Monday Reflections: Agitation for Political Patronage by Oyo State APC, Most Reasonable || Aderemi Ogundele

It has been a week long of hue and cry in the All Progressives Congress (APC) family of Oyo State over the overt, discriminatory and lopsided manner in which the federal political appointments are being handled. The cry is about the fact that the sharing formula is inequitable by all standard, and of course, Oyo State is being undeservedly shortchanged. The justification for this agitation is not farfetched. As a matter of fact, the Pacesetter State delivered the greatest chunk of votes for PBAT on February 25, 2023 in the presidential election. And to whom much is given, much is expected.

In politics and governance, people naturally expect spoils and patronage after winning an election. It is done by way of giving government jobs to party faithful, friends and relatives as a reward for working towards victory. This will certainly serve as an incentive to keep them working for the party. Anything contrary to this can be most demoralizing.

For the records, Oyo State contributed handsomely a bulk votes of 449,884 to beat its closest rival, the PDP with 182,977 votes, gaining a vote surplus of 266,907. There is no any state that can boast of achieving that electoral feat in the South West of Nigeria. For instance, in the States like Lagos and Osun, the party finished up with vote deficits.

The pertinent question to ask is why should States like Lagos and Osun therefore be so much generously rewarded while Oyo State is struggling for crumbs? What are the criteria for rewarding people after an electoral victory? What has really gone wrong?

The reward for success is more work as people would say on a good day. But more work must be accompanied by compensations. Working for electoral success is not a tea party in an hostile political environment like Nigeria. It is most demanding physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. It is energy sapping to say the obvious.

Therefore, when successes are achieved, it often calls for celebrations and of course, a high expectation of entitlements by those whom God have used to make things happen. But one year down the line, the Oyo State members of the progressive family haven’t been adequately rewarded. They are already expressing serious concerns. This is justifiable!

But what could have gone wrong as there cannot be smoke without fire? The dichotomy created by the intraparty crisis that rocked the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections is yet to abate completely. The wound is still not healed yet, truth must be told. The efforts being made by people of good conscience to have genuine reconciliation cannot be said to be successful yet in absolute term.

As we speak, Oyo State APC members are not speaking with one voice from the state level to the unit level. One can even say that the State Chapter of the party doesn’t have any voice at all that is loud enough to be heard in Abuja. No father figure, no rallying point and no clear-cut leadership that can captain the ship. It has become a case of everyman for himself.

At this point, the most reasonable thing is to put our house in order in Oyo State instead of pursuing personal agenda or personal vendetta as the case may be. Enough is enough of bickering and mutual suspicion among members. There are sufficient lessons to have been learnt from the two previous general elections in Oyo State. Personal attributes of individuals are not sufficient to determine winners of elections in party politics. Such can only happen in college or union elections. It is the commitments, cohesion and unity of purpose of party members of a political party that can bring success.

Let President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and, or those recruiting for his government take remedial actions in Oyo State by way of giving political appointments to deserving people. The president or his agents cannot afford to throw away the bath water with the baby. “Ti a ba ni ka diju ki eni buruku fi koja, eni rere na a lo” The year 2027 is around the corner when election season will come again. People need to be empowered ahead of the time.

Although, it is not everybody that deserves it that would have the privilege of being taken care of, but the moment a reasonable number of people are accommodated in the scheme of things, there will be peace.

All we are saying, give more political appointments to Oyo State, Mr President!!!

B. Aderemi Ogundele

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