Osun: The Wait In Pain For Hope

Engineer Rauf AregbesolaOn Tuesday, it will be the turn of Oyo and her people; their turn to either heave sighs of relief or hisses of despair. The Court of Appeal will decide on who indeed won the elections of April 2007 between Adebayo Alao Akala and Abiola Ajimobi. The day of Osun, Oyo’s neighbour is still ahead but the facts are more compelling. In Osun, the heist was more brazen, the justification has been less than conciliatory and the result has been more of an insult than any other thing.

Let there be no misjudgements here. We are not concerned about the schools that have been re-painted in Osun and pasted with Oyin ni o slogan. We are not concerned about the dividends of democracy and or their absence in this piece. We do not want to do an assessment of the misappropriation of the ill-gotten mandate to function in executive capacity by Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his party.

We are only concerned about the heist of April 2007 and the attempts to paper over what indeed is nothing but the criminal usurpation of the sovereign will of the people. From rigging to manipulation, falsification to conjuring and then to arson and senseless killings and murders, the airwaves over Osun is thick of allegations that the incumbent has done virtually nothing to either address or be concerned with, in any positive sense.

The Appeal Court is at the moment tackling the tonnes of documents before it on the Osun Election. It has refused to take the challenge of looking at the allegations of an unwholesome and unprofessional relationship between the legal team of the governor and members of the Petitions Tribunal, which confirmed the election of Oyinlola. No one is blaming the appellate court, but many of us have seen enough, heard enough and experienced enough to conclude that the Justice Naron-led tribunal on Osun got it all messed up.

But then, the National Judicial Commission and the Nigerian Bar Association are on to the details of the alleged communing of the ungodly that sought to put a seal of legitimacy on the illegitimate result of the polls of April.

We’ll not dwell on several killings that have been linked with the effort to paint an all-is-well picture in Osun State. So, no need to talk about the killing of Alhaji Sulaimon Hassan Alabi Olajoku. This piece will also not be concerned about the killing of Gbenga Kayode and Sogo Adekoya by an identified PDP man. It will not look at the death in the hands of thugs under the direct supervision of hitherto responsible men of Mr Samson Olanrewaju in Ife, Saheed Adebiyi in Ikirun and Ayo Oni in Igbajo.

This piece will do little more than has been done on the rape of Miss Tosin Ajakaiye, a school girl by known party apparatchik. The only question to ask is: what has happened to those found directly or remotely connected with these crimes.

The police have thus far not lived to expectations in apprehending the known suspects in the multiple murders highlighted above. If they would, then it may likely be brought to the knowledge of readers in due time. But then other issues of no less importance have almost been forgotten about the election in Osun.

One of such is the case of returned figures in respect of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. No where is the whole charade robed as election in Osun more nauseating than at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, where votes were generously, if not foolishly, allotted to the PDP. The absurdity of the vote allocation spree is made more manifest by the fact that students who ought to have voted were in their homes across other parts of Nigeria at the time they allegedly participated in the ‘election’ of Governor Oyinlola.

In Awolowo Hall, a purely residential facility for male students, 2300 votes were recorded on Form EC8A. This means that this number of people, out of a total of 2367 registered voters in the hall, voted. To expose the lie however, only 202 names were ticked as having voted in the exercise on polls day! If it could be excused that even when the school was not in session, about 200 students were in residence, what logic can any sane mind adduce to justify near 100 per cent voting?

But that was what they got in Osun of 2007; a result that the men at the Petitions Tribunal were not convinced was doctored! If the ratio of voters per minute is computed as have been done by the legal team of the Action Congress candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, it will become obvious that the figures could only have been gotten from the pit of hell.

Something more bizarre also happened. On the 14th of June 2007, there was an explosion at the government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo. Ever since then, every unimaginable effort has been made to put the blame at the doorsteps of Action Congress chieftains in the state. Not only have some of them been arrested, granted bail, rearrested, bailed and rearrested over and over again, subterranean attempts have been made to divert the attention of the public from the real culprits.

Members of the opposition are being hounded on a daily basis. Some have added that there are several other unresolved murders and threat to lives: all because a man wants to remain in an office that is all but permanent.

As said earlier, most of these developments are outside of the purview of the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan. But the most important issue of all is: the determination of the true winner of the April 2007 polls.

In Oshogbo, the question has been asked over and over again. In the whole of Ijesha land it is being asked. In Ile-Ife, Ede, Iree, Ikeji, Arakeji, Ikirun, Esa-Oke and indeed all the other major places where the peoples’ will have been imprisoned on account of the declaration of a false winner of the election, the question is being asked: who won the election? That question is the major question the Court of Appeal will have to answer sooner than later. The people are surely waiting.

They may be waiting in pain but they are also waiting with hope.

By eni Akinsola

•Culled from The Nation

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