Osun 2018: Why PDP leaders’ protest march to INEC is a great mistake

By Sunday Elom

No doubt, the recently concluded governorship election in Osun State has gone down in history, the knowledge bank of all ages, as one of the most controversial elections in Nigeria.

This is given the heated controversies generated by the election, largely due to the alleged irregularities that transpired during the poll, especially as regards results. By media reports on the first day of the election, September 22, 2018, Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, won with the 353 votes margin but INEC declared the election inconclusive.

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Funny as it seems, the election became conclusive after the September 27, 2018, rerun election that pushed Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, above Mr. Adeleke by all means with 482 votes margin.

From the reports by different accredited media reporters, it is obvious that the PDP has right to disagree with the election result. After all, it is constitutional for a political party to disagree with the election result which such party lost. But there is also, not only a constitutional but mature approach to administering such grievance.

Election Tribunal has been saddled with responsibility of entertaining and determining electoral cases. All things being equal, if the aggrieved party is able to prove her case beyond every reasonable doubt with substantial evidences, the judgement will definitely be in her favour.

Street protest, even if it is constitutional, is never a reasonable approach for political party to administer her election grievances. If there must be protest to that effect, it should be by the disenfranchised voters.

Unfortunately, the leaders of the PDP, specifically Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Ben Bruce, Uche Secondus (PDP) national chairman), among others, made a great mistake on September 30, 2018, by carrying out a street protest in the capital city of the country. The effect of which, no matter how justifiable their grievances are, has positioned the organisers of the protest wrongly in the minds of political experts, international communities.

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The protest has further given international communities the opportunity to rank Nigeria as ‘a political-baby’ nation. The worst of it is the involvement of the President of the Nigeria’s Upper Chamber of National Assembly, the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki. Funny enough, Saraki was one of the PDP presidential aspirants.

It is too bad that whosoever that counselled the PDP leaders to organise the street protest either never envisaged its present and future consequences on the dignitaries or intentionally set them on snare. As expected, the protest has elicited certain undeserved comments like: “it is a charade” “what a childish act” etc.

Well, the leaders of the protest must swallow their prides and endure the comments no matter how they feel, because one must reap what he sows. Meanwhile, PDP leaders, their supporters and other politicians must always evaluate every counsel given to them before executing it. This is essential considering the fact that the party is in the opposition camp trying to wrestle power from the ruling APC at the centre.

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