mussolini in Italy – all of them dictators, who used the power of oratory to sway the mob and file the people behind them. But they all led them to the pit like the pied piper.

So can voters be wrong? Can the electorate be wooed by a monster? Is it possible for a transparent election to throw up crooked person as the leader? The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is yes. And that is the tragedy of popular choice. A good people could be swayed by a fantastic actor who, in the long run, may turn out to hurt them the most. Yet, the majority must have their way – even if it is the way to perdition.

…Still on That Ndigbo Example

I took a beating from some of my readers who were irritated by some serious errors in last week’s column. My big bros and mentor, oga Eddie Iroh, quickly raised the alarm over my usage of “Ibo” instead of “Igbo”! How I made that mistake is still haunting me. The limits of human knowledge! I hereby therefore tender an unreserved apology to all Igbos for whom I have nothing but admirations.

The other vexed issue was where I said the Igbos were developing the South-east. My good friend, Emmanuel Onwubiko angrily called me to tell me I was wrong. He said I should go to the South-east and see my “development”. As far as he was concerned, the Igbo’s have developed Abuja, Lagos and everywhere else and have left their homes in tatters.
Nnamdi Duru wrote in that if I ever repeat the mistake of calling them Ibo, I would be shocked at the reaction of Ndigbo. So, again, I apologise.

Now, I don’t know when my love for the Igbos started. May be it was when growing up at Wukari in present day Taraba State. I grew up with the Dogo family. Dogo – an Igbo man – got his name from his height. Dogo is “tall man” in Hausa and the locals fondly call him that. His wife was called “Matan Dogo” – Dogo’s wife! Dogo kids - Ikweagu, Okechi, Chinasa and Chinyere – became the other siblings I had.

And that was where I learnt to eat all the great food consisting of Oha, fufu, onogbu and all the other cuisine that make South-eastern meals the best for me. And the same creativity in making these dishes has gone into other areas: music, sport, science, medicine, transport etc. You can see why I’m urging us to emulate them? 

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Senator Iyiola Omisore     Osun Election     President Goodluck Jonathan     INEC     Governor Rochas Okoracha     Nnamdi Duru     Matan Dogo     Ikweagu     Okechi     Chinasa     Chinyere