Elections are a vital part of every functional democracy as it aids the transition of power from one government to the next. The primary purpose of an election is to allow the electorate vote their preferred political representatives to serve the interest of the people. Several things, however, can influence the choice of the electorate including the credibility of the parties contesting for the elective positions: political affiliations, the personal bias of the electorate towards the opposition parties, and the opinions of others as it relates to the contestants.
As Edo prepares to go to the polls on September 19 to choose the next governor of the state, the run-up to the election has been a hot topic of discussion across Nigeria, due to the political tensions that have characterised the pre-election period. Ranging from the fall out between the incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, and his estranged godfather, Adams Oshiomole, to the defection of Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The state has also witnessed significant levels of inter-party violence that has led the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, to organise a peace meeting between the warring factions. But, the crisis with the forth-coming Edo election has now escalated to a point where past leaders, based on their political affiliations and personal biases, are now dictating to the Edo people who they should vote for.
The former governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Saturday, pleaded with the people of Edo in a video now gone viral to reject Obaseki and vote for the opposition, Pastor Ize-Iyamu. On the flip side, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar countered Tinubu’s plea, calling on the Edo people to come out and vote en masse for Obaseki.
In the usual manner, Nigerians are divided on the issue:
Lol nothing wrong with that though. It’s all politics and no leader wants to lose to the other party.
— HIM. Mr. Ola ?- ?- (OG) (@ulsherlan) September 15, 2020
He has just campaigned for Obaseki without knowing. With this Obaseki will be overwhelmingly voted for. Who wants to give their state to one man to pocket.
— Eyenidara Essien (@silas_essien) September 15, 2020
Both APC PDP should not win.
For ones, in a life time.
Nigerians should vote alternatives.
The two parts are the same.
After the election, they will reconcile and loot together.
That's the standard. They become friends after every elections.
— Theo Odunlami (@todunlami) September 16, 2020
May God bless you @atiku
Edo is not Lagos.
— Emorhakpor O Timothy (@ovotymtech) September 15, 2020
The main reason why Tinubu wants Edo to reject Obaseki is that he, (Obaseki), did not struggle for the democracy Nigeria enjoys today! What a joke! Jagaban Bullion Van has completely lost it! Pray, did his Buhari struggle for democracy?!Is there really democracy in Nigeria today?
— Abdulraheem St John. (@StAbdulraheem) September 15, 2020
When two elephants fight, the grass is what suffers.
Who Tinubu and Atiku help? Birds of a feather targeting Edo treasury.
— Nothingness (@EbubeNnewi) September 15, 2020
Kudos to Atiku ???
— Ajibola Abdul-rahman Akinjide (@abdul_akinjide) September 15, 2020
It's only a confused Edo citizen that will be desuaded by these external influences from voting the right person that will take their state to the next level. All these external forces have nothing to lose.
— Oyelowo Isaac Sola (@deshola0532) September 15, 2020
From the look of things, if Edo people are not careful enough to weigh the options for themselves, the opinions of the past leaders may affect their choices. While they might have a leaning towards one particular school of thought concerning the best candidate to vote for, they must keep in mind the fact that they are the ones who will live with the outcome of the election, not Tinubu or Atiku whose agenda may or may not reflect what the Edo people want in their next governor.
The future of Edo is in the hands of the Edo people, hence, the need for them to vote wisely devoid of sentiments.