Echoes and Lessons from the Kano and Oyo States’ Spirit…Fighting Corruption through the Electorate

Like we all know with the authentic facts and figures that the ancient city of Ibadan, South-West of Nigeria, and the most-populous Nigerian state by census, in the Northern region, Kano, are not just the largest cities in Nigeria, but are the most politically-advanced cities in Africa’s most populous nation.

You may call them any name that pleases you but the truth is that they are more advanced in politics than any city in Nigeria. When it is time to retire their political leaders, these two cities, Ibadan and Kano, don’t throw up ethnic or tribal cards. See how they permanently retired two in-laws in politics.

When Governor Umar Ganduje and his in-law, Abiola Ajimobi lost their states, it  was not  because they performed poorly, compared to Udom Emmanuel, the so-called “Governor do Nothing” of Akwa Ibom State, Ben Ayade of Cross River or Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, who individually and severally have been re-elected for a second term in their respective states.Ajimobi and Ganduje didn’t lose because the people of Ibadan and their brothers in Kano love the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, more than they love the All Progressives Congress, APC but their electoral woes went beyond love for parties. 

Truth be told!The dollar saga and lack of respect for elders played major roles in what befell them at the polls and the Ajimobi’s ‘Constituted Authority‘ video and the viral video in which Governor Ganduje was seen collecting bribe from a certain contractor, generated unfavourable responses before the elections. None of them was able to explain exactly what led to the actions that were caught on tape to the people of their states, who they should have been accountable to in the first instance.

Instructively, the good people of Oyo and Kano States took offence at the obsessive tendencies of their governors. Though the governors seemed to have become immune to criticisms, the people made up their minds that they would not allow either of them to continue to serve them as their leaders. 

While the people are celebrating in Uyo, Calabar and Umuahia over the re-election of their governors, who have seemingly done worse things in their states than taking bribes from contractors, the people of Ibadan and Kano demonstrated in unambiguous terms during the last election, of how the hydra-headed monster called corruption can be curbed in Nigeria. Ibadan and Kano have shown us all how to hold our leaders accountable.

They have shown that power truly belongs to the people and those who call Ibadan people illiterates and Kano voters Almajiris are senseless. You can only underestimate the voters at your peril.  The illiterate and Almajiri voters who outright voted out Ajimobi and Ganduje because of corruption are 200 times better than the so-called educated illiterates in the South-South and South-East who vote and celebrate corrupt politicians, regardless of their level of education. We need to copy Ibadan and Kano voters if we are serious about moving Nigeria forward.I am an Ibadan man and very proud to be one at that.Wole Arisekola, Ibadan.

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