DEAR loyal readers, take a close look at this photograph. It was taken in the palace of the late Timi of Ede, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Shehu) Tijani Oladokun Oyewusi, Agboran II on Tuesday February 20, 2007. On the left side of the photograph was Senator Adebayo Ayoade Salami and on the right side was the governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC) in Osun State, Engineer Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.
It was taken during the 2007 electioneering campaign in Ede, Osun State. Also on the team was Mrs. Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, the gubernatorial running mate to Aregbesola and a daughter of Osogbo. Alhaji Fatai Diekola Abidemi Oyedele from Olaniyan royal family, Osogbo, Pa. Sunday Laoye (Temak), Alhaji Oduola Baruwa, Alhaji Braimoh Adeniyi, Chief Kayode Idowu Esuleke and a host of other well-meaning Osogbo indigenes were there at the palace of the Timi of Ede.
As soon as we got there, Aregbesola addressed the late Timi on his six-point programme of banishing poverty, creating employment with 20,000 jobs in 100 days of his coming to office as governor of Osun State. He told the Timi of Ede that if the incumbent Governor Oyinlola had measured up to standard of people’s expectation for development, he would not have bothered himself with running for the office of governor.
DURING the courtesy visit to Oba Oyewusi, the AC standard bearer submitted that he was challenged by the unbelievable level of poverty currently ravaging the people of Osun State, stressing that if Oyinlola had been able to solve the myriad of problems confronting the people of Osun State since May 29, 2003, he would not have entered the governorship race. When he was replying, the Timi of Ede urged all politicians “to shun violence because power belong to God who gives it to whoever he desires”.
Prophetically, it was the late Timi of Ede who ensured that the PDP marauders did not dare snatch the ballot box at the polling units located in the palace square on April 14, 2007 during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly poll. Oba Agbonran was said to have been so annoyed at the brazen use of guns by people he had earlier regarded as gentlemen including a lawmaker (name withheld) who allegedly threatened the electorate with dangerous weapons of death to snatch ballot boxes across Ede North and Ede South local governments.
As soon as we left the palace of the Timi, Aregbesola’s convoy went to the campaign ground to address thousands of Ede sons and daughters who came to hear his message of hope. The AC flagbearer challenged Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to explain why he refused to pay end of the year bonus to workers in Osun State public service for four years to justify his claim that he loved them.
If elected, the AC candidate promised to pay workers their thirteenth month salary at the end of every year. He also insisted that he would see to it that workers in Osun State public service would be the best paid among their colleagues in Osun State public service if elected the governor at the polls.
Addressing a large crowd of AC supporters at Agip junction in Ede where a serving member of House of Representatives, Hon. Mudashir Debo Ayinde dumped his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Action Congress, Aregbesola stressed that he was pained to know that across the six states of the South West geo-political zone, workers in Osun State public service were the least remunerated.
It is necessary to quote him verbatim as he said it: “I am pained at heart to know that workers of Osun State earn the least minimum wage in Yorubaland.
If Oyinlola is truly a friend of workers, why did he refuse to pay them end of the year bonus since he became governor in 2003? It is painful to know that Oyinlola has been shortchanging workers in real terms, while pretending that he is their friend. We shall do everything to reverse this trend as soon as I become the governor of Osun State on May 29, 2007”.
He described as pretentious, the smooth relationship that Oyinlola claimed to have with workers, when he should have demonstrated this by a singular gesture of appreciation for the workers’ commitment to the good of Osun State.
Furthermore, he assured that “as a firm believer in the welfare of working class people with an unbeatable welfare package for workers, an annual bonus that will become their thirteenth salary in a year, would be paid to them as motivation for higher level of performance when I become the governor in May, 2007”. He hinged his assurances on the fact that workers in the public service of any nation deserve the best treatment from the government which they spend their entire lifetime to serve. He decried the policies and conduct of Oyinlola and officials of his regime for unleashing a regime of poverty and misery on the people of Osun State since coming to office in 2003.
The AC candidate also noted that the only campaign issue which Oyinlola and his PDP busied themselves with was that his predecessor, Chief Bisi Akande sacked workers which Aregbesola described as a ploy by the incumbent governor to use as a blackmail tool to excuse Oyinlola’s poor performance since 2003. He lashed out at his rival for running a routine government of minimum welfare for the people and maximum enjoyment for few influential people connected to the governor’s lodge.
