By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir
What just happened in Osun? Under the nose of the ruling party? A whole APC state, with the South West as its stronghold, snatched by a supposedly lightweight candidate of the opposition PDP, who is thought of as just ‘The dancing Senator’? Did he dance his way to victory? Did his nephew Davido have a huge impact? Is the PDP rejuvenated and bouncing back? What in God’s holy name happened? Did Govenor-elect Adeleke, hold The Holy Grail, or was it just an isolated case of APC chieftains in the state on an anti-party trail, railroading their party into defeat? Understandably, there are quite a number of aggrieved party stakeholders in the state and it is assumed that they either didn’t work for the success of their party, or possibly worked against their party’s victory.
This scenario is a dejavu of the PDP victory in Bauchi State in 2019, when an incumbent APC governor was defeated by a PDP candidate, despite Bauchi being an APC stronghold – the tons of party chieftains in the state made it look assuredly like an own goal. Was Osun an own goal?
Sen. Dino Melaye in his usual reels, mocked the APC, milked the Osun election victory, and added a great deal of salt to the election injury of the APC. He has something to feast on now. Surely, Dino wouldn’t be magnanimous in defeat. It has encouraged him and many other PDP faithful, giving them confidence that their party is regaining ground, and will be in position to reclaim not only PDP states, but the presidential election come 2023. Osun is also causing ripples within the APC fold, and there’s palpable fear, that perhaps the APC may be on its way out of power, come 2023. The proverbial 16 years that the PDP enjoyed, may elude the APC, which seemingly has a divided house.
The reel from Gov. Yahaya Bello, congratulating governor-elect Adeleke; caught my attention, which is grace in defeat anyway, as it should be. He was in his trainers, punching a boxing bag, sweating it out in a gym, keeping fit. Those reels have become more like his trademark channel of information dissemination. He admonished the APC hierarchy, that this (Osun polls), is a stern warning, and a wakeup call to the APC that we must put our house in order. Truly, our house is not in order as it stands and I very much agree with Gov. Bello.
It seems that the older generation APC stakeholders, and other top hierarchy members, just cannot be bothered anymore, about the fate of the broom family. It can be drawn that they have already had their time, and enjoyed the offices that the party has had to offer, and are bidding farewell to government, the APC, and whatever change may stand for. Yahaya Bello is not a lone voice in this wake up call. There are millions of us who are not happy with the way things are being handled, by those that matter and can effect changes or bring about success in the party’s endeavours.
We the younger generation of APC faithful (not that I’m young but I’m forced to identify with the youths, as the older ones have refused to retire), are left to wallow in despair, of the downfall that may come the way of the APC, should one or two more Osuns be on the cards. We are the only ones that truly care, and perhaps believe in the so-called change. Where is the change, when sitting APC governors are losing elections in APC strongholds? Did the governor do enough to be re-elected by his people in the first place? Such vital questions must be asked, if the right solutions and answer are required. They say Osun is predominantly Muslim, and yet they voted for a Christian-Christian ticket? Does it practically apply that the religion card energy is fast dissipating? Is this just in the South West or it is countrywide?
The younger APCists and the new generation change drivers, must come together and work for the success of their party and the ideals sold to them, which they religiously believed in. The older crop of stakeholders should not be relied upon, as it seems they are out there fighting personal battles at the expense of the party, mortgaging the future of APC youths and the like. At eight years old, APC is just beginning, and should be nurtured to full fruition by selfless persons, who believe that the APC truly represents change.
Gov. Yahaya Bello’s presidential campaign has had the opportunity of showcasing how youths can come together under one roof, with one voice, to drive a message that represents their yearnings and aspirations. Gov. Yahaya Bello has been the campaign DG for the APC, in previous off season gubernatorial elections, and has delivered. People like him should be at the forefront of APC’s new and current battles.
Osun may be an isolated case, yet, its implications or meanings may have dire consequences, should things continue the Osun way. The destiny of APC, it seems, is in the hands of party loyalists of the younger generation, who will fight and struggle with their zeal and youthful might. They must be able to mobilise themselves and get Baba’s buy in. He recently said he would not leave a dime for his children to inherit. But of course he must leave legacies that his children will be proud of and bask in the glory of. We are all his kids and our family house is the APC. Baba, just as we loved you and cheered for you, and spent our resources to vote you; we seek your reciprocity, in nurturing us, and providing us with a platform that will cater for us when you are retired. So please Baba, do not tire now.