There seems to be serious disconnect between the information the grapevine sources are disseminating and the reality on ground. It is like a scenario of a someone telling another human being what apparently is black in colour should be taken as white. It is simply logical that the person being deceived should call the bluff of the deceiver, telling him to tell such to the marine. For the person being deceived to fall for the deception of the crafty companion, is like proving to the whole world that the power of the discernment has been decimated by the antics of someone who by no means is superior in aptitude and logic. For such misrepresentation of facts to stand therefore, it is an indirect way of calling the people elements of foolery with no remedy.
One thing that is sure today is that anything recession must be seen as the strongest menace that must be fought. We must also rout out our past extravagance and profligacy. What we have now is purely a similitude of the post-civil war era, when the then Head of State came up with a chagrin generalisation that Nigeria’s problem was not money, but how to spend the money. The only difference between the two is the non-expression of the latter as it was for the former. Rather than make open proclamation, the custodians of our commonwealth held their peace. They connived to make top secret their intention, to empty the treasury and share among the influential members of the political class. The greatest headache of the government at the centre now is how to track down the looted fund and to channel such back into productive ventures that will take us out of the woods.
The misunderstanding that we have of economic indices might have also blinded our eyes to the truth that the looting spree of our treasury represents serious disservice that all those responsible need to weep and suffer for. What is our sin in Nigeria that only very few people are designed to have access to our money? This loot has been estimated to be enough to fund our current plans and the future budget proposals of six to eight years. This is shrouded in serious confusion because not all the loot can be recovered fully. Some beneficiaries must come to terms with the reality that if they choose to keep the money, it is either that they have demonised the money, and as such, it is the spirit controlling them, and it will remain a thorn in their flesh or they are planning for future waterloo because those being deprived of better life today will gang up later to annihilate them and their future generations. The blood of the innocent majority that they have deprived of normal means of livelihood and survival will continue to cry against them.
It is in the face of this hopeless situation that few Governors are still striving to make a difference in the life of their people. I remember in the year 2009 when some students from the Colleges of Education in Osun chose to paralyse commercial and social activities in Osogbo Township. People could not move into town from Ataoja area, while the motorist and people at old governor’s office could not move towards Ogo-Oluwa area. The only way out was for motorist to turn back and merry-go-round the state capital and pass through Ede and subsequently link the Osogbo-Gbongan road at Akoda. The story is different today as one can easily pass through Dada estate area and link the road beside Ataoja High School Osogbo, within a few minutes; courtesy of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who opened up the major towns in the state in order to make life easier for people living therein.
I have had opportunity to travel to some towns in Europe. I can conveniently say that what the governor of the state of Osun is doing is to ensure that when people travel to such big cities and towns, they will not behave strangely because of what are already in place. A new mindset and social behaviour are being inculcated. Sadly, I saw a relapse into bad behaviour of old last week, when the traffic marshals positioned around first bank along Gbongan road tried to caution a man who parked the car wrongly. I later realised that the man deliberately wanted to foment trouble. Not knowing my position on the matter, he told me to always call the bluff of Aregbesola’s traffic marshals because their actions are synonymous with anti-people policy that can cause any government to face rejection at the poll. I was forced to ask him a question and the question bothers on whether he has ever travelled out of Nigeria or not. Not knowing where I was heading to, he enthusiastically told me he has had opportunity to visit a few countries including Germany and United Kingdom. What an irony!
In the two places that the man mentioned, nobody will be allowed to park anyhow. They obey rules and order without necessarily waiting to be penalised. Why then should someone who even boasted that he has a house he procured by mortgage in U.K choose to become a deviant in his state of nativity; all because he felt the opposition should make the state ungovernable for the Governor. To whose disadvantage would it be, if Governor Aregbesola is prevented from finishing the projects he has started as promised? A laudable project that is halted half-way can surely not bring a sense of satisfaction and belonging to a rational being. This is where all right-thinking persons should pray for the success of the ongoing drive towards transforming the state which before now was a glorified slum.
Our recalcitrance has dealt us devastating blows in the past. The state is now totally free from the menace of flooding, but some people still believe that the best thing to do is to dump refuse in the dredged waterways, gutters and drainages, especially when it is envisaged by meleorologist that that the state will experience heavy downpour this year. This kind of careless behaviour will surely draw us backward. Again, we now enjoy the legacy of durable projects for four to five years running. We can see solid roads that are yet to give in to potholes. That dotted all roads constructed before the regime of Ogbeni Aregbesola. The drainages are solidly done and it only takes a good maintenance culture on the part of the citizenry for the roads to endure a long period of usage. With good road network and stable electricity, the people’s economic activities are bound to receive a boost that no one will say he/she does not have a room conducive for operation in any field of practice.
We must support every move to up the income generation strategy by government. Tax payment is a civic responsibility that can help stabilise the economy, if well harnessed. Failure to support the government which has shown seriousness in doing business will be counter productive for the people at the end of the day. We have achieved reasonable level of change that we all can be proud of. A comparison between the outlook of the towns and villages in pre-Aregbesola era and the state now will help all of us to appreciate what the present governor has actually achieved. All hands must be on deck to ensure that those who only have interest in cake sharing have no chance to return. The stringent conditions we have endured so far must be allowed to yield fruits of respite which will make us proud that we have not suffered in vain.