Olaide Ajibola Must Be Removed

etter to the editorYour newspaper has become my religious book, which has seized my attention in the last four years and I appreciate you and your team for that. Please, permit me to air my views on the defection of the former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lawmaker, representing Olorunda State Constituency, Olaide Ajibola.

Ordinarily, I would have considered his defection as a mere political game, but I am a living witness to some of the circumstances that brought him to the State House of Assembly.

In the first place, I knew when he was clubbed on his head by the jack of his smoking car after he was beaten to the pulp by some agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for standing election against the party, and I knew how much the leadership of the ACN in the state spent before he survived the attack.

I was also aware that Engineer Rauf Aregbesola expended several millions of naira on Ajibola before some Psychiatrists could correct his brain nerves, or else, he would have run mad. That gesture of Aregbesola and the party was enough to hate Ajibola with passion.

It is to my knowledge that the party gave Ajibola N5 million to refund the illegal constituency funds that was paid to the salary accounts of all lawmakers in the state, and when the matter was resolved at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), other lawmakers returned the money to the party, except Ajibola who lavished the loan on stolen vehicles.

As a voter and tax payer from Olorunda State Constituency, I know that Ajibola has not done any good job on some of the projects he claimed to have executed. Apart from the sub-standard job done, it is on record that he has not completed some of the projects.

Of course, we know that Ajibola could not win in front of his father’s house in Olorunda Local Government Council Area again; nonetheless, we shall mobilise the youths of the council to work against him in the next election, for he is a bad example of a youth who does not comply with paradigm shift.

I am using this medium to call on the leadership of the ACN in Olorunda Local Government Council Area to please begin a drive for the removal of Ajibola now, because it will be an injustice of the highest order to have allowed the ingrate called lawmaker to enjoy the blood of innocent people on the platform of regressive party.

Let me further charge the leadership of ACN in Osun State to always be watchful of the candidate that would be representing the interest of the party in any future election, because people like Ajibola is not only a misfit, but also a crass opportunist that must not be allowed to become anything in human society.
•Kunle Layiwola, Osogbo

View Points With Ade Olugbotemi

National AssemblyOmo alailowo d’omo olomo
Aya alailowo d’aya alaya
Oke meto oko meye
Oke m’ohun to ye kose
Airise lo po oko ninu

Meaning:-

The child of the impoverished becomes another man’s
The wife of the impoverished becomes another man’s
The impoverished knows what is good and manly to do
The impoverished knows what is right to do
It is poverty that makes him to turn incoherent

Today, it is my desire to draw from the content of one of the numerous songs that make Chief Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye legendary for the purpose of comparative analysis. King Sunny Ade (KSA) as he is fondly called by his numerous fans had brought to the fore a scenario that turned a man inconsistent.

This inconsistency, according to him is not accidental. It is caused, and it is caused against the wish of the man. It is this causal effect that forced a man to become so ordinary that he inadvertently abdicated his natural status and position. I intend to juxtapose this with a modern day reality for the reading pleasure of the lovers of this column. I hope it will be worthy of the time and energy you are sparing.

In this part of the globe, we cherish decorum; we cherish honour; and we cherish courtesy. Early in the morning, the children are expected to courteously greet their parents; with the female children kneeling down to curry blessings from either parent, and the male children falling flat in prostration for the same reason. These are the two ways the children pay obeisance to their parents and the elderly ones anytime, any day. The wife on the other hand kneels down to greet husband early in the morning. Accompanying this is the eulogy; with the wife calling the husband names like my Lord, my owner, the buyer of my head and so on.

This is usually the tonic for the man’s (husband’s) vibrancy for the rest of the day; with the products of the man’s sweat coming forth as the reward for making the day a pleasant one for the husband. The same is repeated in the evening to serve as consolation for whatever difficulties, disappointments and failures the husband has experienced in the course of searching for means of livelihood for the survival of the members of the family.

When ungratified desires begin to pile because household powers begin to be bereft of employment in that natural world of fulfillment, trials and troubles creep in subtly, with the eyes of the household members suffusing with tears for want of survival recipe. The ineffable stature and status of the husband then fizzle like the dews in a sunny morning.

The husband’s invincibility wanes like rain waters with the approach of summer season. The splendour of the breadwinner quickly disappears and the mouth of the woman becomes two heavy for praise singing. The hitherto man of valour suddenly becomes weaker than the bruised reed and the smoking flax. The man thus becomes a river that is moved to and fro by every wind that flits across it.

The wife and the children storm out of the house early in the morning; not minding the presence of the erstwhile progenitor of potent subsistence in the house. The authority of the husband cum father quickly becomes frail and brittle, while his presence and existence in the household become jeopardized by reason of economic mortality. The man with stamped authority when the goings were good embarrassingly becomes a figure-head ,whose presence has become smothered; with precarious existence like that of a flaminous flax which can be blown out by an infant’s breath because the spark within it disappears within the twinkle of an eye.

With time, the husband learns to wake up earlier than any other person in the house. He forcefully begins to greet everybody from one room to another, absorbing insults that may erupt from individual vituperations. The wife hews her own insult by telling the husband that he has been disturbing her of late by not allowing her to sleep satisfactorily. The wife that goes to the master bed to lay at the abrupt command of the erotic husband becomes segregated due to self-will with the “right of passage” becoming transferred to an alien man, who is well to do, and can spare a largesse for the upkeep of the concubine’s children.

The children become more of allegiance to the strange man than their biological father, who also preys on the leftover that comes from the man outside. The wife and the children now owe more allegiance to the man outside because, as the Yoruba people will say, he who owns the wherewithal (money) possesses the merchandise.

This is just the replica of the prevailing situation in our country today, where the politicians have turned foster fathers and husbands; leaving the real father and husband to his fate to battle with.

A deliberate art of commission has been fashioned by the political actors of our time to strip the fathers and husbands their legitimate natural estate. What are naturally endowed as inalienable rights have been taken away from them that they are only left as instruments of temporary conjugal bliss and procreation. It started as a subtle process, but today, it has become a menace that the mortals in this part of the world are learning to live with like bitter pills that are difficult to swallow, but are being forced down the throats because of the danger behind a refrain.

In the twilight of the military dispensation in Nigeria , suggestions were rife that sitting allowances only should be apportioned to the legislators, while the executive should go home with take-home pay that will make political offices less attractive. These were considered by the majority as voices of reasoning because of the need to develop infrastructural facilities that have turned comatose. It was the general opinion that if political offices are made less attractive, the polity will develop fast because it will be beret of thugery, killings, intimidation, electoral malpractices and other antisocial behaivours that such experiments in the past have been associated with.

