Rewarding Brigandage

That Osun State is a theatre of terror and violence is no longer news. That there is also an imbalance of terror that swings precariously to the side of the state is a platitude. As events before, during and after the April 14 2007 ill-fated gubernatorial elections have shown, all manner of psychopathic vagabonds have attained unbelievable prominence in the corridors of the Osun State power apparatus.

It would be recalled that a year to the elections, at around may 2005 along an Ilesa main road, notorious Wale Oni, whilst in a state of reckless inebriation, in the company of four other vagabonds of his ilk, riding in a Toyota Tercel station wagon branded with posters of General Oyinlola and his deputy, Erelu Obada, left their own side of the road and smashed almost head-long into the vehicle belonging to a Lagos lawyer and friend of Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, who, even at that time had been marked as a potential instrument for the dislodgement of the evil government in place in Osun State.

Wale and his gang had been running from a scene where they vandalised the Toyota bus which conveyed friends and associates of Engineer Rauf Aregbesola to mark his birthday at Ilesa.

The crude and garrulous demeanour of these miscreants in whose wrecked car was found charms, machetes and some weed, was not out of character for anyone familiar with the Osun State PDP . What will continue to amaze all those who witnessed this ugly incidence was the alacrity and braggadocio displayed by the culprit, Wale Oni, as he boasted in the presence of the police officers at Ijamo Police Station, Ilesa that his invitation for questioning was futile as Erelu Obada would sort him out.

The week to the 2007 gubernatorial elections, Wale Oni leading a band of PDP thugs unleashed mayhem on opposition AC candidates in several attacks at Ilesa which left a mobile policeman dead, and the communication equipment mounted upon a campaign vehicle of the opposition AC candidate for a public office in mid-town Ilesha severely damaged

A few days before the April 14 elections, unknown gunmen launched a vicious assault on Ayinke House, Osogbo headquarters of Oranmiyan Movement, in which the editor of OSUN DEFENDER, Kola Olabisi narrowly escaped death. The central character fingered in this heinous act was a PDP stalwart who fraudulently parades himself as an American-trained medical doctor.

Oroki Day 2006, Osogbo is an unforgettable day in history. That was the day AC gubernatorial candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola missed death by the whiskers when thugs and policemen in uniform opened a staccato of gun fire upon his black vehicle as he hurriedly departed from that hostile environment. In the wake of his departure and that of all his supporters who were chased out of the venue, a Toyota lite-ace branded with Oranmiyan could not be driven out by its terror-stricken driver who had fled for dear life.

Footages of the incident telecast on several TV stations showed a hefty woman standing in authoritative akimbo, while supervising the vandalism of the Oranmiyan lite ace vehicle. That woman is none other than Mrs Sade Abon.

In Oyinlola’s Osun State, it is impossible not to be noticed if you have such capacity to dispense maximum violence as persons mentioned above.

Wale Oni’s propensity for bestial violence is well appreciated in high places. He is now the PDP Chairman for Ilesa East. As for the Amazon of violence, Mrs. Abon whose imposing physique dominated the footage of the Oroki Day saga, she has been rewarded with membership of Osun State Women’s Empowerment Board

Perhaps, the most embarrassing of all of Oyinlola’s appointments is that of an Osogbo Islamic cleric, Mallam Lere Yusuf whose house was reportedly used as armoury before and during the gubernatorial elections 2007. He has bagged a position in the governing Board of the Osun State College of Technology, Esa- Oke.

The point must be made here that political leaders need to exercise visionary caution in dispensing patronage and positions, more so, with regards to the governing board of learning institutions. Proven track record as an intellectual or educationist. Or as an eminent citizen of impeccable moral credentials should always form the criteria for selection. Children especially adolescents, are very impressionable. They readily emulate and boast of their Parents, next their teacher, and then, the school they attend.

And if these do not suffice, they would flaunt the name and credentials of one or two members of the governing board of their school.

By appointing such a character as Mallam Lere to participate in governing the affairs of a school, Oyinlola has demonstrated utter disregard for the principle of appropriate mentoring,

The students of that school have, due to no making of theirs, become victims of lopsided role modeling

It is perhaps, too late to advise ‘the guv’ to reverse these appointments as time is running out for his evil regime as they count the days the people of Osun State can rest assured that such people as Sade Abon and Wale Oni, and even Mallam Lere shall be consigned to the dung heap of history.

• This piece, first published in the Monday August 18 2008 is repeated due to public demand.

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