OCCUPIERS of public offices are expected to live a life of altruistic honesty, patriotic commitment to public good and truth in its pristine state. That is why when public officers are coming into office, they are made to swear to oaths of office and that of allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I have gone this far to refresh the mind of our dear readers on the lie that is Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Pardon me for my harsh use of words in this coloumn. The embattled Governor Oyinlola has proven to be lying personified. When we visited the late Timi of Ede in his palace, the entire scene was captured on a video camera. Men of the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigeria Police were there. They must have written their reports and filed it in their archives.
It was shocking to hear Oyinlola in his unconscionable lying element saying that Aregbesola went to the Timi to promise that he was going to return to Ede community, the land which he alleged, was acquired for Osogbo. Oyinlola said this on his clownish but monthly phone-in Gbagede-Oro on the channels of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC).
This futile attempt was to incite Osogbo against Aregbesola in view of the unprecedented popularity of the AC candidate among indigenes and residents of the state capital. Oyinlola is simply loathed for his lies, untruth and abysmally poor performance in office. The people of Osogbo and Olorunda local governments are the closest to any Osun State administration. When the government is on track, they will hail the governor but when it is otherwise, the chief executive would be shunned like a leper as it happened on April 14, 2007.
Aregbesola did not say anything about land matters in the palace of the Timi of Ede. Prominent Osogbo indigenes whose names I mentioned above would have kicked against such statements. He would rather promote those issues that engender communal peace, amity and concord between the people of Osogbo and their neighbours in Ede.
Oyinlola had similarly lied in 2005 on the same propaganda broadcast programme that Aregbesola took his posters to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II. Desperately, Oyinlola told this lie so as to hoodwink the public and prevent the predictable crushing defeat he suffered at the poll last year. At the time he said this, we had not even printed a flier not to talk of posters. We presented the monarch with his life size portrait on canvass dignifying his position as the Ooni of the Source.
That was what Oyinlola referred to as Aregbesola’s campaign posters. What do you call a man like this? A bare-faced liar!
Governors are expected to be role models for the coming generation. Chief Bola Ige inscripted his name in our minds by his qualities of trustworthiness and believability when he was Oyo State governor between 1979 and 1983. He was the Uncle of all youths. He gave us reasons to be proud of our heritage. We drew from him our inspiration for higher heights. He challenged us to live honestly. He did not suffer fools gladly. If I was too young to share the Awolowo golden era, I can beat my chest and say it aloud that Bola Ige, his protégé led us honestly and truthfully. In spite of what his traducers did to soil his name, he triumphed and bestrode the land like colossus.
After the demise of Awolowo, Ige became the moral voice of the over 60 million Yoruba race at home and in the diaspora because of his truthfulness and trustworthiness. Oyinlola is not moving along this line of honour and I cannot vouch for his place in history. Liars have always ended in the dustbin of history. That is the place of Herman Goebbel and his boss, Adolf Herr Hitler. They were ruthless and rowdy; standing logic on its head and running roughshod on the aching toes of the defenceless.
WITH the photograph displayed here, one can only advise that the people of Osun State should take whatever Oyinlola says with the pinch of salt. He appears to be at war with the truth. From Oroki day, 2006 to the Abere explosion saga, his stock in trade has been to lie against his opponents and blame all crimes on those who refuse to keep quiet in the face of his jackboot terror.
Happily, Oyinlola’s attempt to incite the people against their choice as governor of Osun State failed woefully. They have simply shown that liars have no place among decent humanity. I challenge Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to provide evidence that can convince the public that what he said about Aregbesola’s visit to the late Timi of Ede was believable. Available records and eye witness accounts are contrary to Oyinlola’s claims. Simply, the governor lied against Aregbesola, his arch-rival. This is unacceptable.
One is however, not surprised that a man whose professional training was principally based on deception, camouflage and subterfuge cannot depart from his mould and regimentation. We must however issue a caveat emptor on him for unwary buyers of his deceptive candy to beware.
It is a violation of the ethos of Yoruba culture and tradition, a sacrilege frowned at by the spirit of Yoruba evolution for any man or woman to spit on the grave of the dead.
What Oyinlola has done is to stand and spat on the royal sepulchre of Oba Tijani Oladokun Oyewusi, Agbonran II. There is always a day of reckoning and accounting. If you doubt what I am talking about, I recommend the ace Yoruba soap opera “AYE-YE-WON-TAN” to you. A word is simply enough for the wise.
By GBENGA FAYEMIWO