People became extremely flabbergasted when they discovered that the former military warlords who nursed the ambition of transmuting into “soldiers in the flowing gowns” have connived with their colleagues who were still serving then to make their entrance into political arena juicy. They threw a bait forward to the civil servants in term of marginal salary increase before they came up with jumbo pay for political office holders.

The desire to allow the political dispensation have a sound footing suppressed all agitations against such concomitant. The argument that such moves concerning the emoluments of political office holders was untimely was quickly stifled because the civil servants have been cajoled into believing that the moves were well-meaning.

Today, the emoluments of the political office holders have gone up astronomically whereas the take home pay of the civil servants is hardly enough to take them home. It became so unbelievable that politicians who were paupers and beggars before they assumed office could become billionaires over night. A member of the House of Representatives from Osun State said boastfully to one of his friends the other day that he has found the secret of money making in Abuja; more potent than the traditional way of making-wealth. One wonders then what has become of Nigeria in terms of draining pipes the politicians have turned to be, when we agitated for civil governance because of the belief that the soldiers were not accountable to the people.

The mighties of today who are lion-like are those who wangle their ways into political offices. The politicians have re-enlivened a scenario that we condemned the military juntas on before 1999, by erasing the middle class. Those who would have constituted the middle class cohorts are those young first and second degree holders who have become political jobbers.

Their intellectual acquisitions have become inconsequential because governments at all levels have created bottlenecks that make it extremely difficult for young school leavers to get jobs. These people therefore have no choice than to become thugs and errand boys to the politicians, who in turn give them peanuts as compensation for their ignoble services.

The situation is made worse with many parents that have been denied their sources of livelihood. Electricity, as a source of energy is epileptic. Farmers who toil day and night to grow foods are deprived of the opportunity to market their farm produce because the roads to their bases from the urban centres where they can profitably dispose of them are not motorable. They are then left at the mercy of those who can struggle to get to these peasants to purchase the produce at ridiculous, give-away prices; leaving the innocent worn-out farmers to live from hand to mouth thereafter, with little or nothing left for the dependants to subsist on.

We can see that deviant behaviour is on the increase. The average youths in Nigeria today are either armed robbers or hired assassins. Social values have become extinct and there seems to be no future for the upcoming generation. Courtesy appears to have been lost to the degeneration of our time. Most unfortunately, the few money bags amongst us have misused their ill-gotten wealth to acculturate our society by importing foreign value system that has turned counter-productive in our society.

Hard work is fast losing its essence, while idleness is being encouraged because the few that are willing to work are lacking in wherewithal. Communality is fast waning, with this being replaced with individualism. The struggle for survival has made chastity a taboo in our society because our young girls and ladies are disorientated; making them to believe that virginity is emblematic of primitiveness. Many more ills still live with us.

As we push our case forward towards constitutional amendments, we must press for less monetized politicization. Our experience has now shown that availability of money is the road to our acculturation; and this must be repudiated vehemently. The party that is claiming to be the biggest in Africa should be prevented from drifting the country to an unfortunate everlasting enslavement.

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

The Constitution Is Not To Blame

National AssemblyNAMES are identities by which all things created are known and addressed so the Bible, when the world was created, said Adam was privileged to name all things created including you and I long dash homo sapiens. When, therefore a name is given to an object, he/it straightens its/his ears when that name or sign is called.

For instance, if the domestic goat is astray somewhere and the name such as “Lanke” given it is mentioned or called, it runs helter skelter to the direction its owner-caller is. That same authority as was given Adam transferred to us his offsprings-white or black.

By the time Nigeria got her name from the explorers from the important Rivers Niger and Benue, Niger Area later contracted to Nigeria was given to the geographical enclave. The happenings in that country make us think the name given to us in Nigeria is a misnomer. Don’t say: ‘What’s in a name?’
The import of my illustration springs from the way our governments are run in the number of tiers they are split. Britain colonized the country. She colonized Ghana and some other African countries especially West Africa.

Ever since, our British colonialists are reputed for comparative peace, stable governance. No one is in doubt as to her diplomatic posture earning her economies. She is also very, conservative – living on this conservatism as well. Up to now, there’s no record that Britain has a written constitution and this reason has never resulted in any political upheaval. Convention, which its constitution assumes, has never failed its governance once.

Convention means a general agreement accepted and signed by the components making up that nation with regard to social behaviour. Most of these agreements pass from mouth to mouth. Britain has ever never violated these conventions.

Why the hues and cries over constitution writing in Nigeria? The number of times that I have heard Nigeria write constitutions are innumerable. So much that lawyers in Nigeria specialize in constitution. Besides, this has not provided us a permanent constitution. Rather than solve our problems, we are more united in the breach of the constitution than its observance. The constitution is never faulty. It’s its operators that have their mental faculties deserving of examinations.

The very first pointer to the need for the test of the psychiatry of Nigerians particularly the leaders is the number of years it has taken certain vital issues as ‘Freedom of Information Bill etc crawling, creeping in the National Assembly,

It will surprise a mentally upright setting to know that the ‘FOI’ bill has been between the Executive of and the National Assembly since the last nine or ten years.

Once, it was said that the National Assembly complained that the copies of the bill did not go round the members. The argument was punctured thereafter by the concerned. How will copies of bill not be available? Unbelievable.

All forms of hide-and-seek excuses docked the Bill. The presenter of the Bill, if not a professional journalist, media practitioner, would have long abandoned it

I am aware that the Bill seeks to give the media unfettered access to information at both government and civil levels. The deals of the politicians and the allies will no longer be shrouded in secrecy. The bill will enable the media to probe into the secret deals of the people at whatever level. No wonder, there’s more to the excuses our Assemblymen give than meets the eye.

The whole truth about the delay of the Bill in the National Assembly is that the members are not representatives of the people but people who galvanize their seats from the power brokers in various political parties. Some of these Assemblymen are foreigners to the people they claim to represent. So, in terms of doing what the constituents badly need, they do what favours their pockets for which they scamper for Assembly seats. Does it surprise you to hear that some of the representatives don’t know which state their constituencies belong! Are you saying Haba! Before you say haa! what’s the difference between a representative who, all his/her life, had never set feet on the soil of his/her home-town and those who know their states of origin only?

