The return of democratic rule in 1999 was the beginning of a new dawn in the country as it brought an end to the reign of military rule.
As a student of Government, I was overwhelmed with joy because of experiencing the practical definition of democracy by Abraham Lincoln who defined Democracy as ‘’ government of the people, by the people and for the for people.’’
It is an undisputed fact that the template of democracy in the world derives its origin from the above definition. By this, people, ethnics, regions etc. are enjoined to fully participate in democratic progression of government policies.
This unprecedented ideology becomes obligatory in order to ensure that the dividends of democracy are enjoyed equally by people irrespective of societal class.
However, a situation where certain class of people or region fully participate at the expense of others who might be called the ‘’minority’’ is malevolent and detrimental to the progress of democracy in the country.
The case on point relates to the unequal presentation of candidates by the four local governments under Afijio, Atiba, Oyo West and Oyo East Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.
Till date, both Afijio and Oyo East local governments have never presented any candidate to represent the Federal Constituency.
For records purpose, the table below clearly shows how only Atiba (16 years) and Oyo West (4 years) local governments have been the only ones to present candidates for the seat since the return of democracy in 1999 till date:
Years Candidate’s Party Local Govt Area Tenure
1999-2003 AD ATIBA 1ST TERM
2003-2007 AD OYO WEST 1ST TERM
2007-2011 PDP ATIBA 1ST TEERM
2011-2015 PDP ATIBA 2ND TERM
2015-2019 APC ATIBA 1ST TERM
2019-2023 APC ATIBA 2ND TERM
Whilst the supreme law of this land authorized citizens to vote or be voted for irrespective of political affiliation or regions, it becomes illegitimate where such rights are segregated by certain class of people or region in the society.
By implication, the dividends of democracy are skewed in favour of the category of persons with access to power and the decision-making process while others are schemed out.
It is pertinent to state that rotational or zoning system amongst these four Local governments becomes indispensable in the interest of justice, equity and fairness.
For instance, a rotational system of voting candidates to the Oyo State House of Assembly in Afijio Local Government is laudable andcomes highly recommended in the circumstances. The acronyms’’AFIJIO’’ stands for Awe, Akinmorin, Fiditi, Ilora, Imini, Jobele, Iware, Ilu-Aje, Oluwatedo and Ojutaye which are the major towns constituting the Local Government and ten wards in the area. Thus, if the seat is zoned to Awe town, for example, any party that presents a candidate from other towns does that at their own peril.
On a final note, Community Elders, Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Political Actors, Youths, Development Associations and other stakeholders across the Local Governments should have a round table meeting at ensuring there is equal and fair participation/representation through rotational or zoning system as that is the only right way to go. The present injustice brought about by the discriminatory or domineering arrangement must not be allowed to linger on.
Written by Barr. Oyedokun Oyelakin,President-New Nigeria Leadership Initiave Forum,Balogun Ogunlade Compound,Ilora.Oyo State.08052686882.