Elections are fundamental in the democratic process so much so that in leading countries such as Australia, Brazil and the Seychelles voting is regarded as a part of the social contract and is compulsory. In line with this, we enjoin all registered voters in the State of Osun to excise their civil responsibilities and vote in tomorrow’s local government election, for elections have consequences. Vote in the right candidates and there will be an advance in the quality of life through the elevation of living standards.
This is because amongst other things, in the words of a former speaker of the United States federal house of representatives, Thomas O’ Neill “all politics is local” The local governments are the closest in proximity to the populace.
Furthermore, the issues entailed in a municipality engage greatly in the everyday well being of the citizens. It is also a victory for democracy that the long delayed local government elections in Osun are coming up now after eleven years due to one litigation or the other. Very sadly, another set of politicians are still struggling to truncate democratic representation at the grassroots, this must be and is strongly condemned. We are happy that once again out of the state of Osun there is always something new. In this light, the innovation of the parliamentary system which will be entrenched in the local governments after tomorrow’s election is well appreciated and is commendable. Once again Osun is blazing the trail, as this is the first time a state government will be entrenching such an acceptable system in the councils in Nigeria.
The system makes the election to be more grassroot as each ward elects their representatives and after the inauguration, they converge to elect the chairman from amongst themselves. Supervisory councillors elected from within themselves contrary to the presidential system whereby the chairman and supervisory councilors are different from the elected councilors, which engenders acrimony and rivalry as well as encouraging waste in governance.
It is noted that a major political party is not participating in the election which is a strong reflection of the factionalised dissension in the party, but the participation of the other political parties like APC, Accord, LP, SDP and others is an indication that the process is acceptable.
As the OSSIEC Chairman said, 18 political parties are participating in the election. We also commend the electoral body for the thoroughness with which they have prepared for and will no doubt conduct the elections.
We therefore urge all citizens to go out and vote tomorrow in what we pray will be a celebration of democracy.