Opinion

Opinion: Tinubu Is Not Aregbesola’s Only Albatross

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A lot of permutations are flying around concerning the likely outcome of the forthcoming gubernatorial election that will take place on August 9, 2014 in the State of Osun. As a proud son of Osun, it is my duty to add my voice to the on-going discourse, most especially because, following the Ekiti Election, at which the incumbent Governor, John Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress, lost to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ayodele Peter Fayose, some people hurled insults at Ekiti people for voting for a so-called “stomach infrastructure”. Those who chose to abuse rather than to seek understanding will never grasp the dynamics that informed the people’s choice. And as it was in Ekiti, so shall it be in Osun.

First and foremost, those who have singled out the overbearing influence of former Lagos State governor and national leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a major reason Governor Rauf Aregbesola will lose his election bid are right. I deliberately used the word ‘election’ instead of “re-election” and I will explain why later.

In second instance, despite all the media manipulations that try to conceal the truth, Osun people will never stop asking what is happening with the monthly allocation of the state when there is nothing commensurate on ground to show for it. Instead, everybody has heard that a certain former Lagos State governor has more or less turned the treasury of Osun to his ATM. Osun people can certainly not allow such a situation to continue. In fact, in public conversations in Osogbo and other parts of Osun, people openly say they can hardly wait for Aregbesola to pack his bags and return to Lagos where he was once a commissioner.

It must be said that Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not make election matters easy for Aregbesola and other APC governors when he decided to refer to the majority of Yoruba Obas as “useless”. As the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, said in his response to Tinubu, “when our country was upside down, it was the traditional rulers in this country that saved the situation. If we left the country as politicians did, there would have been no state for the leader of APC to rule when he came back.” If anybody thinks that Osun people will forget Tinubu’s insult to Yoruba Obas and vote APC, such a person is dreaming. Validation: the defeat of APC’s Fayemi in the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti.

For all that, Tinubu is not Aregbesola’s only albatross. The man himself is enough trouble to ensure no right-thinking Osun person would ever want to see him duly elected as governor: “elected” instead of “re-elected” because every discerning Osun citizen knows Aregbesola has never won an election since he became governor in 2010 through the court system, under questionable circumstances, presided over by then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami. Since then, it has been one trouble after another, so much so that there is tension in Osun, all because of Aregbesola.

If outsiders have forgotten his insult to Timi of Ede over ownership of the land where the governor sited a garment factory, the people of Ede have not forgotten. And certainly the people of Iwo will never forget that Aregbesola’s wrongheaded school merger initiative disrupted peace in the town when students ended up wearing masquerade costumes, church choir attires, hijabs and some clothes that cannot even be categorised all in protest against Aregbesola’s policy.

Still on the aspect of education, if outsiders have forgotten the scandal surrounding Opon Imo, Aregbesola’s tablet of confusion, the people of Osun cannot forget. Apart from all the fishy deals around the tablet, 150,000 units were supposed to be delivered, but Osun people know that not even 50,000 tablets have been delivered. It is important for these facts to be placed on record now, so that when we vote Aregbesola out, abusive people will not come and start insulting us with nonsense talk of “stomach infrastructure”.
And even while he goes around campaigning and beating his chest that he will win, Aregbesola knows his time is up. Why else would he suddenly set aside N2billion to pay compensation to those whose means of livelihood he destroyed through unwarranted and insensitive demolitions and destructions? Is that money meant to assuage the people’s suffering or compromise them? What of the civil servants (including teachers) in Osun who have been at the receiving end of Aregbesola’s insensitivity, some of whom are being owed for two months or more? Are these people supposed to vote for Aregbesola?

During my National Youth Service Corps days in Owerri, Imo State, I heard an Igbo proverb that I’ve never forgotten: “Let the he-goat keep growing a beard like its owner. On the market day we shall see who will drag whom to the market.” Since Aregbesola’s master, Tinubu considers Yoruba Obas to be “useless,” even after going around and collecting many titles from them, on August 9 we shall see who is truly useless. And let his stooge, Aregbesola, keep beating his chest that he can thrash anybody at the polls in Osun State. On August 9 we shall see who will thrash whom.

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Written By Kayode Ojo.

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