Freedom of Information Bill, except by divine intervention, will not sail through in the current Assembly. If it ever does, it will be so battered that its bruises will turn ‘Lazarus’ of it.
One of the indications of the ‘Lazarus’ bruises the Bill will suffer is what one-time Minister of Information, Chief Tony Momoh-criticized the Assembly for recommending the Bill to pass through – that permission be taken from the judiciary. Why must the judiciary be the approving authority for the Press to operate? Is the Senate President suggesting that the Press is not a respectable enough organ that can manage its censorship? Is the Senate President suggesting that the Assembly is the right arm to say who to consult before the items of the bill are made use of? Methinks that, free as the National Assembly are, the executive and the judiciary have to be dictated to as to what they should do. Each Arm of government should maintain its autonomy. The skeleton of the assembly is not unknown.

The kind of elections that brought the executive, the legislature to power in 2007 were enough to read the mind of the assembly. One can read the Senate Presidents’ apprehensions by the time he indicates running another term what adverse effects passage of FOI bill, as contained, will have on “arrange elections” representatives enjoyed to get the office.

By now that, after 48 years of ‘countryhood’ – not nationhood, so many wrongs have not been righted in the polity inspite of litigations, one would not but conclude that the name “Nigeria” is’ a misnomer”. So many steps backward at a standstill stance towards progress.

Can that name be the cause of so many steps backward our development experiences?
God save our souls.

•Due to public demand, this write-up BY SONALA OLUMHENSE, is re-produced for our teeming reading public. -Editor

Rauf Aregbesola In Osun State Politics

Engineer Rauf AregbesolaTHE first time I met Rauf was way back at the end of General Abdulsami Abubakar’s military government and the newly elected civilians were gearing to go. Pro-democracy fighters were coming out of the trenches, and those of us in exile (forced or voluntary) were returning home. Bola Tinubu had just become governor-elect of Lagos State and was busy putting together his think-tank, preparing for D-Day when he would assume office as the 3rd elected governor of Lagos State. That was March 1999!

Rauf was like the Chief Clerk putting together all the paperwork and co-ordinating the flurry of activities around the emerging guru. I was one of the late returnees from exile, still rather sceptical of the military’s good intention – how could people get elected even before the intended ‘Constitution’ was made public? I was not part of Bola’s ‘team’ but had come from the UK to visit the governor-lect and see in what way I could be useful to a exile-years friend in the Herculean task ahead of him.

But within a few minutes of meeting Rauf I knew this was no mere clerk, this indeed was a revolutionary in cocoon, waiting for the warmth of nature to explode into life! As it turned out, Rauf, as an engineering student at The Polytechnic Ibadan, had been my older brother (Professor Layi Fagbenle)’s student. A point of connection had been struck.

I eyed him curiously, wondering where this ajantala came from. His breadth of knowledge and grasp of local and international politics belied his youth. Here was a young man, articulate and effusive, even abrasive, yet studiously calm. He struck me as a Che Guevera with a visionary and analytical mind of an Obafemi Awolowo. I wondered where and how Bola Tinubu got to know him. And I see it as a measure of Tinubu’s acute sense of judgement and team-building ability when Rauf emerged as the new governor’s foremost Works commissioner and most trusted aide.

But I have neither seen nor heard from Rauf Aregbesola for some years now, certainly not since he began his quest to become Osun State’s governor. And, worsted by my unpleasant experience during my impetuous adventure into politics in 2003 when I ran for Osun Central Senate seat under Gani Fawehinmi’s NCP, I have deliberately kept off Osun State and its crude politics of nihilism, resisting the urge of those who believe “if you get thrown off a horse the thing to do is mount it again”!

Consequently, I have followed, only with detached interest the horrifying and sad spectacle that has bedevilled Osun State in the tussle for power between the contending forces of the incumbent Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the eager-to succeed-him Rauf Aregbesola.

Rauf cuts a picture of a crusader on horseback, lasso and holy tablet in hand, whipping up urban populist sentiments for change, with a war cry of a revolutionary mission to wipe out debilitating systems and entrenched lecherous operators, supplanting them with a new order and visionary quest.

Olagunsoye, on the other hand, a retired military general, sits princely in the saddle of power, buoyed by his incumbency and an empirical knowledge of the existential character of the people (I will never forget the “e ja’nkan’le” – drop something – riposte that kept greeting my plea for change during my senatorial campaign), and a believe that he is the preferred choice of the rural masses and their traditional leaders.

I met the Osun governor about a week ago. My friend, Segun Odegbami had called him to contribute into the funds we were trying to raise for Yinka Craig. The governor’s response had been instant; someone was to come the next day for his “widow’s mite”. The lot fell on me as Segun had some other engagement in Abuja.

Oyinlola welcomed me warmly into his office, even rising slightly behind his desk to offer me his handshake, a gesture that struck me as rather humble. I was also impressed that I was not kept waiting at all to see him. I remember having met him one-on-one only once before, and that was, again, during that election campaign of mine in 2003. It was the evening of the day of the gubernatorial election and we were both separately at Mr. Ponle’s MicCom Golf Resort in Ada, near my Igbajo hometown, to ease off the election tension. Results coming in had indicated he had won in his; and I had lost in mine. He got introduced to me as the victorious gubernatorial candidate and I was surprised at his diminutive stature. I remember him paying me some compliments on the vigorous quality of my campaign; his hometown was in my senatorial district and I had carried my battle cry into his domain.

The first thing I said when I sat before him now to collect money on behalf of my sick friend was, “I guess you know I belong to the other group”. Of course, I belong to no “group”, but in my mind, even if I had not seen or heard from Rauf, my sentiments lay with him. A bit impolitic of me since I was yet to receive the package I came for, but the old “journalist” could not resist the temptation to prick the governor.

“Yes, I do,” Oyinlola said, “but I believe that shouldn’t stop anyone from being objective.” And he went on explaining his point of view on the tussle for power in Osun State. “Rauf is a brilliant young man,” I said, “of a revolutionary mould.” “Yes, I know,” quipped the governor, “but you can’t force yourself on the people. If you truly love the people, why can’t you bring your ‘good ideas’ to the table and ask us to consider this and that for implementation? But you go about causing mayhem, fomenting trouble, believing it must be you at all cost. Which people do you want to govern if you become the governor, dead people? And this thing of “omo eni ko se’di bebere…” that some people are doing, I come from somewhere too. My own people can also insist it has to be their own son there too, or no one? This will get us no where.”

Unfortunately, it was no time to engage in long debate: he was waiting for his Executive Committee meeting to start and I was in a hurry to rush back to Lagos. Oyinlola’s personal contribution towards Yinka Craig’s cause was large-hearted and prompt, he would need to extend that to ensure that Osun State is governed with decency and equanimity as the Electoral Tribunal’s judgement is awaited. And whichever way it goes, Osun State needs peace and progress. Enough of the bloodshed and nastiness oft fuelled by sycophants and leaches in the corridors of power who throw their agbada around morning till night and feed on the chaos they machinate.

