The triumphal entry of Chief Bisi Akande, National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria and former governor of Osun State, into the state’s Governor’s Office named after the slain number one law officer of the federation, Chief Bola Ige, at Abere area of the state last Tuesday, is a pointer to the fact that if a lie travels at a computer speed for a hundred years, truth will catch up with it in a matter of seconds. The whole episode is also a lesson to whoever cares to listen that it pays for one to pursue doggedly whatever one believes in.
I am eminently qualified to speak on this subject because I witnessed the gang-up of the reactionary group against the progressive government of the Asiwaju of Ila-Orangun and his unwarranted humiliation by the recently sacked and disgraced impostor governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his group of cohorts in 2003. It was indeed a day of reckoning for Lagun as all the lies he told against the transparent ex-governor of the state were exposed. Akande told the world how his government was able to save N1. 4 billion from excess and meaningless spending and how only N150 million monthly handout was been realized from the government at the centre when he had N260 million salaries to pay monthly.
One does not need the services of an accountant to know that the money coming in was far below what was needed to run Akande’s government. Surprisingly with the tight financial situation, Akande was able to build the sprawling ‘Bola Ige House’ with less than N1 billion while the expansive and first of its kind state secretariat at Abere was erected with less than N2 million within a record time of two years. The irony of the saga is that the projects were commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, initiator and author of do-or-die politics. It was learnt that when Obasanjo was about to commission the projects, he felt intimidated as none of the Peoples Democratic Party’s governors whose federal allocations were far more than Akande’s could boast or think of having an infinitesimal percentage of what was on ground for commissioning. It was on that occasion that Obasanjo adjudged Akande the best governor in Nigeria, a remark that did not go down well with the reactionary group who were desirous to sentence the state of the Living Spring into a cesspit of non-performing states. Despite Akande’s superlative performance, he was eased out of government by the reactionary group who were hiding under the cover that workers were responsible for his plight.
It is on record that with his efforts to put up the Bola Ige House, the Ila-Orangun-born leader of ACN spent less than one day in the sprawling edifice after its completion; and that was the day he hosted Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo. Oyinlola did everything humanly possible to rubbish the achievements of his predecessor but without any iota of luck as they are there to speak for him. When Akande’s government was rigged out by superior fire power from Abuja, he left a Solomoic statement that what the PDP was bringing to serve the people of Osun State was a dead bird which after some time, its offensive odour would constitute a source of uneasiness for the people of the state. The prophet in Akande made him to foretell that some of the active players in the PDP administration would soon become objects of ridicule, humiliated and stoned across the state. True to type, as Akande had foretold it, Oyinlola was not only humiliated, he was stoned openly in Osogbo. Since he was removed from his dubious political height in the state, he has been boxed into his Okuku country home where he took to animal hunting to kill boredom. What an anticlimax?
The elated Akande who reiterated his absolute confidence in the ability and capability of Mr Rauf Aregbesola, the new governor, to transform Osun State, predicted that Osun could be better than Lagos State because of abundance of land in the state of the Living Spring and the proven antecedents of the man at the helm of affairs when he was a commissioner for works and infrastructure in Lagos State. The state is lucky as its new helmsman has come to serve and not to be served. He will bring into bear his vast experience as a serious aide of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu when the latter was dictating the shot in Lagos State. The Aregbesola I know is disciplined and he has no time for frivolities like playing golf at Ada in Boripe Local Government Council Area of the state when he is expected to be charting the way forward for the state. Aregbe is prudent to the extent that he would not engage in frivolous foreign trips under the guise of shopping for investors or making Abuja his second home. The Asiwaju of Ijesaland home and abroad knows why he’s in government and he had since fashioned out his six-point agenda for execution to the letter.
Aregbesola who was full of praises for the founding fathers of Osun and prudent administration of Akande promised to start where he had stopped with a pact with the people of the state that the state would soon become a model not only in Nigeria but all over the world. In acknowledging the immense contributions of Akande to the development of the state and how he was treated with indignity, the ACN national chairman was given the honour of cutting the tape to enable Aregbesola begin his new administration in the sprawling edifice. It is however worthy of mention to call the attention of the people of the state to an anomaly among some recalcitrant civil servants who are still very loyal to the out gone illegal administration of Oyinlola who are doing all possible things to bring down the administration of Aregbesola. Some of the pernmanent secretaries and directors are so carried away to the extent that the ringing tone of their mobile phones contain praise-singing of Oyinlola’s make-believe political achievements.
More worrisome is the fact that some of the active players in the attack of Governor Aregbesola at Oroki Day crisis of August 5, 2006 who are government drivers are still in active service where they connive with members of the opposition to bring down Aregbesola’s government. Some of the affected drivers proceeded on leave immediately the Court of Appeal secured Aregbe’s victory. One of such drivers is one Rotimi Olawole who hails from Ifewara, hometown of controversial Senator Iyiola Omisore’s mother. Rotimi is a common sight at the petrol filling station of Alhaji Ademola Rasaq a.k.a. as ‘Landero’along Ilobu road in Osogbo, where he boasts that Omisore would come back as Osun governor in six months’ time. The video clip of the Oroki Day crisis shows that it was Rotimi, a driver-mechanic in the Government House then who stoned Aregbesola’s vehicle and vandalized an Oranmiyan bus. The driver-mechanic has since resumed in the transport pool at the Old Governor’s Office. One Hezekiah Idowu who hails from Iree in Boripe Local Government Council Area of Osun State is also a driver in the government service who lent a helping hand to Rotimi in destroying the Oranmiyan bus during the Oroki Day crisis. Another driver who stripped naked and tore the dress of a female member of Oranmiyan Group, during the crisis, was said to be the driver attached to the then Chief Press Secretary to Governor Oyinlola, is said to be on leave but still in the service of the government of Osun State.
My plea is that other stakeholders in all spheres of life in Osun project should join hands with Aregbesola in his resolve to restore the lost glory of the state. The stories from Ede, Ile-Ife and Iree on the ongoing voters’ registration exercise are not palatable. Why is it that it is the same set of recycled politicians who are constituting problems to the word-wide acceptable norm in democracy? One day monkey will go to the market, it will not come back. A word is enough for the masses. Till next week.