Effort to expand political choices of electorates during elections beyond two major political parties is one that has experienced difficulty and sabotage in both countries with developing democracy like Nigeria, and even countries with fully matured democratized electoral process like the United States. We have seen cases where smaller parties attempt to merge to birth a third force that can match the strength and popularity of the ruling party and the major opposition for obvious reasons. Running alongside major political parties with access to multiple streams of funding, with some political power is tremendously exhaustive but not impossible. It is even more tasking for young political hopefuls, who are not ready to conform and worship godfathers for anointing.
The gubernatorial candidate of the Young Progressives Party, in the Osun2022 election, Dr. Ademola Bayonle is the youngest candidate in the race, as an indigene of Osun State who has payed a close attention to Osun politics over the last 16years, I am far convinced that he deserves every support he needs as a man who probably left his job in the United States, put his all on the line to challenge what seems like a tradition of inheriting retrogressive leadership, year-in, year-out. Therefore, the good people of the state of the virtuous need to walk the path of transformation by trying something completely unusual. This wave of transformation signaling the beginning of an epoch in Osun state must not be rendered inefficacious by the youths of the state who should stand to defend their future.
We do not only need to participate in politics, resourceful youths who have made great impacts in their chosen careers early enough, who have mustered the temerity to go into politics deserve to be encouraged, supported and lifted so that he could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with old politicians who have no retirement plan. Youths supporting youth is the only path we can walk to having more youths with quality leadership experience in politics, and to make the old politicians know that the youths of today have known their place in nation-building. The 35-year-old governorship candidate, Dr. Ademola Bayonle is not only young, he has the right skills set to fix the state. Aside the fact that he works at the Havard Medical School in Massachusetts, United States, he has spent most part of his life working with the black community in Boston, in the United States, to give back to their home countries in Africa. I first heard about his foundation, the Dr. Ademola Bayonle Youth Foundation, which gave my community a borehole water long before I saw that he is a young man, vibrant, and has an interest in politics.
We can’t go to the polls with two wrong options in our heads, again. I think they are 15 candidates in the race, we should try to expand our choices, make a critical examinations of their individual capacities and agenda for the state, think about the consequences of having to do the same thing over and over again; we have Dr. Ademola Bayonle who has records that distinguish him from other candidates. His exclusion from series of the pre-election debates further confirms that he is that golden fish the regular politicians characterized by so much corruption, incompetence and prebendalism are working really hard to keep hidden. Things to look out for in this forthcoming Osun election should ordinarily centre on capacity and the will to transform the state. Ademola Bayonle has demonstrated the capacity to transform the state, he has a good intention for the people of Osun judging by his manifesto and philanthropic gesture exhibited over the years.
Nikki Reed’s assertion about voting and the choice of voting is as accurate as it could, the position was that, “Young people need to vote. They need to get out there. Every vote counts. Educate yourself too. Don’t just vote. Know what you’re voting for, and stand by that.” This is the time for the good people of Osun who have been denied quality life for decades to not just vote but know what they are voting for, who would steer the wheel of the state for four years. Our votes will reflect how woke we are and how prepared we are to engineer the change we have anticipated for. However, I plead with the angry youths and frustrated Osun indigenes to give peace a chance, ensure the election is peaceful, non-violent and dignifying. This is a chance to vote in the pattern we have been ruled in the last four years, any violence during and after the election is a distraction, and must be resisted.
Written by: Oluwaseyi Oyetunbi