“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, giving and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.”
Karl Marx – The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
Next week Friday, a week today, the symbol of the progressive thrust, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola will be sixty-one years old. The celebration provides an opportunity to reflect on his progressive intervention in the lives of the people of Osun. Inspite of reservations on emphasis, the crossing of t’s and the dottings of i’s, the intervention has been of benefit to the many and not to just a few, which has hitherto been the case.
The key issue of course will be the succession and the cause of continuity of the programmes. Here we may care to refresh ourselves with the observations of Antonio Gramsci, the Italian philosopher who reached his apogee in the 1920s. He had cause to observe that, the entire purpose of the political project is to shift the territory of the discourse in favour of one’s own position.
We look at Aregbesola, who has been transformed into the symbol of the progressive current in the State of Osun from this prism. The governance of Osun is now seen from the position of production as opposed to consumption. That the government as part of a Social Contract must ensure the provision of a whole range of Social Services; the people in return as part of their own obligation to the contract will ensure the prompt provision of taxes which is fundamental to assist the government to carry out its essential services.
The gains made are visible to even the undiscerning eye. If you seek to know what the Aregbesola intervention has achieved, as it was said of the architect of London Christopher Wren, “Please look around you”.
It is therefore vital to ensure the continuity of the project. For we must not forget that there are significant force of retrogression whose sole purpose is to rewind the clock. They want to reverse the gains by going back to an unedifying period of gain without pain. In the rallying battle cry of the fidelistas during the Cuban revolution – “They must not pass.”
Happy birthday in advance to the symbol of the progressive project in the State of Osun, who has fired a shot that has rekindled social democracy as a philosophy of government in Nigeria.