Plato in his book, The Republic posited that “Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness of the whole and not that of any one class” and this is corroborated by Nichollo Machiavelli in his book The Prince: “All well governed states and wise princes have taken care not to reduce the nobility to despair, nor the people to discontent”.
The pertinent question is: Why is there total discontent in my beloved state, Osun today? A casual visit to any part of Osun state today will confirm the disaffection and dissatisfaction of the vast majority of the people (except for the few that are feasting like vultures on the meagre resources of the state), with the rabid hunger, abject poverty and unemployment rampaging the state.
Looking at the performance of Oyinlola led PDP government since he was rigged into power six years ago, one would have seen the absence of quality and well thought out people oriented development. Lack of vision and commitment to do the right thing is the bane of his administration in the last six years of the locust. It is so obvious even for the blind to see that things are not going the way they should. This is not what the impoverished people of Osun state bargained for when they were clamouring for democracy during the military era.
To say that the hope of the long-suffering people of Osun state in democracy has become forlorn since Oyinlola took over the driver’s sit six years ago is merely stating the obvious. To state that Oyinlola has turned Osun state into a cesspool of corruption, arrogance, waste, indiscipline and undemocratic conducts is merely stating the obvious. In Osun today, culture of impunity is the rule rather than the exception. Nothing demonstrates the incompetence of the current illicit handlers of Osun state today than the parlous state of infrastructure, health and education sectors.
As one of the poorest state in Nigeria, and with a pathetic record of having the highest number of unemployed graduates in Nigeria, Osun state has urgent challenges crying for attention. Instead of facing these challenges, Oyinlola had continued to waste the lean resources of the state on phoney road projects and white elephant projects as reflected in the delusions of grandeur of building an aerodrome, a golf course, five star hotel and completion of an abandoned television station in a state that has five functioning TV stations, in a state where the most exigent question facing us is human capital development and graduate unemployment.
Apart from corruption, another major cause of the problem of worsening poverty, decrepit infrastructure and poor social services delivery in the state of the living God who is slow to anger are inherent in the fact that the highest percentage of the revenue accruing to the state are spent on recurrent expenditure i.e. payment of salaries and emolument of public holders. Impartial observer of political events will agree with this writer that Osun state today is replete with policy somersault and obdurate disdain for rule of law and due process. In the last six years, just like his Ogun state counterpart, Oyinlola reigned supreme over the affairs of the people and government of Osun state.
Like a colossus, he bestrode the land and looked down on every body as a Lilliputian. He is like the mythical knight in shining armour, riding on high horse and galloping along the plains, trampling and breaking all along the way. Today, the man is no longer of this world because his head was obviously up there in cloud line, blind and oblivious to happenings and realities down on earth. “Absolute power” the old saying goes, corrupts absolutely” Because Olagunsoye Oyinlola has appropriated all powers to himself, he was an absolutist in the real sense of the word: in his corrupt and crude use of power of state.
At this point in time in Osun state, the state was Oyinlola and Oyinlola was the state! His gradual but ever- steady recourse to a reign of harassment and terror, the hallmarks of autocracy had reach the zenith. To the extent that he had completed the process of taming, by way of intimidation, the State Executive Council into a mere rubber stamp. Like Jomo Kenyata’s Kenya, Idi Amin’s Uganda, or Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, Oyinlola’s voice is the only one to be heard at the meeting of Exco.
Any member of the Exco that speaks at meetings would have read his lips to reflect the wish of the Lord of the manor. Today in Osun state under Oyinlola’s despotic reign, the legislative arm of government, that hallowed institution that is universally acknowledge as the main feature of democracy, was nothing but a lap dog of Oyinlola- led executive arm of government. They were so subdued and emasculated to the point that, no bills or motions were tabled for debate in the House, if they had not been prepared or sanctioned by Oyinlola.
Funds were usually appropriated without debate, for projects and programmes that have little or no impact on the lives of the people, while the oversight function of the legislature was completely non-existent. The plight of the judiciary under Oyinlola’s fascist regime is the most pitiable. It (judiciary) has been cowed and intimidated to the extent that adjudication and justice in Osun state today are nothing but the product of whims and caprices of a mandate usurper, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
So bad is the situation in the justice system that, he solely decided which case went to which court; which judge presided over a particular case and what judgement should be handed down in certain cases. Today, in Osun dissenting voices are usually arrested on trumped up charges and detained at will, indefinitely without trial for offences that are bailable.
Courts are now being used to persecute perceived political enemies. Magistrates have been recommended for appointment as judges solely because they signed remand warrant of members of the opposition brought to their courts on trumped up charges initiated by the office of the Attorney General. A Magistrate have been roped along with members of opposition by Oyinlola through his Attorney General and sent to jail.
The only “offence” committed by Magistrate Fabiyi was the bail he granted to a member of opposition for a bailable offence. Before one would say Jack Robinson, a magistrate has become a bomb thrower! It is the aforementioned reign of impunity going on in Osun state that made Oyinlola to have the effrontery and the audacity to ordered his integrity-defficient Attorney General to go on air and announce to the whole world that the 30 PDP sacked council chairmen in Osun state should not obey the verdict of the court that is next to the highest court in Nigeria, The court of Appeal, it is most unfortunate! His has probably, forgotten that his lawless mentor and god-father who would have supported his open invitation to anarchy is no longer at the helm of affairs, that we now have a man, Umar Musa Yar’Adua whose respect for the rule of law is unparalleled.
From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that as “governor” of Osun state, Olagunsoye Oyinlola will go down in history as the most lawless, colorless, unimaginative, morally and intellectually bankrupt person that ever occupied that office in Nigeria
By LANRE AMINU
•Aminu is the National Coordinator, ODUA YOUTH FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE