By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.
It is no longer news that money dictated the pace in the last governorship election in Ondo state as politicians took advantage of prevailing poverty level in the land to woo the people with several thousands of naira.
The people battle with hunger to the extent that they could not resist the temptation to mortgage their future for the port of porridge by allowing politicians buy their conscience.
If the trends of the highest bidder continue to determine who wins an election, then one wonders how long will the state remain in economy slavery going by the bazaar election.
It is a known fact that those that use public funds that ran into billions of naira to contest election, will be plunging their states into economy hardship by the time they start to pay back the money from where they got them.
A good example is Ondo state which attained a debt profile of N100 billion in 2009 which has now grown to over N450 billion before the 2016 governorship election, even when workers’ salaries remained unpaid for several months.
Most of these money bag politicians pursue their selfish interests at the expense of the masses that voted them into power by taking undue advantage of the poverty in the land to dangle carrots in the face of people just to win an election they do not merit.
A situation where N5 million is taking to a polling unit where we have 500 registered voters, calls for grave concern at this period when inflation is biting hard on the people.
It was indeed an open show of shame when six governors from neighbouring states arrived the state on November 24, 2016, two days to the election just to beat the security operatives.
Funny enough, their visits were celebrated with banners mostly in local governments in the Southern and Northern Senatorial Districts as they move about in plate less (unregistered) vehicles, to signify that ”money has come”.
The ”see and buy” been perpetrated by these Governors has inflicted more injury on the economy even as it may take the state a decade to get over the financial mess.
The rate at which money exchanged hands is largely determined by those who took money from godfathers and borrowed billions from political associates, this is best imagined by stakeholders and the right thinking people who believed that money and not the best candidate won the election.
What else could be desired of a man who has what it takes to make life bearable and comfortable for the people, someone who has occupied various offices at the Federal level for over 30 years and never soiled his hand.
The loss of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Dr. Olu Agunloye is very regrettable by those who know that the right candidate who could deliver the goods was not voted for because he took no loan that could plunge the state into financial mess after winning.
Some people in Ondo state are not celebrating that APC candidate, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu won the election since they know that hard time lay ahead for them.
Most people expressed the view that someone like Dr. Olu Agunloye deserves the mandate of all and sundry to govern the state, among the candidates. They said he is the only one that has the capacity and large heart for others. Very unassuming and a thorough gentle man, who has the quality to take the state to the next level.
If Dr. Agunloye had won the November 26 governorship election, it is believed that he would have used the magic wand he used in the FRSC as the pioneer Corps Marshall to turn things around and improve the economy of the state.
However, he has not allowed the result of the election to weigh him down, going by his comment that ”God’s time is the best”.
Going by the results, APC’s of 244,662 which almost doubles PDP’s 150, 381 and the AD’s 126,889 while SDP’s candidate polled 10,147 votes to emerge fourth, put together speak volumes that, naira and not the people spoke.
In actual fact, time will definitely tell, recalling how people now regret voting for APC at the Federal level with their ”Change” agenda that has brought untold hardship to people nationwide barely in less than two years.
Even though, an adage says experience is the best Teacher, people are yet to learn the bitter experience that our people pass through in neighbouring states of Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Edo and Kogi and even at the Federal controlled by APC government.
It is therefore believed that unless God come to ”our rescue” and remove poverty from the land, money will continue to dictate who rules the state and the nation at large.