As members of All Progressives Congress (APC) all over the country are in celebration mood over the victory of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, it is time for the party’s spin doctors to have a rethink on the way and manner they disparaged the office of the President and its occupant in the build-up to the Osun gubernatorial election.
Few days before the gubernatorial polls, the propaganda mill of the opposition party was agog with disjointed information that the Federal Government has militrized the State with the sole aim of rigging the election in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Now that Aregbesola has won the election, what has become of the propaganda churned out by the APC?
In a clear show of statesmanship, President Goodluck Jonathan was the first to congratulate Aregbesola on his victory. It was also a demonstration of the spirit of sportsmanship.
Unfortunately, all such Presidential maturity had failed to thaw the hatred and bitterness that Aregbesola and his party have against Jonathan’s presidency.
Instead of Aregbesola to be humble in victory, he is still talking as if he is in a war front.
Here him: “Ordinarily, this should be a moment of joy and celebration, consequent upon the hard-earned triumph of the people’s will. However, this election shows that democracy is still gravely endangered in Nigeria.”
Does it mean that his victory is not the true reflection of the people’s will since democracy at the point of his victory is still endangered?
Jonathan has been called all sort of names by members and governors of APC for no just cause.
What is amazing is that some of the party chieftains in the state have faked their arrests just so as to tar the image of Jonathan as somebody drunken with tyrannical powers.
Now, it is clear to well-meaning Nigerians that such efforts to smear President Jonathan have failed.
Just for a moment, assume that the result of the Osun gubernatorial poll did not favour the incumbent governor, it is undountedly if APC members would have accepted: they would have gone to town with the message that Jonathan rigged out Aregbesola and the APC.
Now that APC has gotten the victory, the like of Lai Mohammed and other spin doctors of the governor as well the party itself have all lost their voice to tell Nigerians how the presence of security personnel had helped their candidate in winning the election.
Even in victory, the party and its members find it hard to accept with equanimity, their victory.
One thing that is clear is that the victory of APC in Osun has not, in any way, been a death knell for PDP in the south west; instead, it has further endeared President Jonathan and the party to the people of the region.
Reason? People of the region have seen that all the name callings he had been subjected to by APC and its spin doctors were only meant to tarnish him.
When PDP trounced APC in Ekiti governorship recently, no single soul in APC had the spirit of sportsmanship to congratulate the party on its victory; instead, they linked the dismal performance of the party to the presence of security people.
Even the incumbent governor of the State, Kayode Fayemi, who congratulated his opponent, Ayodele Fayose on his victory had to recant his earlier statement, giving an excuse that he congratulated the winner to avert mayhem.
Demonising PDP and Jonathan in the pages of newspapers does not speak well of a party that wants to take power at the centre.
One begins to imagine what would be the behaviour of the like of Lai Mohammed if APC wrests power from the PDP in 2015.
I am not a member of PDP but a mother with children in whom I have inculcated good behaviour, believing that our rulers will create an enabling environment for them to prosper.
The attitudes of the people in the opposition party have proved that the future is bleak for our sons and daughters as they intimidate, bully and forcefully influence the will of the electorate through their bellicose statements.
For APC not to be happy in victory, there is every tendency that they are going to be violent and war prone in defeat.
For Aregbesola to be lampooning Federal Government even in victory is a sad commentary on the kind of party and personalities that want to determine our destiny in 2015.
• Josephine Babatunde contributed this piece from Festac town, Lagos. [myad]