By Dimeji Adeoti.
Nigerians, through civil society organisations, democrats and the international community right after the annulment of the 1993 ,june 12, election popularly won by Chief Moshood Kolawole Abiola of blessed memory, confronted the country’s military junta frontally with dire consequences for some of the activists. That struggle premised on the enthronement of freedom, justice, equity,fairness, and good governance in the nation birthed the democratic order, though, with its crudities and imperfections in 1999. With the inauguration of the President Olusegun Obasanjo civilian regime same year, the long suffering people of the country heaved a sigh of relief and looked forward to a democratic dispensation where the rule of law,respect for human rights,dignity and freedom,the protection of lives and properties decorated with the inalienable welfare of the people shall hold sway. Whether those expectations, yearnings, and aspirations of the people after a long military interregnum were met is open to debate. Depending on the ideological or material prism or perspective from which one looks at it, its been a story of missed opportunities and woes. For the masses of the people, their yearnings and aspirations are yet to be met. The struggle continues.
A dispassionate and objective interrogation of the system,civil rule, with special interest on Ogun State under the watch of Governor Dapo Abiodun of the Apc is imperative arising from the political situation and tension generated in the state due to the brazen and unconscionable manipulation of the last election by the governor, his party,security agencies and INEC in favour of the governor. The dust raised by the audacious and unabashed electoral robbery is yet to settle with the supreme court billed to give a conclusive verdict on the election before the months end. It’s worthy of note,that ,Ogun State parade a lot of prominent Nigerians who have made their marks in all works of national life. They include, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, former Premier of the defunct Western Nigeria and leader of opposition in the first Republic, late Chief Moshood Abiola winner of the annulled 1993 election both of blessed memory and President Olusegun Obasanjo who took over from the military after the military supervised transition programme in 1999. With the array of leaders which the state had been endowed with, one is tempted to take for granted good governance in such an environment. However, what is happening therein since 2019 is in clear negation of the ingredients of good governance.
Ogun State, alias Gateway State,hitherto, witnessed progressive and purposeful governments that prioritise the welfare and well-being of the people, advancement, and respect for human rights and dignity and the provision of critical infrastructures that conduce to economic growth and development. With the emergence of Governor Dapo Abiodun, in 2019, the metrics of good governance changed negatively.
Governor Dapo Abiodun,through his ineptitude and irresponsible handling of governmental affairs, has stymied all the gains in governance by his predecessors in all aspects of government. The governor’s score card is a shameful study in lack of accountability, probity, and transparency. Local government funds are recklessly misappropriated without due regard to local challenges and needs in the rural communities of the state. Infrastructural decay are obvious all over the state. Alternative options of democratic expressions are hounded ,arrested, and imprisoned. The civil service and bureaucracy are under stress,workers are owed salaries, the health care facilities are in distress,the roads are in a terrible state of disrepair, unemployment is at all time high and corruption has become increasingly apparent and left unchecked.
These parlous state of affairs are unacceptable and unsustainable. That informed the massive turnout of voters in the 2023 elections to reign in Governor Dapo Abiodun and reclaim their mandate from an uncertain future under the governors superintendence. The voters through their votes, clearly rejected the governor. This civic duty by the populace was truncated with the active connivance of INEC. The people are optimistic that their wishes expressed in the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state will be affirmed by the Supreme Court so as to be free from the asphyxiating stranglehold,the oppression,the brigandage, the trampling of human rights, the high unemployment rate,the poverty, and, the associated despondency under this fascist regime.
Let the supreme will of the people as the sovereign prevail.