It was just like yesterday. That fateful Friday of 26th November, 2010. It was “Jimoh Oloyin” (Honey- sweet, or even, Good Friday) to the Progressives, having that day, won a three and half-years long legal battle to regain an almost lost mandate. But to the reactionary government then in power, it was too bitter to swallow, a concoction of sorts, forced down their throats by the God-fearing Appeal Court judges sitting in Ibadan, to make them pack their bags and baggage from the Oke Fia seat of Osun power for the new resident.
It was like any other day and we had all almost lost hopes, thinking that the judgment will favour the incumbent government. So, many did not really place any premium on it before the final judgment was delivered. We all went our different vocations as all hopes were almost lost to the untidy democracy we ran.
Then, it came almost like some unserious rumour from some individuals with wishful thinking. And almost like a flash of lightening, the news story in towns all over the South-west was that the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan had declared that the ‘troublesome’ man, who won’t let go of his ambitions, despite all threats, bricks and brimstone, Rauf Aregbesola, as the authentic winner of the election held some three and a half years earlier. It was too miraculous to be believed. How on earth would someone who had been denied his mandate for such a pretty long time come out victorious just few months to the end of that same tenure which he still sought, if not for some divine interventions?
Well, less than twenty-four hours after that historic declaration, Saturday, November 27, 2010, the Government Technical College, Osogbo, “Osun State” (before the rebranding) playing ground was filled far beyond capacity. This testified to the expectancy of the people of Osun and even beyond for this sudden but deserved change in the baton. Even though, Ayekooto had its hands filled with tasks in far away Lagos, but had to jettison all to be part of history, even with sparse knowledge of the terrain of the city and State, and even of the man, Ogbeni, the main beneficiary himself.
Two incidents witnessed by Ayekooto on that fateful day said so much about the situation of things in Osun prior to the coming of the peoples’ Oranmiyan. One, funny though, but with serious security implication: the new governor’s GSM handset was stolen! A dose of what’s on ground in the state, you will say. “He needed to be served to know how it pains”. If such personality could lose his handset, how safe were properties of the ordinary folks? And it tells of the security situation of the state prior to Ogbeni’s ascendancy.
Two: everything went well despite the huge crowd that witnessed the November 27, 2010 swearing-in of Ogbeni Aregbesola from within and outside the state. This was obviously not because the security situation met on ground was perfect but because the participants in the swearing-in (both spectators and the celebrating incoming party) were orderly themselves.
At the end of the ceremony, when everyone was heading back home or to their various vehicles parked far-away from the venue, an elderly woman, among the spectators engaged herself in soliloquy, in local dialect, perfectly heard by Ayekooto, said: “Awon Omoluabi ni yi o. Ti o ba je awon ara ibi ni, won a ti maa sa ara won l’ada kiri” and literally translated: these people are the virtuous. If it were the other ones (referring to the gatherings of members of the erstwhile ruling party), they would have been engaging themselves in free for all with dangerous weapons.
This elderly woman’s involuntary outbursts said it all about the outgoing cohorts and the incoming administration and Ayekooto almost burst into tears of joy as our State had finally been liberated.
Or, hasn’t it, seven years after? Be the judge.