By Abiodun Komolafe
Ekiti State governorship election has come and gone, certainly with an accompaniment of the usual frills and thrills. In like manner, All Progressives Party (APC), State of Osun Chapter, has picked its candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in the state, expectedly too, with its pomp and pageantry. Add to these the twists and turns that characterized the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary – also in Osun – and one would appreciate the values inherent in the Direct Primary in the choice of party candidates.
Before I proceed, let me reiterate again that September 22, 2018 will be a straight fight between the ruling APC and the main opposition party, PDP. From the look of things, It’s going to be between purposeful leadership and credibility crisis. Specifically, it will be a battle between the urbane Adegboyega Oyetola and one ‘secondary school certificate challenged’-candidate of the leading opposition PDP. Put in strict terms, it will be an informed choice between a display of intellect and wisdom and belligerent, ‘kick-and-start’ power grabbers whose sole mission is to turn Osun into a contested space for a negative inscription on the trophy of our democracy. Well, those with contrary views had better interrogate what drove Iyiola Omisore out of the PDP, a house on which he’d until last year invested a fortune. As if the gods were angry, desperation met intrigues in a satanic struggle for relevance and the perennial governorship candidate became an outcast in his treasured nest. As posterity would have it, Omisore is now in the valley of his political career and only God can save Chrisore from self-inflicted troubles. By the way, since the Omisore debacle is beyond the scope of this piece, I’ll rather leave it till another day.
As well all aware, democracy rests on two pillars: participation and accountability. However, the hearts of those who use blackmail as a means of economic survival tell us a great story about how politics is played in this part of the world. Without being immodest, Kayode Fayemi’s victory on July 14, 2018 has again shown that no amount of false claims can influence a people once they’ve resolved to take their destiny in their hands. For instance, who would have thought that the former Minister would defeat Ayo Fayose without the incumbent governor acting the ‘Rock’ in his Peter? Were votes also procured in Irepodun/Ifelodun, Fayose’s Local Government? Without doubt, Oshoko’s loss symbolized the victory of competence over the primordial innuendos that have for some time been troubling our teething democracy. Good that Ekiti preferred performance to the imprisonment of such narrow concepts as tribalism, ethnicity and religious bigotry. They opted for social welfare, not stomach infrastructure which effects are indeed transient.
Amidst challenging status that, more than often cannot be screwed together, Ekiti reminds me of Osun, the ‘Land of Virtue’. That Osun now has a thriving economy in a tranquil environment and an increased number of students learning in a convivial environment attests to Rauf Aregbesola’s vision of a new dynamic history on his people. That a “journey of remarkable improvements” under “the most resourceful, consummate governor in the history of Osun” has also begun is not in doubt. Therefore, what dear state needs is an “inclusive, innovative and unwavering”leadership that can think into the realities of tomorrow. Politics aside, the state cannot withstand the deceit of some too greedy, ill-assorted and too deficient politicians whose attraction is to lazily line their pockets. The tiny-but-loud band of over-ambitious pollutants who think that the best way to make Osun grow is to deprive it the best that nature can offer should not be given the opportunity to take our state back to those years eaten by the locust.
Again, while those who are buying into the dubious claims that Adeleke’s academic baggage poses no threat to the ruling party have not presented alternative ways of addressing the conflictual contradictions inherent in political practice on this side of the globe, those who are now masquerading as vanguards of our democracy may have to re-examine more closely the roles of Wadata Plaza in the thoroughly corrupt, inept and tardy process that threw up the comedian as the PDP standard bearer.
But how did we get to this pitiable pass? For God’s sake, why are our wars now being fought around trivial issues while more serious issues like development and progress are consigned to being trailed by small bush fires? In Britain, David Miliband and Edward, his brother, once served as members of the British Cabinet. Jared Kushner, who is married to Donald Trump’s daughter, currently serves as Senior Advisor to White House. Here in Nigeria, we have the Adamu Ciromas and the Tony Anenihs to show for the George Bushes and Bill Clintons. Unlike what obtains in other climes where nepotism is synonymous with the changing colours of politics, it needs to be noted that Oyetola formally declared his interest to serve as Aregbesola’s successor and negotiated himself into the consciousness of the electorate. Little wonder he was validly elected as Osun-APC governorship flag-bearer by an overwhelming majority of registered party members in a primary adjudged as free and fair.
All lovers of good governance must aim at preventing a rollback of the frontiers of gains Osun has recorded under the Aregbesola-led administration. Essentially, Oyetola’s combination of intelligence, integrity and industry must not be sacrificed on the altar of fabulous narratives and slothful pastimes. He is a highly marketable product whose ability to inculcate private principles into political systems must not be subdued under the whims and caprices of fanciful imaginations. If given the opportunity to serve, I have no doubt in my mind ‘Ileri Oluwa’ is destined to execute his programmes with excellence and deliver on his “agenda of transformation that will deepen the current gains in infrastructure development.” Indeed, this is where the party in power has to do more, especially, in the area of sensitizing the voting public.
A stitch in time saves nine!
May principalities and powers, assigned to rubbish our leaders’ efforts in Osun, scatter!
*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, State Osun, Nigeria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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