Osun’s Home-Grown Terrorism

The tenure of controversial “governor”, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, is nothing to crow about. While other states, even at a limited level, try to, at least, do something to justify their claim to popular power, Oyinlola and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, are taking state terrorism to an absurd level.

Since Oyinlola “won” the voodoo election that Maurice Iwu’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) awarded him, despite a crushing defeat at the polls in April 2007, Osun State has been chaffing under the malevolence of this “governor,” absolutely unknown to our people.

For having the temerity to show their resentment after Oyinlola and his INEC colluders had imposed him on a people who voted him out with vengeance, Oyinlola bared his Abacha era fang, and called in the military to crush protesting and defenceless civilians. For weeks, Oyinlola and his goons in uniform laid a siege to the Ijesa people’s Ilesa (a people who became gubernatorial sworn enemies just because they made their choice loud and clear on election day), and Osogbo (who must be crushed because they saw through this “governor’s” years of cant ad nauseam deceit; and they threw him out on election day).

Besides, the spiritual searing of a capital overwhelmingly voting out a sitting governor, who had proved an unmitigated liability for four costly years, was too much for the besieged governor who, rattled, responded with vicious state terror. That has been the trend since the disputed elections of April 2007 which Oyinlola lost with ignominy, but the illicit proceeds of which he has struggled to hold on, to no matter what it takes.

Since that siege on Ilesa and Osogbo, where our traumatised people, wounded but unbent were paraded in open trucks in public to break their spirit, the illicit governor has moved from one despicable tactic of state terror to another. And the driving force is fear – naked fear.

Whenever the official stealer of the people’s mandate is rattled or threatened, he resorts to naked force. He growls with the intention of scaring people fighting for their God-given rights. But at the end of the day, he is the one that quakes the more!

The most scandalous thing for Nigeria as a would-be modern democratic polity has been the criminal collusion of a segment of the Nigeria Police force, compromised beyond repair by a venal and absolutely corrupt governor. Is there something about the Osun Police Command that condemns the command to disgraceful compromise by the Oyinlola government?

First, it was Alhaji Suleimon Fakai, who pulled all strings to oppress and suppress the opposition and aid and abet violence, which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unleashed on the opposition, in the run-up to the April 2007 elections. Fakai cancelled police permits at will and brutalised PDP opponents just to do the bidding of his satanic master.

Most would recall how Fakai cancelled the permit granted the Osun Action Congress (AC) to open its electioneering in Ile-Ife, just because the PDP felt intimidated by the expected crowd. The same Fakai cancelled the AC’s final mega rally planned for Osogbo three days to the election, because it would have been clear to all that the PDP was heading for a terrible hiding – which it got.

The same Fakai, after the violent protest that greeted the rigged governorship election, was busy personally arresting AC partisans when the police, in collusion with PDP partisans, raided the AC campaign headquarters on Gbongan road, Osogbo. So, when Fakai got tossed to Siberia for his brazen partisanship, it appeared some sanity would prevail. But he had already put in place a pattern of terror in which the Osun Police Command was a happy and willful collaborator.

John Moronike came with renewed hope but all that has gone with the wind. He has since thrown off his uniform and converted his men to happy thugs in the satanic mission of Oyinlola to keep our people in perpetual thrall.

The latest manifestation is the current round of crackdown on AC members over the phantom bomb blast, an accident that the police originally claimed, came from a mishandled dynamite meant for a water project. But, this same police under Moronike is happily replacing one set of AC captives with another just to make the point that the Oyinlola fascism is superior to and contemptuous of the 1999 Constitution that defines the game under Nigeria’s blighted democracy.

Oyinlola, as imposed governor, is beyond redemption. But for our democracy and polity not to be beyond redemption, he and his thugs in police uniform must be called to order. President Umaru Yar’Adua must look into the racket going on in Osogbo, the state capital. State terror cannot go hand-in-hand with the rule of law that the president postulates.

That is why he must call the police to order today. To the president, a final word: those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable. Violence pays no one. Neither does willful state terror.

Let someone save Oyinlola from himself. If he wants to play the Biblical Samson and collapse the house on himself, at least, let him spare our people the trauma. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.

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