Whenever time it is, I’m in no doubt that Osun State needs a Rauf Aregbesola even more than he needs Osun State. Rauf may need to modify his approach to Osun State politics, but the quality of his mind, his Spartan lifestyle, and his visionary ideas are the stuff by which great nations are built.

•This article written by BY TUNDE FAGBENLE, was first published in the Sunday Tribune of May 4, 2008, but has now been completely deleted from Tribune database (http://www.tribune.com.ng/03082008/tunde_fagbe.html). It was also gathered that it cost the writer his job in the Tribune stable. Luckily, he now writes for the Sunday Punch.

Our Regrets Since 2003

UNTIL a woman marries a second time, she would not know, which one is better – Yoruba Proverb.

The above proverb represents the collective will of the people in Osun State, the State of the Living Spring that has long dried up due to dismal mismanagement of our collective resources by a group fostered on us by destiny since May 29, 2003.

The people had bargained for a better deal from the then in-coming Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when we, in our collective ignorance decided to do away with what we thought, was a less sensitive administration of Chief Bisi Akande.

Akande, in the people’s estimate, especially workers in the service of Osun State Government, was a man on a mission to inflict untold chastisement on the people through its numerous programmes and policies. Most of the policies were unfortunately misinterpreted, portraying the administration as being insensitive to the masses plight. No thanks to the PDP and its latent propaganda machinery.

With active backing of the PDP, the electorate were hood-winked into the then opposition’s desperate bid to make a demon out of Akande and his administration, while in the process warming its ways into the peoples’ heart.

In the PDP, the people foolishly saw a Messiah, that was out to restore their hope and belief in the rule of law and dignity of man. So much was expected that the workers could not wait to work in the same office with Akande and therefore decided to embark on an industrial action, from which they did not resume until Oyinlola came on board.

His coming on board was seeing by many of us as marking the beginning of what we all expected to be a new dawn in Osun State, as we are all living witnesses to how humble Oyinlola was as a PDP governorship candidate, especially towards the traditional rulers in the state.

Today, myself, like everyone living in Osun State, now know better. The monster that the PDP represents in the state has come of age, baring its fangs and attacking all real and imaginary opposition figures with the ferocity of a wounded lion.

The Oyinlola humble administration of 2003 can no more be said to be the same draconian administration of today. Indeed, the monster has come of age.

Like all military officers, whether in service or out of it, Oyinlola has no patience with any form of opposition to his administration. As a matter of fact, were it not for democratic decorum, the opposition ought to be crushed with all the might at the disposal of his administration.

His first attempt aimed at subduing any opposition was to co-opt some of the labour leaders into his cabinet as Special Adviser on Labour Matters.

With the state workers safely in his pocket, Oyinlola reportedly went for the state treasury, which he deliberately left open for unrestricted access by members of his kitchen cabinet and prominent chieftains of his party, PDP.

The beneficiaries of Oyinlola’s open-handedness were suddenly found out to have become over-night millionaires including the illiterates and road–side vulcanizers who by accident of focuslessness found themselves at the corridors of power as Special Advisers and Executive Assistants to Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

With what could be observed so far, a rational political observer could infer that the ruling party in Osun State is one that celebrates mediocrity to high heavens, where party loyalty is rewarded at the expense of merit.

In a desperate bid to satisfy the greed for material wealth, the local government councils’ allocations from the federation accounts were being pilfered at will by the Oyinlola administration, since 2003 till date.

The ill-gotten wealth is being flaunted by the PDP members to the surprise of the masses who could not comfortably afford three square meals a day. Ownership of choice- properties and state-of-the-art automobiles soon became the vogue.

The brazen plundering of our collective resources continued unabated and the masses equally continue to wallow in abject poverty and the circle continues till date.

As if that was not enough, the government turned its attention on the opposition, fight the harmless lots with the ammunition in its arsenal including harassment and intimidation in a desperate bid to cow the members into submission.

Few weeks before the April 2007 general elections witnessed the bearing of its anger against the opposition as there were reported cases of arrests, detentions, attacks and maiming of members of opposition across the state.

Cache of arms were believed to have found its ways into the state, no thanks again, to the PDP chieftains who executed the do-or-die command pronounced by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on the general elections.

No member of the opposition was considered too big or old for attacks as even old men were not spared by the rampaging hoodlums who unleashed untold violence on the hapless members of the public.

The general elections were also marred by violence with records of deaths of opposition members across the state. Prominent PDP chieftains including candidates, were reported to have personally ordered the shooting of people at voting centres in their desperate attempts to snatch ballot boxes and later stuffed same with already thumb-printed ballot papers. Deaths at this period resulted into endless wailings by relations and families of the dead.

With the aid of the army of occupation reportedly invited by Oyinlola into the state, election rigging was perfected. Resulting in a controversial sweeping victory for the ruling PDP. What a calamity.

To further cow the opposition into line, the Oyinlola administration, in active connivance with the police, arranged for the arrest, detention and prosecution of members of opposition political parties and their supporters. They were hurriedly arraigned before a magistrate court where they were granted stringent bail conditions.

The latest of the PDP’s plan to further whip the opposition into line has become the bomb explosion saga in which the state government has suddenly turned chief interrogator, issuing press statements on its findings instead of the police.

The lone-suspect of the controversial explosion is currently believed to have been moved from prison to the Government House where he has been allocated a room next to Oyinlola’s .

The aim of gratten such indulgence to the suspect is to use him as a tool to get some opposition members indicted and invariably behind bars ahead of the Tribunal rulings on Oyinlola’s purported victory at the polls in April, 2007.

The mass arrests opposition members have since started and only God knows when it would end.

May God save us from this calamitous mistake made in 2003.

Furore Over Constituency Projects In Osun

THE constituency projects approved by the Osun State House of Assem­bly is still tearing apart the fabric of the House.

Action Congress (AC) members led by Timothy Owoeye have kicked against the way public fund was disbursed for the Project.

The Speaker, Adejare Bello, had insisted that the projects were collectively debated and money was approved for their execu­tion by both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and AC lawmakers.
But, Owoeye and his colleagues who have forwarded a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the move contravened the code of conduct for Public officers.

The AC legislators said their PDP coun­terparts received N5 million each as ben­efits for their respective constituencies “even when the constitution does not empower them to directly confer such benefits on the people.”

