By Tayo Odesanya
The season is here again, the craziest of seasons in our sociopolitical existence as kinsmen -the general election calendar- when nerves fray the most- which recent (especially cyber) events have strongly suggested we are not having it any differently on this episode, & expectedly so too in politics that interests will constantly clash.
I’ve entertained a barrage of requests for my opinion on the raging controversy as it borders on especially a fraction of the Ikorodu twin constituencies, the II part precisely, upon which I initially nursed some reluctance, but finally rose today to briefly ventilate a few concerns therein.
It revolves around the ROTATION POLICY upon which the fate of their representation at the state assembly has been premised. An initiative that might have been inspired by what obtains at the national level to prevent the dominance of one ETHNICITY over the others in our political leadership, albeit not constitutionally rooted.
This raises the question: how many ethnicities abound in Ikorodu II? Your answer is identical with mine.
Respectable personalities are currently jostling for the seat as periodically required by law, but the raging storm has centred on the incumbent’s decision to equally throw his hat into the ring as against the two-term gentleman rotational agreement amongst the tripod of Ijede, Imota & Igbogbo/Baiyeku, that make up the constituency.
If the subject matter is Democracy, which has as one of its institutional expressions (in modern representative democracies): the equal rights of all normal adults to vote and to stand as candidates for election; periodical elections; equal eligibility for executive and judicial office (provided the essential qualifications for the performance of these duties are satisfied); a practice Ikorodu Division, except constituency II has since upheld, then it’s important that we properly contextualise our concerns as contained in its tenets.
If my frank opinion is sought, I’ll consider the rotation policy at that microcosmic level as divisive and retrogressive at this modern political epoch, and hence suggest it be reviewed.
It is one factor that has mentally fractured the constituents, reduced governance to mere financial empowerment for the person at the saddle, and embarrassingly renders any representative “unquestionably” indolent owing to the structure that guarantees his/her office stay for a stipulated period, delivering democratic dividends or not!
Let’s paint some scenario, that the counterpart constituency equally adopted the archaism, that is, Ikorodu West, North & Central. Or by extension that they clamour to replicate the idea at the Federal Constituency level, we certainly would have failed to produce any pride of the nation in the mould of Hon. Jimi Benson who is certain to return to his office yet again UNOPPOSED, on account of PERFORMANCE, & not sentiments. Or even that another party candidate than the APC triumphs against the controversial rotational policy, what then becomes of it?
I can’t figure how a bill sponsored by any rep, regardless of his origin in the tripod or any constituency project initiated is restricted to a particular section of the constituency and not their general benefits afterall.
Interviews conducted across aspirants on the need to review and consequently discard the policy consistently dismissed the idea of a supposed “beneficiary” as ideal to disrupt it, which raises the question: who then, how, or when will the cat be belled?
As we approach the general elections, it’s pertinent to urge whoever eventually assumes the coveted office to put these concerns into consideration with the understanding of other stakeholders on the need to ditch divisive ideas and embrace unifying ones.
May the Irunmales bless Ikorodu Division.
Tayo “The Prof” Odesanya, writes from Ikorodu