Monday Reflections: What Lesson for Oyo APC in the Last LGA Elections? || Aderemi Ogundele

The 2024 local government election in Oyo State has come and gone, but not without leaving behind the memories that will linger with us for some time to come. The opposition party (All Progressives Congress) rattled and unsettled the party in power on the d-day.

Gov Seyi Makinde and his co-travellers actually tasted a baptism of fire in the hands of the APC. They never in their widest imagination bargained for a tough and stressful local government election. But they eventually had one which stretched them almost beyond their elastic limit.

Although, they claimed to have won all the chairmanship and councillorship seats, but the heaven and the earth know that they failed woefully in that election. It was a case of “kaka ko’mode pa mi layo, ma se ojoro”. They brazenly committed all sorts of electoral malpractices just to safe their face. They coasted home with the stolen mandates freely given to the APC candidates by the people.

It could have even been better for His Excellency to appoint local government caretaker members using the instrumentality of the State House of Assembly instead of conducting a wasteful and shameful election. However, the deed has been done, but definitely, the consequences await the transgressors.

Be that has it may, what lessons should the opposition parties take home from that charade called election? Many lessons of course. But for the purpose of this article, I just want to single out one, and that is Unity. Yes, unity, togetherness and cohesiveness is essential. That is the only antidote that APC needs to achieve success in any future elections.

Just because the party was polarized in 2019, it lost to the incumbent governor, Seyi Makinde. In the build up towards the 2023 general elections, unresolved internal wranglings fragmented the party again, and that led to another avoidable loss. The implication of this is that the more the party wallows in crises, the less their chances of winning elections. This is a simple theory of cause and effect.

After the milk had been spilled in the 2023 general elections, common sense eventually prevailed on the actors that coming together was the way to go. And it was in that spirit that the party went into the last local government election as a family. We can all see now that there is strength in unity. The party in power was not only shocked to the marrow, but also choked beyond their expectations in the process. Their candidates were trounced across the state. What saved the day for them was the daylight electoral robbery that they perpetrated.

But it is quite disheartening to note that instead of working towards consolidating and sustaining the elements that gave the APC an edge in that election, even though it was not allowed to materialize by the power that be, some people are still fanning the ember of discord as we speak.

Their problem is about who wins the next gubernatorial ticket, forgetting that what matter most is not about winning the ticket, but securing the eventual victory at the poll. Winning the ticket in 2019 did not lead the party into the government house in Agodi. The same thing happened in 2023; somebody won the battle but lost the war.

This is the time to build the platform and unite the members. It is not yet the time for serious politicking. Even if you have a strong candidate, but the party in which to run is fragile, your candidate will go nowhere. It is like riding on a bicycle in a race, whereas your opponent is on power bike. You will only labor in vain. We have seen it before, and I pray that we don’t see such again. Therefore, let all the attack dogs of the gladiators go and simmer down. They should be tutored on how not to weaken a party structure ahead of the general elections. It will be counterproductive.

The mood in town is tilting favorably towards the All Progressives Congress, but it has to be managed very well. It is an opportunity that must be grabbed with both hands this time around and not to be squandered as usual. We all have a role to play today in order to safeguard the future. In other word, the future electoral success of the All Progressives Congress is congruent on how well we build the party today.

B. Aderemi Ogundele

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