Their counsel, Tope Adebayo, alleged in the petition that the PDP Assembly men received public funds into their private purses to execute constituency projects.

In his assessment, they have put them­selves in a position where their personal interest dictated the choice of projects.

He also alleged that by venturing into the constituency project execution as elected representatives, the new assign­ment was in conflict with their constitu­tional duties and responsibilities.

, The respondents acted arbitrarily when they received N5 million each into their private accounts to perform the duties of execution of projects for their constituen­cies when they knew that it is not their constitutional duties to execute projects,” Adebayo added.

“The counsel also said by collecting the amount of NS million each, the PDP leg­islators have also violated the conscience of the electorate who placed them in their sacred duty of watching over the execu­tive in their execution of the law and pub­lic projects, like Osun, projects for the con­stituencies are necessary for bring devel­opment to the dispirited rural areas. The bone of contention is whether due pro­cess was followed in funding the project.

As part of the steps to fulfill their elec­toral promises to their constituencies, the legislators passed the resolutions direct­ing the executive to undertake projects in each of the 26 constituencies.

The legislators also agreed that a dedi­cated Consolidated Accounts should be opened to allow for equitable execution of the project and ensure accountability, sound planning and proper execution.

But, AC legislators alleged that the state government acted strangely when it di­rected payment of the N5 million each into the private accounts of the 26 legislators. The purpose was to enable them use the money to execute the projects which they individually desired for their respective constituencies.

Owoeye and other AC legislators said they were alarmed when they received credit alerts from their banks showing that their respective bank accounts had been credited with N5 million.

Adebayo stated in the petition to the EFCC that” these lodgments were made without obtaining the consents of the petitioners.”  Promptly, the AC lawmakers returned the money. They also persuaded their PDP colleagues to do the same. Adebayo said they refused. That action, he insisted, constituted an abuse of the constitution.

“Section 128 of the 1999 Constitution is clear on the oversight functions of the leg­islature, and the ends of the oversight function is designed to achieve.

“Since the ends are to expose corrup­tion, inefficiency and waste, how can the respondents achieve this where they are the dramatis personae whose activities are to be investigated,” the counsel que­ried.

The AC legislators even went further. They approached the Federal High Count, Abuja to compel the Code of Conduct Bu­reau to investigate their PDP counterparts.

But, the PDP Speaker, Adejare Bello said the AC legislators were playing politics. He also said that it was sinful and pain­ful for the AC legislators to say that there was nothing to’ show for the disbursed money.

The Special Adviser to Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola on Media, Lasisi Olagunju, had also chided the AC legis­lators, saying that their petition was in bad faith.

“The decision to execute constituency projects was a joint one made by all the members of the House of Assembly, irre­spective of party affinitive PDP and AC members jointly approved the budget without dissention. The amount ear­marked, for the project was a joint deci­sion, he stressed.

By EMMANUEL OLADESU

•Culled from THE NATION

Akinjide Again!

WITH his recent unfortunate comment on a matter that is still pending before the Court of Appeal, Chief Richard Akinjide has poignantly proved that a leopard can never change its spots.

The reason why many took his view with a pinch of salt cannot be far-fetched. People’s derision for his views stems from his sheer lack of credibility and sincerity. Such popular contempt for the opinions of an otherwise respectable public figure is the price Akinjide has to pay for his past opportunistic political activities.

Akinjide, a master of double speak, was at his “senile best”, contradicting himself, when he granted his hatchet interview to The Sun newspaper of 22nd of November, 2008. Peeping into his political antecedent, one can see he has always worked against the interest of the Yoruba people for no other reason than his personal, short-term political gains. Elders of his caliber in other clime are noted for taciturnity, zero tolerance for garrulity and sobering comments on raging issues of political nature that is capable of setting the entire country ablaze.

Instead of turning over a new leaf at the twilight of his life, Akinjide has continued to toe his well-known path of infamy that is siding with the enemies of the Yoruba people, by playing the role of a spoiler for their electoral choices. One has continued to wonder if this is the type of legacy a proud parent will be glad to leave behind for his children.

Akinjide’s anti-Yoruba posture dated to the Second Republic. It is on record that it is the unwholesome activities of people like him that brought Yoruba land nay Nigeria to the sorry state in which we presently found ourselves. Akinjide’s tendentious comments on a matter that is subjudice .i.e. Osun A.C. and Aregbesola’s petition against the declaration of the usurper, Oyinlola as the governor of Osun state by the discredited Iwu-led INEC is most unfortunate. Any discerning mind will agree with we, members of ODUA YOUTH FOR GOOD GOVRNANCE that the shameless theatrics of the sponsor of Akinjide’s hatchet interview, Oyinlola through wasteful advertorial placed in the front page of a newspaper, whose credibility has gone with the founder amounted to mere shadow-chasing.

The question that should agitate the minds of the reading public are:
(a). What is this political interloper, master of double speak, Akinjide up to, by opening is mouth wide to sit in judgment over a matter he knew little or nothing about, that is still pending before the Court of Appeal? It is curious that this master of double-speak, we hitherto respected as a Yoruba elder and a senior member of the bar, who is no longer politically relevant in his own state, could chose to reserve his comment on a similar matter, the one that actually concern him in his own state of birth.

The other abiding questions any impartial observer should join we, members of ODUA YOUTH FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE to ask Oyinlola’s glorious errand “father” are: Is he aware of the fact that it was the petitioner, Aregbesola that sought an order of the tribunal to compel INEC to produce vital documents including the election result, which he is claiming the petitioner did not tender to the tribunal?

Is it logical for any integrity-conscious panel that has not sold out to make a sudden u-turn and claimed that a document it admitted has been submitted to it in its record of proceedings .i.e election result is missing as Thomas Naron-led tribunal has done?

(b). Is it also logical for any panel that is interested in dispensing justice to all manner of people without fair or favour, to reject an application made by the petitioner, all in an effort to fulfill all righteousness, to resubmit the documents (forms EC8D and EC8E) which it claimed it has received, but is now missing?

(c). Why did he (Akinjide) evade question on the now legally proven case of telephone conversation between Oyinlola’s lead counsel, Kunle Kalejaiye and integrity-deficient Naron led tribunal?

(d). What is Akinjide’s motivation for sudden change of mind during his November 22 interview with the Sun newspaper after he had been quoted in an earlier interview with the National Life newspaper of November 16 of saying he reserved his comment on Osun and Oyo matter until after the verdict of the Court of Appeal, because it will be contemptuous of him to do so?

