2011 ELECTIONS FALLOUT: FACES AND VOICES WE WILL MISS

2011 ELECTIONS FALLOUT: FACES AND VOICES WE WILL MISS


It is no more news that Vice-President Namadi Sambo lost at home in all the elections and that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was also roundly thrashed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to bring back the memories of 1999, when Chief Obasanjo, as Presidential Candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), though Chief Obasanjo won the election as a generally acceptable candidate across the country, he lost in his ward to reflect his unpopularity at home front and rejection by his people, in as much as Arc. Namadi Sambo will still be visible in the polity for the next four years, the political death knell of Obasanjo’s myth and others that lost in the election may have been sounded.

The recently concluded elections came with major upsets, as many big names in the political landscape will be missing out in the next four years or forever. Honourable Dimeji Bankole, the number four citizen, is the biggest casualty of the 2011 election. His loss cannot be unconnected to the overwhelming influence and spread of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), ably led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, all over the South-West. Hon. Dimeji’s tenure as the speaker of the House of Representatives was quite eventful though with several confrontations and skirmishes over allegations of mismanagement of public funds. The political scene will miss Dimeji and his greatest foe Dino Melayi as both are not coming back to settle their scores, most of which were won by Dimeji.

Preparatory to the general elections all eyes were on the Anambra Central Senatorial District, an electoral contest between two gladiators, Prof. Dora Akunyili and Dr. Chris Ngige. Akunyili has bestrode the national political scene as a colossus since her days in NAFDAC followed with her support for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan during the saga of Late President Umar Musa Yar’adua’s illness and eventual demise, when she called some other members of the cabinet as ‘Cabal’ who have hijacked the machinery of government unconstitutionally. Her dumping of the PDP, a platform that brought her to national limelight and joining All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) after her resignation as Minister under Jonathan to pursue her senatorial ambition was viewed by many as an act of disloyalty until she led her new party, APGA, to endorse the candidacy of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of PDP for presidency. She was upset at the polls by Dr. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Ngige, a former governor of Anambra State is regarded by the people of the State as an ‘Oracle’ who during his tenure brought development to the state. The ‘Oracle’ was two powerful for the gap teeth crusader in the battle for Anambra Central. Unless appointed a minister, which is far from reality, she will definitely need spirited effort to come back to reckoning.

Another face that will be missed is from Imo State, the Governor Ikedi Ohakim. Ohakim ranked very high among governors who are ever present on the pages of newspaper and on television screens, the media is always awash with testimonies of his achievements in Imo State as Executive Governor, a seat he won on the platform of Progressive Peoples’ Alliance (PPA), a party he later dumped for PDP preparatory to the election. His cross carpeting was the was the first sign that all is not well with Ohakim in Imo State and his eventual defeat by renowned philanthropist, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, did not come as a surprise. A factor that led to his defeat was that he stepped on many toes and those toes eventually toed away his ambition to rule the state for the second term.

In the league of Ohakim is the ever troublesome Alao-Akala of Oyo State. The ‘Owambe’ governor’s myth was shattered by Abiola Ajimobi of CAN, a no mean feat, judging by the notoriety and recklessness of the incumbent Adebayo Alao-Akala, who many see as an unserious individual with little or no respect for the electorate.

In Zamfara State the Sardauna Zamfara, Senator Alhaji Sani Yerima activated his political machinery and displayed his prowess and acceptance by his people, as he led the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to reclaim the state he once ruled from Alhaji Mahmud Shinkafi, his former deputy, who he unilaterally installed as governor in 2007 after the completion of his two terms between 1999 and 2007. Record has it that Alhaji Sani Yerima was the only governor that named his deputy his deputy as his successor and work assiduously for his victory at the polls in 2007. Little did shinkafi took over the reins of power in Zamfara that he turned his back on his mentor and dumped the ANPP for PDP, getting married to daughters of former military President Alahji Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) and General Aliyu Gusau both of PDP and later presidential aspirants in the party. Observers believe that Shinkafi’s moves were aimed at demystifying Yerima’s stronghold in Zamfara, a venture that failed at the end of the election. The then Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari in the state in 2007, who also eyed the governorship seat but later opted for the House of Representatives would now be sworn in May 29 as the baton of leadership change hands.

“Distinguished Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, can we hear your view?” this common tone will be missed by regular viewers of NTA in the voice of Senate President, David Mark. Senator Olorunimbe Mamora from Lagos State is practical one of the most heard voice in the Senate with articulation and proclivity for objective discourse that conforms with the yearnings of the people he represents in the Upper chamber of the National Assembly. Senator Mamora is a true reflection of the people he represents ‘Eko for Show’. He will be greatly missed after he willingly stepped down for Gbenga Ashafa in order to allow development in other parts of his senatorial district and also to ultimately obey and respect the supremacy of his party, ACN.

To be missed also is the incumbent governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Akwe Doma of the PDP who was accussed of misrule and blatant refusal to listen to voices reasoning in his state. His albatross being the sacking of local government chairmen in his state and his failure to rescind the decision even when a competent court ruled in favour of the sacked chairmen, who popped champagnes to celebrate  after his defeat at the polls by Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Another image dealt with fatal blow by the Action Congress of Nigeria in the election is Senator Teslim Folarin of the PDP from Oyo State, Leader of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly. The senate Leader who was implicated in the gruesome murder of Alhaji Akinsola Tokyo – factional leadr of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State – during the electioneering campaign was crushed at the polls by the superpower and tsunami of the ACN. Iyabo Obasanjo was also consumed by the ACN and helped by the irreconcilable difference existing within the PDP in Ogun State, a crises of confidence created by his father, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the incumbent Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel on their insistence to dictate who takes over the state on the expiration of Daniel’s tenure.

In Nigeria, where winners take all, experience has shown that a defeat at the polls is a signal to an end of a political career. Most times taking the grace of God, extraordinary good deeds while in office and sheer determination and hard work to bounce back to reckoning, these losers may likely vanish like ice off the dish from the polity for some time to come in the likes of Jolly Nyame of Taraba; Olusegun Agagu of Ondo State; Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia etc. We shall surely miss them all, so long!

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