Osun State people sharply reacted to Engr Rauf Aregbesola’s coinage of the last Monday Appeal Court decision as “apartial victory,’ and instead took the judgment as total victory; ISAAC OLUSESI reports.
OSUN State people have irrevocably disagreed with the state Action Congress (AC) gubernatorial candidate’s analysis of the last Monday Appeal Court judgment as “partial victory,” saying instead that the judgment in the Osun governorship election legal tango was “a total victory” for the state AC and its gubernatorial candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, adding also that “the judgment is a death warrant for the incumbent Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
“The simmering legal fire will eventually consume Oyinlola with his intrigues, who saw the smoke coming and still thinks the billows frosting to the sky-high are ordinary,” Osun people told the reporter who went round the state.
Commissioner of Police in the state John Moronike had earlier in the day called at the Aregbesola campaign corporate headquarters, Osogbo, the state capital and assured the AC men and women found in the posh reception that his command was up to the task of ensuring safety of lives and property in the state.
At the PDP state secretariat on Iwo-Ibadan road, the police boss conscious of where scandalous thuggery could be triggered, warned the party men on ground to cage their beasts called political thugs.
Meanwhile, nooks and crannies of the state were soaked in unmistaken tension, not sure of what the consequences of the judgment could be. Armed police sentries were posted in double pairs at every entry road to the state capital, while mobile policemen were seen manning strategic locations in the metropolis.
The reporter had a rough deal that sultry Monday in the hands of the security operatives in the state police boss outing, as they swooped on the reporter and attempted to wrest photo camera from his photographer, with hordes of probes hauled at the reporter.
The scene was at the frontage of the Aregbesola campaign headquarters in the full glare of Oranmiyan staff, and public servants who were racing to their respective offices. The reporter’s logical defence and personal intervention of the police commissioner saved the situation from another scene of police brutality in a democracy.
At the Appeal Court Ibadan, Oyo Sate Capital, filled to the rafters and spilling to contents to the sprawling premises, the men were separated from the boys as the boys as PDP chieftains in the state were seen shivering profusely, too unsure of the last lines of the judgment, while the AC chieftains put on looks of firmness of steel, excluding hope for victory and making a show of their prayer gait as a tower of strength, courage and political accume.
In Osogbo, Ilesa, Ede and Ila-Orangun, the siren-blaring police vehicles took over streets, frightening off potential trouble makers at the outcome of the case that has become a Gordian knot. But the ousted chairman of Ilesa West local government and arch thug, Mr Ibukun Fadipe a.k.a IBK, led a gang of his men to terrorize the newspaper vendors found selling THE NATION and OSUN DEFENDER newspapers. It was a free-for-all, as the vendors resisted attempts to impound copies of the newspapers.
The most consistent strains at all levels of judicial adjudication in the case were lies and denials from Oyinlola’s legal team. Apart from the dramatic Adrian Forty’s report of analysis of forms EC8A, EC8B and other documents used in the contentious local government council areas confronting Oyinlola on all fronts, were Aregbesola’s “election results which were not in contest anyway” and the police security report.
The police boss and his men were seen picking abandoned motor vehicle tyres sight and packing them away in the open pick-up vans in the motorcade of the police commissioner, ostensibly not for nothing. But the people of the state wore long faces and curtly brushed aside enquiries from one another. Mum was the word, and anxiety was clearly written on the face of everyone as they glued themselves to the television screen to monitor the judgment live.
The build-up to that kind of attitude followed each other at such a dizzying speed until the Appeal Court pronounced a retrial of the case. Like a ranging bull, the judgment broke out, then people quickly surged through streets and corners, and then suddenly overwhelming quietness descended on the land.
The reporter went out into the night to gauge public feelings. The street, thinned out the more, showed signs of occurrence of the unexpected. Social life from the day dislocated and commercial activities fell below zero level.
In places like Old Garage, Oja-Oba, Oke’fia Roundabout, Sabo in Osogbo; Roundabout, Isokun Garage, Kajola-Imo, Odo’ro, Itakogun in Ilesa; Oke-Gada, Ojede Oba in Ede; at palace area in Ejigbo, Iwo and Ila-Orangun that used to be agog became very quiet as a graveside yard. Reaction of the people to the judgment was that of shock and disbelief. No one took to the streets singing, dancing jumping and embracing one another. The electricity of quietness “electrocuted” all.
No clinging of champagne glasses. No one was at the beer parlour to “declare surplus” as generally planned by all manner of people. At Okuku, the homestead of Oyinlola, for example, a middle-age man walked into a beer parlour at about 8.02 pm that Monday, singing and clapping apparently to court solidarity from the other persons already on their seats, as he also asked the operator to serve them drinks on his bill, but he was treated as a leper.
Rather the “leper” was tutored to know that his kinsman, Oyinlola has brought neither political finesse nor intellectual distinction to the state politics but, oddities and gracelessness.
The state social landscape is disfigured by squalor and debilitating poverty while Oyinlola’s party, PDP, has enthroned hard-edged and rugged individualism marked by a soulless scramble for materials wealth and a qualid sense of activity and social success.
The “leper” at that occasion in the beer parlour also was told that the lowly and cynical within the ruling party will cut a widow’s throat to snatch away her handbag. He was further enlightened that the party has no room for ideals, no consideration for morality, no place for human compassion, no love, no trust, no altruism, no self-denial in public interest. Everything, for PDP, is sacrificed to a squalid aggressive egotism that knows no bounds.