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EDITORIAL: Out Of Osun Something New!

EDITORIAL: Out Of Osun Something New!
  • PublishedOctober 21, 2022


WE are taking liberties here with the often cited observation of the Roman Emperor Pliny who said that “out of Africa there is always something new”. The chequered history of the State of Osun has seen many twists and turns; they include electoral sleights of hand, never ending election petitions tribunals and the bizarrely termed “ inconclusive election”.

Last Saturday, there was yet another innovation, the design of a ballot paper for a hurriedly put together local government election which looked more like the Yes or No options used in a referendum than what is associated with an election. The few amount of voters who took part in this incursion into the theatre of the absurd must have been befuddled. This is certainly a first in Nigeria, sadly, it is reminiscent of the show piece “elections” associated with totalitarianism.

The exercise is a setback for anyone’s conception of a democracy and must never happen again. Furthermore, the costs-benefits analysis of this exercise does not add up. It certainly does not favour economic development and fiscal prudence. The amount spent on the exercise will have created some agro industrial cottage industries and the multiplier effect in terms of direct and indirect employment as well as revenue generation will have been immense. This is the way to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

Fundamentally, our democracy is not developing. And it was not always like this. In the nineteen-fifties, the regional governments lost seats and control of local governments, even though they and not the central authority had constituted the electoral bodies. 

In addition, in a functioning federalism, the state electoral commissions and not an ubiquitous central electoral commission in our case, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could be conducting national elections and sending the results to INEC for collation. Once again, the pro – federalist argument has been obstructed. 

We will have to grin and bear it. Nevertheless, the verdict of history will be harsh on all those complicit in the heist last Saturday.

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