It stands to reason that two different national newspapers (National Life and The Sun) will ask their interviewee the same set of question throughout an interview section. If this is not a hatchet job, one wonders what other name will be ascribed to it. From the foregoing, it is crystal clear to every discerning and unbiased minds that Akinjide’s infamous interview is invidious, self-serving and outrightly mercenary in texture in the connotative sense of a man searching for cheap political patronage. It is rather worrisome and belittling that an elder of the caliber of Akinjide could turn himself into a glorious errand “boy” of the likes of Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a name that attracts odium amongst the long-suffering people of Osun state.

Let Akinjide and others of that like mind be told in no unmistaken terms that this hatchet job, as can easily be discerned, has failed woefully. We thank God the likes of Akinjide is not a judge.

By LANRE AMINU
•Aminu is the National Coordinator, ODUA YOUTH FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

The Oyinlola N50m Blood Donation

Since the abolition of slave trade several years ago, any human being who engages in such is made to face the wrath of the law. It simply means that the life of any human being can no longer be exchanged for money or its equivalent. Anybody who does otherwise is considered a criminal and subsequently made to face the wrath of the law of the land. But surprisingly, there are still some enemies of mankind who, in this century, still think that the precious lives of human beings of which the Almighty God is the Maker, can still be stylishly and cunningly exchanged for any form of a medium of exchange.

I know some people will initially be at sea with the comprehension of this piece, but they would have been saved the rigour of their ordeal as they read further into the text. It happened in Ijesaland, Osun State. The show of shame took place at the precinct of the burnt palace of Owa Obokun of Ijesaland during the 1 billion Naira fund-raising, for the palace of the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Aromolaran. It is not unusual for people to raise fund for one project, or the other but when such fund comes from non-credible source, that’s when it becomes a subject of controversy, of which its appropriateness is called to question.

It is absurd that nineteen months after the embattled State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola led his soldiers of occupation that ovrran Ilesa, headquarters of Ijesaland, where so many people were killed, with scores of others wounded, the Okuku-born governor could have the effrontery to lead his retinue of supporters to the ancient town and made a donation of N50million to the building of the palace that was razed under a questionable circumstance.

Oyinlola’s deputy, Erelu Olusola Obada was ubiquitous at the venue of the event, and it was as if she was executing a family agenda. It was all exchange of banters and pleasantries among the movers and shakers of the society in Osun and beyond. Of all the governors that were represented, there was one, Otunba Gbenga Daniel who was represented by one of his aides who caused a stir when he carried a bag containing one million naira cash, supposedly of denomination because of the size of the luggage.

It was not even the Gbenga Daniel donation that was strange but the announcement by his emissary that he had brought Ijebu’s money. There were signs of shock and disbelief on the faces of those in attendance, taking into cognizance the fact that in some decades past, monetary denomination tagged Ijebu’s money was counterfeit.

Earlier, the affable and humour merchant monarch host-Oba had jokingly announced to the gathering that he was considering installing Oyinlola the deputy Owa of Ijesaland. It was noticed that the Ijesas did not take the joke of the traditional ruler kindly as some of them who were people of means in the society annoyingly left the scene, questioning the rationale behind such joke. It was their contention that Oyinlola has demonstrated to anybody who cares to listen or watch that he is a sworn enemy of Ijesa people.

Some of those in attendance even queried the motive of the governor to have donated such amount of money, asking if the purpose was to bribe the Ijesha people for killing, maiming, detaining, suppressing, arraigning, raping and harassing their sons and daughters shortly after the disputed 2007 general elections. If Oyinlola had had the opportunity to listen to what was being said about him by the majority of those in attendance, he might have perhaps considered an option of instant resignation.

A political pundit foreclosed the idea of Oyinlola’s resignation, basing his submission on the fact that he (Oyinlola) had seen worst humiliation but still adamant to stay put when the ovation is at its lowest ebb. One of the traditional chiefs sitting on my right hand side hinted that Oyinlola ought to have tendered his letter of resignation the very day the governorship candidate of Action Congress (AC) in Osun State, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola made a triumphal entry into Osogbo after the controversial general elections.

It was his contention that the turn-out of Aregbe’s supporters when he made the unannounced whistle visit to Osogbo, was a pointer to the fact that the AC candidate was robbed of his mandate by a consortium of poll robbers led by armed Oyinlola. At no time, even during the elections, did Oyinlola command such a large crowd. Aregbesola, perhaps because of his people-oriented manifesto, innovation and dynamism introduced into his electioneering became the toast of all and sundry. There was hardly a town, village and armlet that Aregbe did not touch during his campaign.

But why he was working extra hard for a deserved victory, some people, somewhere with the active connivance of the infamous ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo devised a means of tinkering with the Aregbe and other AC candidates’ elections’ results, forgetting that they (the vote robbers) can only run but not hide till eternity.

One day for the thief, a day for the owner. The sterling revelations at the election petitions tribunals were enough reasons for these political bandits to throw in the towel, atone for their sins and change over a new leaf. For the mere fact that they are neck deep in their nefarious and anti-people activities with ceaseless assurance from their boss, retired Brigadier-General Oyinlola, that they are above the laws of the land, they keep on constituting themselves a nuisance all over the place. With Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s victory at the Court of Appeal which sat in Benin City, capital of Edo State, it now dawns on Oyinlola and his deaf and blind followers that his days in the Government House are numbered.

There is no hiding place for them. What will be causing riot in Oyinlola’s mind and those of his lieutenants and his unrepentant supporters is that the death that is killing one’s contemporary is a pointer to the fact one’s demise is neist. No matter how long it will take, the long arm of the law will definitely catch up with those who temporarily ganged up to deny Osun people from having their choice of governor.

Immediately the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade got to the venue of the fund-raising event, things were not the same again as sycophants were kneeling down and rolling before the monarch. There was a case of a chief medical director of a teaching hospital, in suit, in the area who was rolling on the table before the Ooni. The CMD nearly committed suicide, unwittingly through the trapping of his tie while paying the needless homage. Immediately he was left off the hook, the CMD left the scene with the retinue of his staff.

One remarkable incident on the occasion, was that before Oyinlola announced his donation, he was in a tete-a-tete with the Ooni, obviously receiving royal instructions from his political godfather on how much of the state fund to part with in exchange for the many Ijesha sons and daughters killed in the ancient town in April last year. The Ooni’s visit to the occasion was significant, and it was to reduce the effect of his demystification by Aregbesola when retired General Alani Akinrinade was doing the final burial ceremony of his late father at Yakoyo in Ife North Local Government Council Area of the State penultimate Saturday.

