By Josephine Babatunde
As the members of All Progressives Congress (APC) all over the country are in celebration mood over the victory of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, it is time for the party’s spin doctors to have a rethink on the way and manner they disparage the office of President and its occupant in the build-up to the Osun gubernatorial election. Few days before the gubernatorial polls, the propaganda mills of the opposition party was agog with disjointed information that the Federal Government has militarized the State with the sole aim of rigging the election in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Now that Aregbesola has won the election, what has become of the propaganda churned out by the APC?
In a clear show of statesmanship, President Goodluck Jonathan was the first to congratulate Aregbesola on his victory. It was also a demonstration of the spirit of sportsmanship. But unfortunately, these could not thaw the hatred and bitterness that Aregbesola and his party have against Jonathan’s presidency. Instead of Aregbesola to be humble in victory, he is still talking as if he is in a war front. Read him: “Ordinarily, this should be a moment of joy and celebration consequent upon the hard-earned triumph of the people’s will. However, this election shows that democracy is still gravely endangered in Nigeria.”
Does it mean that his victory is not the true reflection of the people’s will since democracy at the point of his victory is still endangered?
Jonathan has been called all sorts of name by members of APC and the governor for no just cause. What is amazing is that some of the party chieftains in the state have feigned their arrest just to tar the image of Jonathan as somebody who is seized of tyrannical powers. Now, it is clear to well-meaning Nigerians that efforts to tar President Jonathan with the brush of undemocratic behaviour have failed.
Let us assume the result of the Osun gubernatorial poll did not favour the incumbent governor, it is deducible that APC members would have gone to town with the message that Jonathan rigged out Aregbesola and the APC. Now that victory is theirs, the like of Lai Mohammed and other spin doctors of the governor as well the party suddenly lost their voice to tell Nigerians how the presence of security personnel had helped their candidate in winning the election.
Even in victory the party and its members find it hard to accept with equanimity their victory, which shows how bigoted the party and its leaders are. One thing that is clear is that the victory of APC in Osun has not, in any way, been a death knell for PDP in the south west; instead, it has further endeared President Jonathan and the party to the people of the region. Reason? People of the region have seen that all the names that have been given to him and the party by APC and its spin doctors is to tarnish him.
When PDP trounced APC in Ekiti governorship recently, no single soul in APC had the spirit of sportsmanship to congratulate the party on its victory; instead, they linked the dismal performance of the party to the presence of security people. Even the incumbent governor of the State, Kayode Fayemi, who congratulated his opponent, Ayodele Fayose on his victory had to recant his earlier statement, saying he congratulated the winner to avert mayhem. What a shame!
Now that victory is hosting APC and its members in Osun, members of PDP have showed maturity by congratulating the governor. Demonising PDP and Jonathan in the pages of newspapers does not speak well of a party that wants to take power at the centre. One could begin to imagine what would be the behaviour of the like of Lai Mohammed if APC wrests power from the PDP in 2015.
I am not a member of PDP but a mother who has children whom I have inculcated good behaviour in, believing that our rulers will create an enabling environment for them to prosper. The attitude of the opposition party has proved that the future is bleak for our sons and daughters if opposition wants to intimidate, bully and forcefully influence the will of the electorate through their bellicose statements.
For APC not to be happy in victory, there is every chance that they are going to be violent and war prone in defeat. For Aregbesola to be lampooning the federal government even in the face of his victory is a sad commentary on the kind of party and personalities that want to determine our destiny from 2015 onwards.
Josephine Babatunde wrote in from Lagos