The verdict of Nigeria’s appeal Court over the Aregbesola vs. Oyinlola case was long-awaited and prayed for, but when it came calling, the digital world seemed to have held its breath momentarily, as the online version of Osun Defender Newspaper became the home to information-hungry web surfers globally.
That case has proved to be a landmark one as global watchers of judicial corruption and international students of electoral disputes came feasting on the snippets from the courtroom proceedings on OSUN DEFENDER DOT ORG today.
Osun State was practically shut down today as schools, offices, shops were shut down because of the high-tensioned police presence and uncertainties associated with the expected verdict by Justice Victor Omage-led Appeal Court panel sitting in Ibadan.
Osun Defender took citizen journalism to another glorious dimension in the digital history of mass communication in Nigeria. With over 36,000 hits fom 122 nations, (as at the last count at 10.05 P.M. Nigerian Time) spreading as far as Australia to Austria, from France to U.K; from Brazil to California in the United States of America; from South Africa to Abidjan. A deludge of commentaries by supporters and sympathisers from all over Nigeria: Owerri, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Lagos, Abuja, Iseyin, Kano, Lafia, Brinin-Kebbi, Ogbomoso, and even from the Osun State Government Secretariat, Bola Ige House, Abere.
The goodwill was overwhelming. Engineer Rauf Aregbesola’ digital profile has risen over the last 10 months to become among the most celebrated and, in fact, he is digitally-speaking, the most optimized politician in Nigeria.
The print media was not left out. P.M. News, Vanguard, THE PUNCH, NEXT and hordes of first-time visitors from Nigeria’s Number One Website, THE NAIRALAND FORUM which commands over 6 million hits monthly – all came to witness and celebrate the digital miracle being enacted after the order of BARACK OBAMA web exploits on the Nigerian scene.
While many of the young generation’s commentaries expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling for not going the whole hog by declaring with boldness that Engineer Rauf Aregbesola as the legitmately elected governor of Osun State, particularly after indicting Naron tribunal pervertion of justice. Others pointed out that the role of the appeal court is corrective and could not have gone beyond the level of accepting the forensic and other evidences which had criminally been rejected by Naron tribunal.
Many of the young generation expressed their bitterness and disappointment with a system that “… sustained a vote-robber to spend full-term of a stolen mandate to exhaust his loot before returning the mandate to the rightful owner”, describing it as ‘judicial madness’.
Most of the readers and commenters considered the judicial drama as justice delayed and postponed which must not be allowed to be derailed or denied.