By Wale Elegbeyele
The place of merit and the will of the people which is the bane of our socio-democratic system in Nigeria has over the years been negotiated and undermined by various factors, sentiments, god-fatherism, zoning and all sort of political arrangements are some of these nefarious factors which has greatly marred the shape of the nation’s socio-political set-up.
The year 2023 is another highly significant year in the history and survival of the nation Nigeria as many important posts will be once again up for grasp and many politicians will be gunning for the various available top-prizes. For the people of Ondo North Senatorial district, the battle for the next general elections has just begun, the region is currently considered a strong foothold for the All Progressive Congress [APC], this been made evident with the result of the last election in the state. Presently, the senatorial seat is being occupied by none other than Senator Ajayi Boroffice, one who is regarded as the longest serving senator in the state, having spent over ten years as a senator. He was first elected as a senator under the platform of the Labor Party [LP] in the year 2011.
Having spent half a decade as a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, it has been said in various quarters that the quite experienced Senator Ajayi Boroffice is eyeing another slot at the Senate come 2023, a move which has started generating mixed reactions from the people of the senatorial district as well as other supporters of good governance in the state. It has been drawn based on the reaction of the electorates, that considering the antecedents of the serving senator over the last 10 to 12 years as a senator, there has been less to show for his representation. Judging by the numbers of years he has used in serving the people, it is logically expected that there should be more to show for it. With the harsh realities of the true state of the senatorial district over the years, which has left the members of this region yearning for a representation that will be committed to their growth and development through sustainable and impactful projects, it will not be considered a crime for the people to demand for a change in representation nor will it be bad if other candidates will make their resolve to contest for the senatorial post.
Prominent among those who has been touted to contest for the senatorial position of the senatorial district is Chief Alex Ajipe, business mogul, politician and philanthropist, MD CEO/ of Klick Konnect Network, he is hailed from Emure-Ile, Owo, Ondo State. While he has not officially stated his intention to contest for the senatorial post, he has been considered by many as the man to bring the much needed change to the senatorial district. He holds an exceptional antecedent within both the economic and political landscape of the nation. As an economist, he has with the Ondo State Government facilitated the rise of the economic fortune of the state, the Ondo Industrial Hub is among one of the numerous projects which he has helped the state to actualize as thousands of youths in the states has benefited directly and indirectly from the project, his brilliant ability to help the state attract both local and foreign investors has helped push the drive of the Akeredolu led administration to changing the identity of the state from a civil servant dominated state to an emerging industrial giant. His political strength came to the forefront last year as he leads the biggest and the most powerful socio-political group, the Ibi-Giga Ambassadors, a group that was highly instrumental to the victory of Arakunrin Akeredolu in the last election, the group boast of a strong membership base across the 18 local government area of the state.
While the sheer reality that a true progressive, young and energetic man who is exceptionally brilliant and willing to is ready to give it his all in the next senatorial election come 2023, it is rather surprising to see certain elements and figures starting to brew up un-necessary and illogical arguments to mar the democratic process involved within our democratic system. There have been various arguments regarding the candidateship of Chief Alex Ajipe and his right to contest, a bane of this argument centered on some existing political and zoning arrangements. Many supporters of Senator Ajayi Boroffice has continued to bring arguments relating to some unrecognized political arrangements to thwart the intention of Chief Alex Ajipe to contest, first we must come to the understanding that zoning arrangement or system is not constitutional, it is just another plot to retain power even when it is clear that you have not performed up to the expectations of the people.
When it comes to our electoral process, merit and the will of the people must come first before any political arrangement, Charity they say begins at home, if the supporters of Senator Boroffice are clamoring that other contestant honor the zoning arrangement, then we must take a look back at the time when he failed to honor the same political arrangement when he contested against Akeredolu, if he was faithful to the political arrangement that they now so revere all because it swings to their favor. Going by the political history of the state, During the Mimiko led administration, Ali Olanusi was the deputy governor, coupled with the fact that he is from Akoko, the Senate seat was also head by a man from Akoko, why not in the name of zoning give it to Owo kingdom.
It is high time we look beyond the tentacles of zoning and other political arrangements for the sake of our people, we do our people who are the electorate no good when we undermine their relevance by limiting their constitutional right.
The year 2023 is almost here again and the people more than before are ready and poised to make the much needed change that will advance their course, nothing else must stand in their way as their present and future solely depends on this.
Wale Elegbeyele is a political analyst and wrote this piece from Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State.