Home Opinion OYO101: Why Tokenism And Hooliganism Won’t Win GSM Re-Election | Muftau Gbadegesin

OYO101: Why Tokenism And Hooliganism Won’t Win GSM Re-Election | Muftau Gbadegesin


The roiling events of the past few days in Oyo PDP have shown stiff battles lie ahead of Governor Seyi Makinde’s re-election bid. And more than anything, the idea that tokenism and hooliganism might give the Governor a leg up in the 2023 poll appears counterintuitive. If you read the leaked chat of Oyo councilors published by some online Newspapers, over their poor welfare package, you’d start to connect the dots and understand the trouble with GSM’s brand of “innovative politics”. If politics is truly local, which it is, there is fire on the Governor’s re-election mountain. Contrary to the communiqué of apology signed by all the 351 local parliamentarians and released to the public by Taiwo Adisa, the Governor’s spokesman, the discontentment goes beyond media facelift and won’t fly into the air with a pledge to work for the Governor’s re-election.

It is true the Governor has approved a new welfare package for the lawmakers, but what is that made that simple administrative exercise difficult for the councilors to understand? Why would they even resort to politics of name-calling and mudslinging in the first place? The simple answer is that the problem runs deeper than the welfare package: It is the total of the disaffections against the leadership style of the Governor: Kind of a vote of no confidence on His Excellency.

In a way, the welfare package is just one of the layers of the problem the Governor is avoiding as far as local politics is concerned. It may be too early to ascertain the level of damage that leak voice note would cause to the Governor’s second term ambition. And for now, it is better to watch from close range. Consequently, it is easier to dismiss the various hydra-headed challenges confronting the Governor’s second term bid if one is saturated in the media orgy of the present administration. Things like the cold war between him and his deputy, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, the baffling virtual demonstration of Oyo councilors, defections of Honorable Muraina Ajibola, Senator Kola Balogun, Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeniyan, Honorable Mulikat Akande Adeola, the state rising debt profile, the incessant killings in Ibadan, the Auxiliary public outcry and perceived discrimination and marginalization by the Governor among others. For those watching from outside in, GSM re-election is sacrosanct, non-negotiable, and unimpeachable.

But those following events from the inside-out and even with internal wrangling and leadership tussles tearing Oyo APC apart, are all acutely aware the game is unlike any in the past. This is what separates informed citizens from the Governor’s internet bootlickers.

Those from the inside know the journey to winning re-election is long, windy, and tumultuous. Late Senator Abiola Ajimobi’s ability to break the second term jinx in the 2015 elections has much to do with his sterling performance (which GSM has tried to outwit) and his association with the political tsunami sweeping over the country. Ajimobi benefitted from Buhari’s landmark victory, and people voted for APC to be with the government at the center, politically. None of this is likely to surface as we inch closer to the next poll.

In addition, it is preposterous to think that the revival and resurrection of tokenism and thuggery with the crowing of Mr. Mukaila Lamidi as the ‘King of PMS boys” will bring electoral fortune for the Governor. Far from it, the perceived master of tokenism and hooliganism couldn’t even win re-election when he needed it the most.

Winning the next election goes beyond throwing crumbs at people or manipulating their minds through premeditated propaganda. The tasks ahead will be a test of many factors. That’s not to say the Governor is a pushover or didn’t stand a chance to flog his opponents. All things being equal, the Governor still leads other contenders and perhaps pretenders for the Agodi job; in part because his major challenger is yet to clinch the opposition ticket. In some states of the federation where Governors seek re-election, the competition is not as tough and nerve-wracking as what is going on in the state. This is one reason Oyo is called the Pacesetter state.

In Lagos for instance, there is little to what the opposition could do to upend the status quo. Similarly, in Osun, the opposition is nearly in disarray with battle for the gubernatorial ticket. Likewise in Ogun and other states but in Oyo, a united opposition can always unseat a ruling party in a free, fair, and transparent election.

In the weeks ahead, the coast will be clear and the potential of GSM winning re-election will start to gather momentum or disappear into the quicksand of history.

OYO101, is Muftau Gbadegesin’s opinion on issues affecting Oyo state, is published on Saturdays. He can be reached via muftaugbadegesin@gmail.com and 09065176850

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