“The experience narrated above is pregnant with lessons. All of us need patience and understanding in order to help the present administration in its onerous task of reconstruction, reorientation and reengineering. The damage inflicted on our state and virtually all systems therein in the past eight years (almost) is colossal indeed. If a whole year is taken out to prepare the foundation for enduring and lasting edifice of our dreams, I do not consider it as taking too much.”
It is naturally in the behaviour of man to compare between two periods of their living existence; a former period and the present; in order to assess, censor and judge, which of the two time-lapses is better, in all ramifications of comfort. Such assessment or judgement however is usually fraught with errors and/or misconception. No matter how plausible the argument of the assessor could appear, such judgments are susceptible to inaccuracies and other limitations imposed by repression, memory failure and other taints of forgetting and sentiments born of misplaced chagrin. Most of the times, this feeling of disappointment and its attendant outpour of emotions come to full expression prematurely. This is the damage that impatience could wrought.
Our forebears in Yorubaland, in their vast wealth of proverbial expressions, opined that a woman, who had not got experience of two (or more) matrimonial homes, would likely not be in the right position to discover and fully appreciate which of the homes is better (or best). Even then, a woman, who derives pleasure in gallivanting from one homestead to another, could have her sense of judgement jaundiced with prejudices, affection, ill-will and all the rest. Such one that is so plagued, would certainly never come out with any judgment close to objectivity, not to talk of sincerity.
Not too far into their journey from Egypt to the promised Land of Canaan, the Israelites, God’s own chosen race, got exposed to the like of dilemma pictured above. Just on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from bondage and captivity in Egypt, they were entrapped by erroneous judgment, when they concluded that Egypt was far better than whatever other arrangement that Moses or even Yahweh (God) had in the offing for them. They grumbled and murmured to high heavens when they retorted as follow:
“…would to God, we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full, for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger….” Exodus 16:3
What a hasty conclusion! Especially, when their journey of barely two months, which brought them to the Wilderness of Sin, was an insignificant fraction of the entire trip that was destined to last them forty good years. Not even free rations of quail and manna assuaged their dissatisfaction. The congregation erred to the extent that they ignorantly prolonged their journey; making a forty-day trip on normal grounds to extend to forty years. Many of them could not see the Promised Land; a land flowing milk and honey, with grapes and pomegranates and where they were designed by divine benevolence to eat the fruits they did not plant, live in houses they did not build and drink from wells they did not dig. What a terrible damage haste and impatience could cause? Between a foreign land of captivity and a covenant land of prosperity, there is always a wilderness experience. This is ordered by Almighty God to make man acquiesce his mind to wisdom and come to fully appreciate His mercy, favour and greatness. This is the universal truth for all ages.
Recently, I was hooked-up at a place, where people converged for a child-naming ceremony. We were all compelled to stay over at the family’s residence after the ceremony on account of a heavy downpour. Then a debate started. One of the intellectuals in attendance raised his voice of dissent over what he tagged “the slowness of Governor Aregbesola.” I resisted the temptation of leading the argument against his proposition. It worked wonders! Another person joined him and before long, a group of five had emerged to castigate and rubbish the giant strides of a government that had made huge success in barely nine months.
To my great joy and to the vindication of the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola, a vast group rose to defend the administration. This newer group had its leadership in a vibrant speaker and constructive argumentator, who incidentally is a kinsman to the ousted Governor, Brigadier-General Olagunsoye Oyinlola. At least, they hail from the same town, Okuku, in Odo-Otin Local Government of Osun State. One after the other, speaker after speaker poured exalting eulogies on the young administration and its astonishing strides taken so far. The Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (OREAP), the O’CLEAN sanitation programme, the 30-hectare statewide agricultural project still in the pipeline, the state-wide railway project, the fantastic free programmes in the areas of education and health, the brilliant industrial drive of the administration; all came to the fore in no distant time during the debate.
As if in response to Jesus’ question to the adulteress of his days, the chief accuser jumped to the issue of N18,000 minimum wage. The question in reference is: “Where are your accusers”. The accusers in this context had not yet vanished. The question they registered made the lecture they received fat and full. The fact is that the accusers comprised mostly civil servants in the state, who had their selfish interests to fan. They were informed on the need to compare Oyinlola and Aregbe’s administrations only on the parameter of first year in office. They were enlightened on the comparing a nine-month-old administration of great achievements, with one, which governed with lethargy for seven and a half years. Lastly, they were called to reason over how most programmes initiated by Oyinlola ended in farce. For example, Oyin Corps, Graduate Gainful Employment Scheme, Songhai Experiment, just to mention a few. At that point, the accusers had no option than to defy the heavy rains. They entered it in order to avoid the shame of obvious defeat.
The experience narrated above is pregnant with lessons. All of us need patience and understanding in order to help the present administration in its onerous task of reconstruction, reorientation and reengineering. The damage inflicted on our state and virtually all systems therein in the past eight years (almost) is colossal indeed. If a whole year is taken out to prepare the foundation for enduring and lasting edifice of our dreams, I do not consider it as taking too much.
Another danger in hastiness is getting wrong hands to occupy posts, especially, political offices. Whereas our governor has been constantly accused over perceived lateness in appointing commissioners; what we should consider as paramount important is the effect running of the business of governance. Have there been any loopholes in the effective governance of the state? The answer is no. like marriage, appointment into cabinet of government is a delicate issue. You do not rush in, so that you would not need to rush out. Mr. Governor has to search diligently for like minds, men and women of valour, integrity and diligence, a visionary army that money or position could not corrupt or derail.
Lastly, let us change our attitude from pessimism to optimism. Athletes and actors are not assessed before performance. Ogbeni Aregbesola needs and deserves maximum support and cooperation from all of us. The bottom-line of these is acceptance and understanding. The government of the day has come to stay. So far, like Moses did under God’s guidance and direction, our dear state and its people are being delivered from the wilderness experience of the past. Looking back nostalgically to the past dark era is an entrapment of the strange one-deception of Satan. May we not, by our own hands, prolong carelessly and unnecessarily the trip that would have been a smooth sail. God bless us all.