The election was won. The election was lost. Now we can look at that fevered page in our history and reflect.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) by a margin of 19,338 votes. The loss must have come as a lance in the lungs to Governor Ayodele Fayose, who had stoutly declaimed a support base of eighty per cent among his people.
Fayose’s (the PDP’s) candidate for the gubernatorial election was Prof. Olusola Kolapo Olubunmi. How many people really knew he was the PDP’s candidate? Very few. On TV it was Fayose’s face they saw; in the streets it was his voice they heard. Fayose was everywhere in noise and theatre. Perhaps without having planned to, he had denied Prof. Olubunmi the chance to truly speak to the people and elaborate on his plans and programmes for them. That was error number one.
It is baffling error number two was made by a man who knew the system well and had gifted the phrase “stomach infrastructure” to Nigeria’s political lexicon. Nigerian politics has long been debased, and money and your willingness to give it, rarely merit, opens the gates of success as a politician. Governor Fayose knew this but was parsimonious with his inducements, offering about N3,000 per vote. The APC out-bribed him.
About this, sadly, he can do nothing. He is in opposition now and has a stubborn adversary in President Buhari, a man he had once wished dead in a spell of thoughtlessness. Fayose’s drubbing at the polls, and the resultant political impotence, has only exacerbated his theatrics and choleric outbursts.
He should know better. Nigerians rarely listen to a howling loser. He should use this period to reflect and maybe make enough money to out-bribe Fayemi in the next guber. That is the tradition as we know it in Nigeria. After all, Dr. Fayemi had only to wait till this election. Then he bested Fayose in the egunje department.