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By Moribisasi Ojetunde
These are interesting times in Osun State. Interesting times because it seems that the fear of the voters have become the beginning of wisdom for the politicians in the state. It is a good thing for democracy except that this was not the case until the Ekiti earthquake that swept out an arrogant state executive that is an apt representation of the APC’s leadership who never gave a damn about what the people thought, felt or wanted. It is a beautiful thing that the voters are now the beautiful bride. It is a good development and it would serve our people well on the long run regardless of whatever mistakes that might be made going forward.
The voters, or if broadly viewed, the people of Osun have a lot to thank the people of Ekiti State for since June 21, 2014 when they voted out Kayode Fayemi and sent him packing. This event has caused the lot of the people in Osun State to improve. It has caused their so-called “revolutionary and unusual” governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola to come down from his high horse, walk on the scraggy ground and feel the pains of Osun people that he had hitherto ignored . Suddenly, things that were thought hitherto impossible have become possible in Osun State. Things that the teachers, the artisans, the Local government employees, the civil servants and other pressure groups thought could not happen have been happening. Just all of a sudden!
Areggbesola’s hitherto hallucination was that the Osun people have no choice but to vote for him and his APC regardless of how the people were treated. He believed erroneously that the Osun people would not even consider the PDP as an alternative or any other party for that matter. He believed he could kick the people around the way and manner he liked. He believes that the Osun voters are in a tight corner where there would not be able to find an outlet except accepting, voting for and living with the arrogance of the APC and their godfather from Bourdillion.
But thanks to the Ekiti people for sending a very resounding message. All of a sudden, Aregbesola has found time to meet with the principals and the headmasters of all Osun State schools after almost four years in the saddle. He has met them and trying hard right now to gauge their feelings. Now, Aregbesola wanted to know what they are feeling, what they are thinking and what they can do to help his government as well as what they can contribute to the education policy in Osun State. The Osun State Conference of Principals and Headmasters are showing courtesy to him. They are listening to Aregbesola. But they are wondering if he is sincere. They are not sure he is honest as they ask themselves, where is he for the last four years? Why now? Is it because of the coming gubernatorial election on August 9? How are sure he would not punish them more severely in the coming years as soon as he wins the elections?
All of a sudden, Aregbesola has been able to find funds to pay the salaries of the teachers and the civil servants in Osun State. He suddenly found means to pay them and tried to convince them that the civil servants “are in the same boat” with him. Before now, the civil servants could go to hell. Their votes are not needed. They could not do a thing about his re-election and he would win hands down without their support. He ignored their concerns and seemed to deliberately victimized them. His Chief of Staff told the civil servants that their votes would not be of any effect and that their support was not important. But all of a sudden, all the backlog of salaries was paid and July salaries were even paid in advance.
To the amazement of the civil servants, the females amongst them have been getting gifts of rice, vegetable oil and cash from the Aregbesola’s campaign. All of a sudden the votes of the civil servants appeared it would count on August 9. But the civil servants have the same questions that the teachers are having – why now? If Aregbesola had all these resources why did he make them suffer for several months before paying their salaries? Why did he wait till when the election is around the corner before he felt that they matter? The civil servants are wondering that if Kayode Fayemi was not kicked out of Ekiti State House, would they still be going hungry with their respective families? Would they still continue to suffer indignity from Aregbesola and his APC? Would they still be in abeyance in the calculus of things in Osun State? How are they sure that things would not revert to status quo ante after the elections if they vote for Aregbesola on August 9?
All of a sudden, Aregbesola was able to find funds to pay the entitlements of the pensioners. The pensioners who have been hitherto dismissed as very limited in number and of no consequential electoral value, all of a sudden are being courted by Aregbesola. He found the funds to pay their emoluments. They are also asking the same questions. They are wondering if they do not have a sadist at the saddle in Osun State? They are asking where did the funds come from? Did he have the funds all this while? If so, why did Aregbesola hold out on them? Why did he not pay them? Is this related to the defeat of his fellow governor in Ekiti? Is this new gestures a function of August 9 elections? Could this kind of person be trusted to do the right things after August 9?
All of a sudden, the Okada riders are new brides in Osun. They are getting new tyres and tubes for their motorbikes across the state. Some of their leadership who complained that they had waited several times for several hours to see Aregbesola but to no avail are wondering where did all this largesse come from. They are wondering if someone whom they waited for about 8 hours before seeing him on one occasion and did not even bother to give them 30 minutes audience is a sincere man. They are wondering if Aregbesola is not giving them a bait to get their votes on August 9? They are wondering if they should buy what Aregbesola is selling them hook, line and sinker?
All of a sudden, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola is a political bride that Aregbesola and his mentor, Alhaji Bola Tinubu has to prostrate for. This is the same man that the APC lie-machine is calling a “murderer”, “thief”, “killer”, “thug” and all the ugly names in the book. This is the same Oyinlola that Tinubu, Aregbesola and their gang of propagandists wants the entire Yoruba Nation to see as a devil reincarnate. This is the same Oyinlola that the APC wants all of us to believe was an “undesirable element.” Yet, it is this Oyinlola that the APC leadership is chasing all over the place to buy his support. They have been going to his house without being invited and paying unscheduled visits to his house. Where lays the integrity of Aregbesola and his Tinubu? Does it mean they have been blackmailing the Prince of Okuku? Does it mean they have been lying against the former governor of Osun State? Or is it that Aregbesola is shameless in his pursuit of power?
It is always a good thing when a governor responds to the yearnings of the people. It shows the power of the vote. It shows the beauty of democracy. It underscores why all efforts to rig elections must be in top gear. This way, the voice of the people would be heard and the will of the people would be done. This way, an arrogant, condescending and standoffish governor could be sent packing. This way a listening governor who really cares about the people and sees himself as peoples’ servant could be rewarded. But what do you call a last minute largesse of Aregbesola in Osun State? With this kind of desperation, is this not hoodwinking? How can the people trust him? The timing of the largesse is very suspect and the people of Osun have good reasons to doubt his sincerity. And if they wish, vote him out on August 9.
Article Written by Moribisasi Ojetunde
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