#EdoDecides2020: Winners and losers
By John Eche
As the curtain gets set to be drawn on the Edo governorship polls, let us begin to identify some of the winners and losers that have emerged this far so as to draw lessons for the politics of Nigeria going forward.
The Umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
This agency has to completely come into its own. It must be independent in word and deed, completely neutral and most efficient. It must drive its processes using the highest standards of integrity and transparency and must strive to adhere to global best standards. Its role is so critical, it cannot fail. And at the moment, Nigerians are giving it the benefit of doubt, while hoping it would not succumb to any last-minute mis-steps.
The political parties, their agents and supporters are a critical flank of the chain that must get their acts together. This far the consensus is that they have largely been under-performing. They need to sit up and become real political parties that offer specific and defined options to the Nigerian people and who strive to be the best vehicles of power and development that the country can use. They should learn lessons from Mali: the people are not obligated to defend so-called democratic vehicles that do not add any discernible value to their lives.
Here two things need to be seriously addressed. The first has to do with the character of the parties. A situation where the two principal contenders in the contest, Governor Ize Iyamu and Mr Osaze Ize Iyamu switched party platforms at the tail end of the process leaves the entire system shortchanged. Second, parties must work at building and deepening their internal democracy structures. It is crucial. One final charge has to do with the smaller parties: there is a science to politics; if you must play, go and study it!
The people of Edo are the real heroes of the process. They turned out to vote, they resisted shenanigans and they monitored the entire outcome. Going forward, this attitude should be sustained countrywide. Herein lies our hope for a renascent nation. The people must decide who rules them and punish those they are displeased with.
Godfathers and Tin-lords
The message that is emanating for this tribe of actors is that ‘your days are numbered.’ If the current scenario is sustained, it will only be a matter of time before all members of this tribe are vanquished. But this would only come through continued and sustained insistence by the people. A new day may be in the offing for Nigeria.
Security agencies are valuable and their job description is clear: to secure the nation and its peoples. They should stick with their brief. Nigeria needs them to do just that.
The polls outcome has implications for the political careers of many of the frontline players that had participated in the elections. Other than Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki in particular, there are going to be issues going forward for even the careers of some of the non-Edo political gladiators who threw their hats into the ring. Three people to watch here would be Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Ganduje of Kano. Then there is the very touchy issue of what happens next in the political career of the former labour leader, former governor and former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
To be continued
APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu