In a thought-provoking exploration, a Lagos lawmaker has delved into the essence of democracy, shedding light on the crucial significance of winners and losers within the electoral process in commemoration of the 2023 Democracy Day in Nigeria.
With a fresh perspective and a deep understanding of democratic principles, this emerging leader has ignited a conversation that delves beyond the mere outcome of elections, especially with the fact that Lagos State and Nigeria at large recently concluded their General elections, eliciting various reactions.
By recognizing the pivotal roles that winners and losers play, the member representing Epe Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sylvester Ogunkelu aka Sketel spoke with Kakalistiq media in an interview in Epe over the weekend highlighting their importance as pillars of a dynamic and thriving democracy, where diversity, accountability, and progress intertwine.
“Winners and losers in an electoral contest are indeed integral to the very fabric of democracy. While the term “loser” may carry negative connotations, it is important to understand that in the realm of democracy, it signifies the invaluable concept of choice and competition,” he said.
In a vibrant democracy, Ogunkelu perceives elections as the crucible through which ideas, ideologies, and visions collide. He said that they embody the fundamental principle that power should be derived from the people and that the collective voice must prevail.
According to him, Winners symbolize the triumph of a particular vision or agenda, reflecting the will of the electorate. They are entrusted with the responsibility of leadership and have the opportunity to shape the course of their constituents’ lives.
Speaking further, Ogunkelu noted that the presence of losers in an electoral contest is equally vital, stressing that they represent the diversity of opinions, perspectives, and aspirations within a society. While they may not have secured victory at the ballot box, he believes that their participation plays a crucial role in holding winners accountable and ensuring the robustness of democratic processes.
“The presence of winners and losers reinforces the principles of inclusivity and pluralism. It reminds us that democracy is not about unanimity or silencing dissent, but rather about fostering healthy debate, engaging in constructive dialogue, and embracing the diversity of ideas that propel society forward.
“The experience of being a loser can be a catalyst for personal growth and reflection. It prompts individuals and parties to reassess their strategies, connect with their constituents, and refine their vision for the future. This, in turn, strengthens the democratic process and encourages a continuous evolution of ideas and policies,” he said.
Ogunkelu who was recently re-elected for another term in the Lagos House of Assembly emphasized that the significance of winners and losers lies in their ability to shape the course of a nation and safeguard the principles of democracy, adding that t is through the interplay between these two outcomes that our society can truly thrive, as winners are challenged to deliver on their promises and losers inspire resilience, innovation, and introspection.