One of the presidential aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the just-concluded primaries, Dr Cosmos Ndukwe, has told the PDP not to over-celebrate the victory of the party’s candidate in the Osun State governorship poll, Senator Ademola Adeleke, insisting that personal efforts and not party logo delivered him.
Ndukwe who said it was not yet uhuru for the PDP, submitted that Nigeria electorates had risen to vote for individuals based on their antecedents and competence instead of party membership.
The former Deputy Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly who spoke exclusively with Vanguard on the heels of the Osun poll, reminded the PDP that Adeleke’s popularity and goodwill and not the party’s logo earned him victory.
He argued that Adeleke would have also won the election even if he contested under the platform of another party because he was more popular among the people than other contestants.
The former Chief of Staff to the Governor, further argued that those that voted for Adeleke were “obedient voters” and not just PDP members.
Those that voted for Adeleke were ‘obedient’ voters, so, nobody should celebrate. Adeleke is good and ‘highly obedient’ and that is why ‘obedient’voters in Osun State voted for him.
” My party should not over-celebrate. Adeleke did not win because he is in PDP; he won because he has impacted lives. He won because he identifies with the people.
” His victory is what I call personified voting democracy – voting for individuals in place of voting for party. If Adeleke were in another party they would have still voted for him because he has endeared himself to them.
” He has always opened his door to the people. During the COVID-19 you saw how he was sharing palliatives to the people. So, people saw the election as a pay back time.
” Adeleke won because he was acceptable to his people. His overwhelming goodwill to Osun people is what they are rewarding.
” PDP should not rejoice yet because they saw that in Ekiti we could not even come third. So, it was a vote for the individual not for the party. It was purely a personal effort by the Adelekes not party.
” What has happened in Osun State is an indication that people have jettisoned voting across party lines. They now vote for individuals, and you will see more in 2023.
” Defeating a sitting Governor with all the structure at his disposal is no jokes. But if as a sitting Governor you are not carrying the party structures along, definitely, during election the people will abandon you.”
The former Commissioner for Trade and Investment further saw Adeleke’s victory as an indication that the people are beginning to repose confidence in the electoral system.
” Adeleke won because the people are now beginning to believe that the Bimodal Verification Accreditation Machine, BIVAS, is real and functional.
“Our party should not over-celebrate yet because people have woken to the reality of knowing their right and if our party presents the wrong candidate anywhere people will still go for the right candidate.”
The PDP presidential aspirant expressed displeasure over the attitude of PDP to South East, warning the party over the grave implications of treating the entire zone with disdain.
He regretted that since after the primaries the party and the presidential candidate are yet to reach out to the zone for true reconciliation.
” Even some of us from the South East who spent our money – N40 million, bought forms, but we have not been reached for any reconciliation. There has not been genuine reconciliation. The presidential candidate only made efforts to few people.
” Those of us who felt that the South East was terribly marginalized and abused. Our party Constitution on zoning (Section 7, sub-section 3B) was abused. It wasn’t reviewed before they threw the presidential ticket open.
” Till date they have not reached out to those of us who contested with Atiku. None from the South East has been reached including Mazi Ohuabunwa. They only made partial contact to very few people. They still think that some of the aspirants from South East are nonentities.
” It appears that PDP doesn’t care about South East; and you think that people are not seeing all these things and react during election?”
He declared that the 2023 elections would no longer be business as usual as the electorates have become more politically enlightened.