Home Essays And If You Win Election My Brother, Godwin by Anointed Ifekristi. 

And If You Win Election My Brother, Godwin by Anointed Ifekristi. 

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When I heard the results of the September 19, Edo gubernatorial elections, what came to my mind was the hit song of one of Nigeria’s popular musicianKorede BelloGODWIN’, which coincidentally is the name of the man who emerged victorious at the polls. Indeed, September 19 was a memorable day for democracy in Edo State and in fact, Nigeria. I was considering several topics for this essay, one of them included; ‘Edo no be Lagos’, a slang that was birthed few days to the election, which proved that Nigerians are awaking from their slumber The election proved that Nigerians are hungry and thirsty for genuine democracy. 

A Yoruba proverb says: in order to know where we are going to, we must remember where we are coming from. In other words, to explain the positives from the Edo State Gubernatorial Elections, we must understand what really happened. 

Godwin Obaseki was the incumbent governor of Edo State, but his chances to win the election were very slim. He won the election to emerge as the governor in 2016 under the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but now he had crossed to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He wanted to seek a second term in office, but the powers that be rejected him, so he crossed to PDP where he contested and had a landslide victory. Even though 14 political parties registered to participate in the elections, but it was a battle between APC and PDP, another feature of democracy which I can is admirable. 

There were expectations towards the elections, people predicted that heads would roll, blood would spill, properties and lives would be lost, but we had quite the opposite, although, there were minimal casualties. According to electoral observers, it was to a large extent a free and fair election. Even though a total of 2,210,534 people registered to vote in the elections, about 483,000 people refused to pick up their voters’ card. We had about 1.7 million voters, who were accredited, but just 537,407 people voted, but nevertheless it was a big win for democracy. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was also impressive in the dispensation of their duties, even though there were hitches, but they did a good job. There was also heavy presence of security personnel, to prevent irregularities.  I am pointing out these facts to prove that, the election results expressed the will of the people. 

Contesting against Godwin Obaseki was Pastor Ize-Iyamu, from APC who looked favourite to win because of the powers behind him. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who presented Godwin Obaseki as a worthy candidate 4 years ago, in the same vein condemning Pastor Ize-Iyamunow turned around to say the exact opposite of what he said 4 years ago. Apart from Comrade Adams OshiomholeObaseki had a host of other enemies; the absentee 14 lawmakers of Edo Sate (allies of Adams Oshiomhole), political Godfathers, and the ‘leader’, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

Left to some people, Godwin Obaseki already lost the battle, due to the forces behind the opposition, but the people had other plans, which went down in history as a day to remember in the quest for genuine democracy in Nigeria. Despite everything, Godwin Obaseki won with a margin of 84,336 votes. He had 307,955 votes while Pastor Ize-Iyamu of APC had 223,619 votes (Source: THIS DAY Newspaper). There a lot of positives to take away from the turnouts of events, in which I will point out accordingly below. 

POWER BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE 

It is just as if a scale was removed from the eyes of the people and all of a sudden, they realize power rests with the electorates.  Greta Thunberg said and I quote: ‘The real power belongs to the people. We have the power to elect whoever we think can represent us adequately, that is the essence of democracy. The people have come to realize this, and I know it’s a start of something great. 

NO TO GODFATHERS 

An important lesson learnt from the election is that, the people know what they want, and what they don’t want. Nigerians don’t want godfathers, and they visibly attacked it with their votes, and this might actually be the beginning of the end of godfatherism in the country. It has proved that all Nigerians need is to gather courage and be united, in that way, we will conquer anything. Nigerians are tired of taking dictations on who to vote for, we have realized that we have the power to elect who we want, and it’s high time we wake up from our slumber.  Despite the agenda against Godwin Obaseki, the people stood with the leader they wanted. Few days to the election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu recorded a video straight from Lagos telling Edo people not to vote for Obaseki but rather vote for Pastor Ize-Iyamu, Edo indigenes grew angry challenging his authority to decide who they are to vote for, telling him to know his jurisdiction, which gave birth to the slang; ‘Edo no be Lagos’. Godfathers are not elements of democracy, they only disrupt free and fair election, and Nigerians now know that it is time to say no to GODFATHERS. 

LEGACY 

Politicians will also learn that leading a good legacy while in governance and being a good political office holder who has the interest of the electorate in mind is better than being power drunk thereby seeking power at all cost. 

PARTY POLITICS 

Nigerians have learnt to stop partisan loyalism; staying glued to a political party who is in total disregard for public interest, instead they are voting for an individual who is competent. In the Edo Gubernatorial elections, people looked beyond the parties and voted the man of their choice (even though, this is not totally true). 

It further points out that the Independent National Electoral Commission can truly be independent, and it’s only a matter of time, we will soon be having totally free and fair election in Nigeria. 

 

CONCLUSION 

 To be sincere, the Edo gubernatorial elections, is a sign of good things to come. Nigerians has seen what we can achieve together if we’re united, every ’wall of Jericho’ will be brought down if we are united. It is a pointer to what we are to expect in the2023 Presidential elections, a good foundation is being laid, enough of oligarchy, the power belongs to the people, and the people are ready to make use of that power. 

Anointed Ifekristi is a Part 4 student of the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria and can be reached on Twitter @@ifekrist

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