If what a newspaper published that Aregbesola shunned the Ooni was correct, it means the Symbol of Oranmiyan did not disappoint his teeming admirers because they did not expect anything less from him. How else could one have behaved to a father who continues to favour one of his children at a market place? If I were in Aregbesola’s plight, I would have done more than that.

It is good for Aregbesola to show his protest to the Ooni by not greeting him because the Ooni has proved himself to be a non-well-wisher and sworn enemy of the AC governorship candidate through his numerous activities before, during and after the general elections. What type of a play will a lion and a dog engage in?

Aregbe is first an Ijeshaman before he knows himself as a Nigerian. Knowing full well that he has wronged a prominent Ijeshaman who subsequently demystified him at Yakoyo and Lagos, the monarch came on a damage control mission to Ilesa because he is aware that the principle of an injury to one, is an injury to others might come to play. Sources close to the Ooni’s palace showed that the monarch was so rattled with the development, to the extent that he held an informal court in his palace to deliberate on why Aregbe could have shunned him at Yakoyo.

The royal father should remember that an old man who ties corns round his waist has become a contemporary of fowls. It is known to all and sundry that Aregbe has absolute respect for tradition and culture. Things went awry between Aregbe and the Ooni the moment the latter became partisan to the detriment of the former.

The Ooni should know that as things are now, Aregbesola does not need him to realize his political ambition of governing Osun State. The monarch has bungled the opportunity of such on a platter of gold. If he has, all the while, remained apolitical, and relate to both Aregbe and Oyinlola on an impartial fatherly basis, the royal father would have commanded equal degree of respect before the duo. By donating generously to the Owa’s palace building appeal fund, the embattled Okuku-born prince had thought that he could make Ijesa people forget and forgive the genocide he committed in Ilesa in his desperate attempt to rule Osun State when it was apparent that he was not voted for.

That Oyinlola’s donation is a blood money which the organizers of the event should return in a jiffy. No amount of money can be equated with the blood of the Ijesa sons and daughters shed by the soldiers brought by Oyinlola from Odogbo Army Barracks, Ibadan, Oyo State on the eve of last year’s elections. Oyinlola should be made to account for the extra-judicial killings after he might have left office.

By Kola Olabisi

ANOTHER REPUBLIC OF BASHORUN GAA

“A whiteman who is bound to vacate office, would definitely defecate on the chair before leaving.”
A trustworthy person is like an immaculate white which has no space for stain, while a liar represents a filthy rag. According to a satire written and produced by Muyiwa Ademola, a popular modern day playwright, a story of one man called ‘Arike Ariyo’ was very instructive.

According to the character, Ariyo is an embodiment of deceit lies, shortchanging and ‘abracadabra’. He was an artful dodger and pretender of no mean magnitude. One day,  Ariyo on the expectation of his intermediary between him and his new found love, took his chair outside, enjoying himself with chicken leg.When his friend, an intermediary came visiting, he saw Ariyo in a bright mood with a biscuit bone of chicken in his hand and he (intermediary) expressed his pleasure for the jollification of his friend, demanding an equally delicious meal from him.

Ariyo, in a fake opulence, told his friend that he was late. Arike, as his moniker said he ordered his neighbour to prepare pounded yam and roasted chicken vegetable soup for him and that after eating to his satisfaction, he asked his neighbour to go with the left-over, saying he could not eat such a staple the next day.

While the discussion was on, a woman led his child to Arike’s house to demand for the reason that made him seize a chicken leg from her child. Ariyo was overwhelmed with shame and consequentially lost a friend, a marriage intermediary and finally a wife.

Now, let us relate the story to what is happening in Osun State . The occupier of the Okefia Government House as the character who claimed that he had the peoples’ mandate. The mandate is just like the roasted chicken vegetable soup. And that he was voted for massively in the last electoral fluke called general elections because of his five-star performance, only to be disowned by the same people.

Just like that, the Election Petition Tribunal threw Oyinlola’s application out and people were jubilating in all parts of the state. Mind you, just like Ariyo, the Okefia tenant has lost eight out of nine prayers already. This is significant, very very significant.Please, cast your mind out of the story, let’s come back to this week discourse. Have you seen how the Osun State chapter of Action Congress(AC) chieftains were summarily thrown into prison by style, for the charges that have catapulted hundreds of people in and out of prisons for weeks and months? Do you call that victimization of political opponents?

Did you see the difference between the two magistrates handling the case? Now, open your mind. Let it be known that the whole scenario is a desperation cum terrorism against the political opponents of the Okuku heir apparent  from the beginning and the ongoing clampdown cannot be divorced from it.

On the decision of Magistrate Jide Falola to hear the substantive case in October, it is a pity I am not a lawyer, let alone being part of the legal team that is representing  AC leaders. If I were one, I would have settled for magistrate Ayo Ajeigbe, the courageous woman who was to handle the case ab initio.

I know Ajeigbe a bit and my investigations revealed  that she is so principled that nobody including her husband, who is a PDP stalwart could influence her decision for whatever price, unlike a magistrate elsewhere. I had watched a proceeding in her court some years back, where some people suspected to be members of Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) were dragged to her court by the police.

Then, it was an unpardonable sin to be a member of OPC. So, government was interested in keeping the men. Against all odds, Ajeigbe heard the fundamental human rights.
But, the deed is done, the magistrate with finesse has disqualified herself from the case and thank God, the ‘real’ man has done it again and to the AC leaders, journey mercy to the prison, at least till the bail application is heard.

I must confess to you that if democracy, according to Abraham Lincoln, is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, I make bold to say: it is lacking in Osun State . But if what we are currently experimenting is monarchical where the king or queen rules the people as subjects? Then, it is a bit close. Why? The reason is not far fetched, the Okefia Government House tenant is a prince and he was so fricked that he titled the inauguration address he read at the State House of Assembly as: “The message from the Throne.”

But, in an honest appraisal, the current regime has also failed the litmus test of monarchical rule because nobody dares query the king or queen for any wrongdoing in a monarchical rule and that is not the case now because the opponent has picked the gaunlet in form of petition to the Election Petitions Tribunal to retrieve the controversial mandate of ‘Olori Oko’.

So, looking inward about the clampdown on imaginary and real enemies, infringement on the press freedom as currently being experienced by OSUN DEFENDER newspaper in the hands of the State Security Service (SSS), killings, maiming intimidation and harassment by the retired General Olagunsoye Oyinlola government, the current administration in the State of the Living Spring could be likened to ‘Bashorun Gaa Republic .’

For a good Yoruba man, the story of Bashorun Gaa of  the old Oyo Kingdom is not new; for the sake of those who are not familiar with the story, I shall briefly tell it.

