ISAAC OLUSESI writes that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) roller-coaster verdict on the governance of State of Osun cannot be a license to switch the state back to the PDP antediluvian and decadence from the All Progressives Congress (APC) creativity and modernism which the governed currently enjoy.
In Nigeria, State of Osun, this is a return to an issue that will probably continue to be discussed until the gubernatorial election is held in the state and result declared. The state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola is not a man of contradictions to defile Chief Ebenezer Babatope’s performance assessment of Osun governance and administration as the queue of those willing and ready to take over Aregbesola’s job gets longer by the day, countdown to the 2018 September governorship election. Although, the Babatope verdict: “Even if I am opposed to APC and what Buhari’s federal government has done, I can never discredit Aregbesola and his government. He has done very well. He is a performer” has continued to ring out and hunt the camp of oppositions in the deep recess of their citadel, the consequent strategic retreats, pull-backs, double-steps, obfuscations, circumlocutions and retreats have further amplified the flurry of opposition elements in the state.
The score sheet of Aregbesola of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), coming clamorously from Babatope, a key figure in the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state is quite episodic, invigorated by the basic and inalienable paraphernalia of the spirit of democracy. The assessment is premiered stridently with metaphorical allusion to Aregbesola’s skills in politics, governance and administration. Babatope knows the total ramification of his verdict, having been in the first division of party politics with the array of inconsequential politicians who oil the ego that makes the Babatopes in politics believe they are Herbert Humpherys.
Hello, listen! Babatope, in the top league of Nigeria’s South-West politics had been in the progressive circle, starting with Action Group (AG) through Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) of the yesteryears; and in 1999, he slide into the reactionary opposition PDP, waxing stronger in the party till today. He has seen it all to know everything there is to know about the dynamics of politics and power, policies and projects, and development and growth. The question is, has anyone ever charmed the opposition lion in Babatope and his PDP? Yes, Aregbesola has been able to do just that by his courage of conviction and stubborn commitment to what he set out 8years ago to do with his governorship of Osun, expressive in his 6-points Integral Action Plan; and the footprints of his effective governance must have been the springboard for the verdict.
In the era of unreason, prior to the Aregbesola government, Osun had a sour taste of PDP’s museum of atrocities. The malignant cancer of bitter and destructive politics and governance that inflicted the state crept in unabated from the 16years of PDP mis-rule at the centre such that every nook and cranny of Osun was in deep mourning and depression. Babatope, part of the PDP monstrous system that put Osun through the mills of unedifying history of endless procession of shame and misery across the alley of damper to the abyss where people bled to death, is not one to mince words on all issues. But the rapturous ovation that greeted his verdict on Aregbesola’s performances in office, first thought to be too good and impregnable is made mincemeat by the empiricism of the evils of Babatope’s PDP while the party held sway in the Oke-fia Government House, Osogbo, the state capital. For the archives, the party recorded all failures, safe enough to recall that the PDP’s almost 8-years governance in Osun was rickety. As consequence, the Osun people, the governed came under the thumb of socio-economic and political dislocations. His PDP chieftains saw Osun public offices they respectively occupied as a basket of ripe fruits. They made fabulous wealth by ill-gotten means; and given the parlous Osun economy, the party practically destroyed the state, with the citizens turned the wretched of the earth.
Excuse me! Babatope could not be said to be a decent man as he did not keep a safe distance from his party that oozed dirt of mis-governance, the missiles of mud. He must then be one of the PDP chief custodians of errors who nth time told their willing flunkeys that the wrinkles of their party’s misrule in Osun were in fact beauty lines. While in truth the party was, even into the twilight of its government, too long on minutiae of governance and administration in the state.
In place of apologizing to Osun people for the misdeeds of his party as his party arch-chief, Uche Secondus did to the nation, Babatope has obstreperously horned in on APC government in Osun by his deceitful roller-coaster verdict, juggling the cards obtuse of seasoning his verdict with repudiation of his PDP’s mal-administration in Osun. But the governed in Osun cannot be on the horns of his verdict that looked away from his PDP’s malady in the state. The verdict brouhaha cannot be a license to switch Osun back to the PDP antediluvian and decadence from the APC creativity and modernism which the ruled currently enjoy.
If Babatope’s verdict on the government of Aregbesola APC is an honour to the state, then it is, in the hoopla charitably gratuitous like a bolt from the blues that ironically sent ferociously devastating waves across the governing APC and opposition PDP; but the honour cannot expand any tuft for Babatope or his party. However, he must have been fully convinced that Aregbesola, in the aftermath of this year September governorship poll cannot be replaced in the heart of Osun. Good! Time has made the PDP yesterday vices in Babatope his today’s virtues. Residents in Osun under the watch of Aregbesola, now sleep with their two eyes closed as no one is hyper-sensitive any longer from the fear of constant violence and arrest networked by the PDP thuggery, police harassment and brutality in PDP’s years in Osun governance.
Contrastingly, Aregbesola is a selfless man who sets aside perks of politics and power, the brazen scramble for easy money, easy property and easy fuck-rounds for women, partying and booze at Ada in Boripe Local Council Development Area of the state, instead, he serves Osun people. Aregbesola‘s other attribute is his advancing the heartland of the poor by his masses-driven projects – O‘Meals, O‘Schools, Agba-Osun, O‘Ambulance, O‘Roads et cetera.
From day one, Aregbesola’s electioneering campaign promises are a fait accompli. He has played well his historical responsibility, incontrovertibly making the difference in the state crafts. The seriousness of purpose of his APC government has also instilled orderliness and peace in Osun public life; the honesty of his government earned him the patience and other sacrifices the state civil servants made for the still on-going massive developments in Osun; and the prevailing justice in the state fired the sensibility and sensitivity of the governed to democratic behaviour. He‘s one to look up to for depth, skill, oratory and discipline. That is why Osun people insist that Aregbesola has a full say in the aspirant desiring to be Osun governor after him. It is expected that the man to succeed him should be one standing shoulders high above mediocrity and criminality. The next Osun helmsman ought to have been heard and seen to consistently espouse progressive values. Not Omisoreity– turning simple matter into complicated one, or Oyinlolaism– saying good night when you mean good morning.
In Osun APC, the primary election of a candidate-successor to Aregbesola will be very taxing, a mountain and not a mole hill. The primary will not be a platform for the ventilation of inordinate preferences and desperation. And the aspirant to fly the party governorship banner will have good Godliness, good health, good stamina, good vision, good mission and the Aregbesola conviction-cum-dedication. Period!
- OLUSESI is Assistant Director, Publicity, Research & Strategy, Osun APC.