It is within the composition of the human condition that men and women have ambitions and have great dreams. This is also the nature of politics. It is therefore natural that there is a lot of jockeying as well as positioning in states like Anambra, Ekiti and Osun where elections for governorship will be held in 2017 and 2018. Unseemly as it looks, it can be argued that it is never too early to start even if it means jumping the gun.
There is however a common thread amid all of the manoeuvring which is profoundly disturbing; this is the glaring absence of a programme. Not just a general mission proposal or a statement of intent, but a well thought out and rigorously costed roadmap. The absence of this is unsettling. For at a time of economic disequilibrium, anyone aspiring to one of the great offices of state ought to come in very well-prepared. The person ought to be armed with a very sensibly worked out and realistic plan of action to withstand the economic problems caused by a society in transition.
This is because in our defective quasi-federalism whoever is the helmsman of a state government will have to operate with one hand strapped to the back. This is a difficult proposition which requires deep thinking as well as managerial sagacity. In this area of preparation, the incumbent governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has clearly set down a marker which should be established as an immutable precedent.
Aregbesola after years of diligent preparation came into office with a well thought out programme of social and economic reforms, which has not just repositioned the state of Osun, but has rejuvenated it and breathed new life into the rural economy. The gains have been solid and institutional frameworks, as well as sustainable mechanisms have been put in place for these reforms to stand the test of time. When he finishes his second term even within the international and local economic difficulties, there will be long lasting and irreversible achievements to showcase.
This newspaper therefore calls on all the intending aspirants to follow suit. They must present to the electorate realistic, well thought programmes to continue from where Aregbesola would have stopped. Such a programme ideally should be within the positively acknowledged “Alternative Perspectives” within which Osun has recorded such solid, in many cases landmark path-breaking achievements. To do otherwise will be akin to raising false hopes and selling the electorate what in effect will be a false prospectus. This will be fraudulent, immoral and will ultimately backfire after a lot of damage would have been wrought.
For example, the statement made by Senator Iyiola Omisore declaring his intention to run was full of old fashioned vitriol, unfortunately nary a thought was given to a detailed and costed programme of action. This is a throwback to an unedifying past and is certainly not what is needed now.
We therefore urge all the aspirants across partisan divides to do so within a much more serious template than is being observed at the moment. The State of Osun deserves candidates who will come in with the same seriousness of purpose that Aregbesola came in with. This is what makes the difference.
- This editorial, published in the April 16, 2017 edition is republished due to its relevance to the current political situation in Osun