Bashorun Gaa of sad memory was the head of ‘Oyomesi’, the legislative arm of the kingdom, but he was so extra-ordinarily powerful with supernatural powers of fetish. History has it that Gaa had the power to change from human-being to any wild animal of his choice.

Intoxicated with awesome power, Gaa was removing and installing kings at will. He would reel out orders side by side with the king and any king that wanted to assert his authority would be dealt with by Gaa’s Army.

There was a time a king in Oyo was said to have beheaded his father-in-law for the ‘mouth diarrhoea’ committed by his daughter, the wife of the tyrant king. Cashing in on the wrongdoing, Gaa, in conjunction with other kingmakers, forced the monarch to the evil forest to embark on the journey of no return. In order to appease Gaa, the new king thereafter gave his precious daughter in marriage to Gaa, but when Gaa was in need of an animal called ‘Agbonrin’ (deer) and he couldn’t’ find one on time, he ordered that the daughter of a king who bore the similar name, Agbonrin be slaughtered instead, and that climaxed his atrocities.

A petition in form of a plea was filed by Alaafin, the great king before the powerful Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) known as ‘Generalismo’ Aare Ona Kakanfo. There was a civil strife between the two powerful men, but Gaa caved in by decoy. He changed to an inanimate object in a bid to escape the wrath of the people he had traumatised.

Aare Onakankanfo through his mystical power, uncovered the decoy, reverted Gaa back to a human being and disarmed him completely. The Generalissimo handed Gaa back to Alaafin for appropriate sanction and the king who was still bitter about the misconduct and abuse of office and power of Gaa, recommended that Gaa be sentenced into instalmental killing.

See what is happening now, political office has been abused; people were killed, maimed, harassed. Political opponents were run out of town, jailed, name it. Recently, the government, through its trigger-happy security men has launched a massive manhunt against the only newspaper (OSUN DEFENDER) that is speaking for the poor.

With OSUN DEFENDER newspaper, the woman who sells pepper at Igbotente Village in the state or a hewer of firewood in Iyanfoworogi, another  village, is assured of adequate and balanced information. But the modern day Gaa is saying no. What more?

God who arrested Gaa (The Power drunk) with His Mighty power is alive!

by Lukman Suomi

Osun Defender,I know even in a twist of time things can be change but God is your strenght.Do not relent the selfless services even if Aregbesola comes inn which we are all praying for and behave insimilar manner.Please for God sake,do not hesitate to expose him.

As for the Basorun Gaa of our time,he will soon face the music when God gave back the power to the appropriate person.Do u remember,Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu?(Anti corruption watchdog)he will be the Generalismo in this battle and recover all our stolen money for us.Let just be prayerfull and be hopefull as well.

kudos
by Tunde Ayoade,

good work.
keep on this.

God shall pay him back ..
by service to the people

He, Bashorun Gaa of osun State will sure reap all he sowed in the course of wanting to hold on to power. God will surely pay him back in his own coin… it is a matter of time..

OUR LEADERS SHOULD LEARN FROM HISTORY

It was exactly four decades since the first coup took place in Nigeria under the aegis of the five majors led by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu. Among the remote causes of the coup were power tussle between political gladiators, misuse of power, the census dispute and the ineptitude of the Federal Government to handle sensitive political issues with dispatch. The immediate cause, however, was the breakdown of law and order in the Western Region occasioned by the October 1965 elections which deepened the cleavages in the region. Lives were lost, properties destroyed and people lived in palpable fear yet the central government did not show enough concern.

In an attempt to redress the issues, the five majors executed a coup which resulted in the assassination of top political figures, including the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the Northern Premier, and the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello and the Premier of Western Region and the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola.

The region earned the sobriquet ‘Wild, Wild West’ due to the inferno that gulped the region as a result of  the Action Group (AG) crisis which pitched Chief Obafemi  Awolowo, the  leader with his enstranged deputy, Chief Akintola. It was the Nzegwu coup that brought the crisis to an end.

Events in the Fourth Republic especially at this terminal point gives room for much concern. Besides the unending and unnecessary dispute between the President and his vice, the situation in Oyo State deserves every patriotic Nigerian’s concern.

There is striking similarity between the 1966 crisis and what is happending four decades after. The dramatis personae involved in the 1966 crisis were from the same party, the AG; the leader and his deputy. In the case of the present scenario, even though they are from the same party, one is elected, Governor Rasidi Ladoja, while the other, a political godfather, Chief Lamidi Adedibu is only a “political garrison commander”.

Chief Adedibu, the Ekarun of Ibadanland instigated the illegal impeachment of the governor by the state House of Assembly which eventually nullified by the Appeal Court and confirmed by the Supreme Court. Even after the courts’ verdicts, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unelected chieftain threatened that it was over his dead body that Governor Ladoja would be reinstated.

Attempts were made to frustrate his reinstatement by going to a High Court in Ibadan after the Supreme Court pronouncement but that also failed.

Now the Ibadan chief with the convince of the police is frustrating the governor by turning the hallow chambers of the House of Assembly into their house by moving in there in the morning and leaving in the evening.

The pro- Adedibu legislators with the assistance of the police, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), have declared the seats of the pro-Ladoja legislators vacant even when there is a subsisting court order.

PDP has become irredeemably lawless and selective in their attitude to issues in the country. But for the judiciary, the situation in the good book of the Abuja powers would be dealt with summarily.

Besides the desecration of the House of Assembly, the legislators have proved to be a pawn in the hands of the Ibadan chief.

The situation raises some pertinent questions. Can’t our leaders learn from the mistakes of the past, especially the episode in Western Region? Is the whole episode not meant to get through the back door, the rejected third term project?

By now candidates should be getting ready to campaign on issues that will positively affect the lives of Nigerians. By now the Nigerians should be abreast of what party flagbearers plan to do. But rather, what has taken the centre stage is the altecation between the President the PDP, from every indication, is scheming for a state of emergency in Oyo State so that they will install a stooge to do their bidding. Can the center of the South-West, Oyo state afford any crisis now?

As a Yoruba man what has the president done to ensure constitutionality. Nobody is asking the President to do anything extraordinary but to ensure constitutionalism.

The National Assembly should thwart any effort at declaring any state of emergency in any part of the country. Our leaders should know that power is transient and regardless of whatever position anybody holds today will become history.

It will be a dangerous precedent for this government to encourage and condone thuggery and lawlessness. Governor Ladoja should be allowed to run the full course of his tenure because he was elected by the electorate.

AGBOOLA is on the staff of OSUN DEFENDER.