As responsible voters involved in the Edo State 2020 election, it is pertinent for us to do an objective, analytical appraisal of the question of defecting aides from Godwin Obaseki’s government to the opposition. The opposition is making such a big deal about it, but I submit that they are under an illusion. However, we must not be facetious in examining the issue, because it should be important to us. And I think it is.
It is trite in the history of elections all over the world that the candidate that has found bonding with the voting majority wins the election. This is the empirical rule, except where there are a few exceptions. Aides to political leaders usually are not positioned to ‘win’ the election for their candidates for a few reasons that are especially so in Nigeria. So, let’s stay with Edo 2020’s case.
Reason number one. Aides to the Governor are appointed, not elected. Appointees’ spheres of electoral influence are patently limited. They have no constituency following, because they were products of either a politically influential individual or a unit of the political class. Outside that class, they control very little else apart from their nuclear family. In this connection, it is very important to point out that the percentage of the entire political class among the overall voting public is very negligible.
Even though every member of that class chooses to vote for an individual, there are still enough voters outside the class to upturn their votes. Of course, we know that it is not possible for the class to all vote for a candidate. There will always be those who will vote the opponent and those who will not vote etc. In Edo State, not less than six hundred thousand citizens are registered voters, but consistently in the previous elections, not much over four hundred and fifty thousand voters actually vote. So that we have about two hundred eligible voters outside the voting net.
The second reason is that these defecting aides have eroded any credibility they might have managed to have before their misadventures; because, even though they sometimes mutter some incoherence for their actions, everyone knows that their real motivation is pecuniary. It is public knowledge how much a particular aide costs according to his or her previous status in Obaseki’s government.
Again, replete in the public domain are volumes of videos of their past utterances. And if you know how it works, those who have your past utterances, also have your past deeds! No wonder, many are quick to deny any utterance made against their name as to why they defected. Trust me, they are not going to be anxious that those deeds be made public. Friends, our brothers and sisters did not exactly defect from overriding moral principles! So, what they have done was just to return to their company. Trust me, I don’t envy them!
Unfortunately, these are the kind of unprincipled, immoral and governance mercantilism that Edo people are angry about and fed up with. They are determined they must not allow such back in Edo’s governance system going forward. These obnoxious activities around these defecting only succeed in reinforcing Edo voters’ anger, because it reminds them too keenly of the moribund and inglorious past!
For sure, many Edo voters who have never used their franchise are angling to do so this time. They can’t wait to dump this whole non-sense!
Just read the ‘Comments’ on Social Media pages across the board or listen to feedback call-ins on television discourses about Edo 2020, and you would be able to understand the ethereal bonding between the non-political party voters with Obaseki’s vision and trajectory. And I am not referring to just the elite and educated class here, I’m talking of market women, street hawkers, cab drivers, artisans, teachers, community champions. You name them. They are all unanimous in their verdict: “let Governor Obaseki’s finish the GOOD WORK, he is doing.” Please note that the foregoing emphasis is theirs, not mine!
So, my submission ladies and gentlemen? It seems that after all, the over-hyped defecting brethren will not cause us any insomnia at last! We wish them luck! They will need it!