By Akin Akinremi
Democratic rule evolves consequent upon the flaws and shortcomings of other governance systems; military and monarchial rules. To date, the system has become dominant in countries across the world, because of its flexibility, inclusiveness, developmental centric and most importantly, the absolute sense of belonging it offers to citizenry, regardless of their creed, race, sex, religion, ethinicity, age etc. Even though, democratic rule was adopted in Nigeria some six decades ago, the political class still find it absolutely difficult to imbibe the tenets and ideals of this novel concept, which in all sense, is designed to locate power in the hands of the people.
In the chequered history of democratic governance in Nigeria, only Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu have embraced almost in totality the concept, philosophies, ideals and cultures of democratic governance. The late sage absolute respect and trust for the ideals of democracy produced political titans like Chiefs Bola Ige, Adekunle Ajasin, Abraham Adesanya, Sam Ikoku, Ayo Adebanjo, Jonathan Odebiyi, Bisi Akande, Lateef Jakande, Bisi Onabanjo etc. The aforementioned political powerhouses were all product of people’s mandate and internal democracy of Action Group/UPN.
Asiwaju of Yorubaland, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has elevated the ideal to the national level. As far as Jagaban is concerned, emergence of political and elected leaders should ideally be product of people’s mandate. It’s the process that guarantees inclusiveness and sense of belonging in government. His conviction that power must be in people hands has produced the likes of President Muhammed Buhari, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Aminu Tambuwal, Ahmed Lawan, George Akume, Abiola Ajimobi, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Rauf Aregbesola, Sheu Sani, Adams Oshiomole, Femi Gbajabiamila, so many senators and parliamentarians, both at national and state levels. Nigerians are living witnesses to developmental forays of these politicians, in the affairs of the nation and their respective constituents.
Deeply schooled and locked in the same school of thought, is the front runner and leading candidate, as well as widely accepted governorship aspirant in Oyo state, Chief Niyi Akintola. The Legal Luminary, a professional of excellent standing, is of firm believe that power belongs to people and government decisions must always flow from the people. The highly cerebral and accessible Legal titan, has eloquently pronounced in different fora that his administration is set to return power to where it originally belongs-peoples’ domains. For upteemth time, he reaffirmed the declaration during the recently concluded political tour of all the LGs & LCDAs across the state, with his large entourage. Before then, he has made the same declaration in his TV, Radio programs appearances, as well as in the print media. For people that know the Legal Icon very well, this is a done deal, for he is not noted for flippancy. He’s an apostle of walking the talk always. What does the concept of power returning to the people of the state portends?
It indicates that decisions on economic issues, infrastructural developments, socio-political matters, as well as other issues, bothering on people’s welfare will be subjected to people’s views and opinions through town hall meetings and other interactive channels, before final decisions are made. It also suggests that, all the citizens of the state would be stakeholders in the government. Appointments at ward, state and national levels would bear the imprint and endorsement of political leaders. Party leadership at all levels will exercise tremendous influence in all the affairs of the government. Every individual, irrespective of religion, race, sex, age, as well as party affliations, will have a voice in Akintola’s government.
If Asiwaju Tinubu’s template of ‘power belongs to people’ continually records huge success in South West Geo political zone and presently, across the nation, the adoption of the same template suggests that there would be a new generation of vibrant, resourceful and purposeful administrators in the state, with economic, political and infrastructural development of the state, been the biggest beneficiary. Its instructive to state that Akintola candidacy presents a new horizon, new valve and new face for the people of the state. Never in the history of the state as political system throws up a candidate with so much qualities. Akintola is shrewd, politically gifted with amazing knowledge of the history and people of the state, he aspires to govern. His friend base cuts across the nation and also in different professional spheres. He is widely travelled, extraordinarily accessible. Nature also endows him with tremendous organization ability, above all, he is embodiment of who a progressive man should be.
With Akintola in the saddle comes 2019, new dawn beckons in Oyo state and this would be in all facets of human developments. As we inch towards the 2019 general election and more importantly, the primary of APC, this is therefore a clarion call for the political leaders, APC Leaders, Leaders of thought, traditional rulers, market women, youths and other stakeholders across the state to rally round the candidacy of Niyi Akintola and give him opportunity to implement those lofty goals, dreams and visions for the benefit of the state.