ISAAC OLUSESI writes, no sooner that the lie detector, confuted Iyiola Omisore’s lies spit on the global village about what UNESCO did not do in the State of Osun, than the Me in him collapsed and his public image came crashing further, with a deafening cacophony and devastating thud in a heap of open shame.
In Nigeria, this is governorship election year in the State of Osun. Political parties would have to submit themselves to the whims and caprices of the rational or erratic voters, which ever applies. And for some politicians, the season will herald the exigency of intellectual, value-compliant campaigns; and for other politicians, however, it is just diving into the abyss of dissent and rebellion, a sardonic virulence against reason, with gigantic scheme of notorious lies to heat up the polity. In Osun politics, the arrowhead of the nasty lies in the public glare is also the egghead of opposition elements, Iyiola Omisore who, the political rabble-rousing of the yester-years in the state gained him election into the Senate from the Agodi prison. And since then, lying through his teeth has encapsulated his ecstatic quest to occupy the highest office in the state.
The prison infections at Ibadan, capital of Oyo State with the vices in gusts picked at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform for his infamous election into the National Assembly goaded him into grotesque distortion of truth, manifest disdain for orderliness and contempt for morality in his public conduct. Somehow, ironically, the more brutish lies he oozes out to garner public respect and support, the more obscured his image becomes as Osun electorate do not share any dogged obsession with his cult of hideous, heady lies. The revolting, incurable liar, ever prepared to have the “Fulani cow-stick laid across his (the) back”, in the George Orwellian characterisation in Animal Farm, has always foolhardy seen lying as a profession like Bonnie and Clyde, the lecherous, murderous couple that once ruled the American underworld.
Readers of gumshoe, detective stories like me know that the day the couple were apprehended by law enforcement agents and asked what their profession was, their response, quick and witty, was: “We rob banks, and tell lies thereafter to cover our tracks”. Lying as a profession and Omisore’s professional tool of political mass mobilization, orientation and sensitization, sound so bizarre.
But it is not only Bennie and Clyde who classified lying as a profession. Get hold of Bullet Budget’s Eponym of Electioneering Violence (1978) and see lying listed also as profession, shoulder to shoulder with noble professions like Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations, Publishing, etc. The classification of lying as a profession has only attempted to put a stamp of legality on the illegality. It is certainly an attribute of indecent persons, a crime traced to the frustration of the mind.
Excuse me! Let’s enter into a caveat here. What really is it at stake that pushes Omisore to reel out lies at every turn of opportunity to comment on state affairs, degenerating from the serious to the comic and from the sublime to the ridiculous? The answer is Me, faux naïf– the sound of self-righteousness from within, constantly reminding himself of his ‘holier than thou mentality’ and keeping the hair of his body glued to the skin. What the Me in Omisore directs to do or say, he does; and when and where the Me in him directs to go, he goes.
Omisore, the fatalist, also pessimist has only Hobson’s choice, unflagging choice in any matter as he has no deep inner conviction to cling to heroically. The Me excites him to see the hairy hands of hoary fate in the development changes in Osun. The Me activates him to see the thin skeletal hands of evil in the diverse infrastructure development projects in the state. The Me accelerates him to have a hung of how and where Osun government gets finances for his multiple infrastructure projects. The Me incites him to want to amble the Osun government into his own orbit, mould Osun citizenry into his own image and mangle the Osun world in his ambit. And the Me is the basis of his intense struggles to always dominate the people around him and subdue the environment.
Remember the case of Omisore, the gut-wrenching lie that he told the global village about what the United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) did not do in Osun. It was the Me in Omisore, that regurgitated the grand hogwash lie, with noisy insistence that UNESCO gave Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola counterpart funds, spent to reconstruct the Olaiya-Ita-Olokan Road, the state-of-the-art road that leads to Osun Groove, apparently to rubbish Aregbesola’s road commissioning speech recently that the state’s Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservation Funds, with the state parliament approval was used to construct the 2.8 kilometer dualised road, christened Workers’ Drive.
But beyond Omisore’s facile, infantile determinism lay the taproots of a serious malaise in him. He pulled out a knife, all blades, all alive and grossed out faute de mieux: “It is an open secret, and a matter in the domain of the public that the Osun State Government had accessed counterpart funds from UNESCO which is in excess of over 70 per cent, following the designation of the Osun Osogbo Groove by the world body as one of the World Heritage sites for local and international tourists …which began during the regime of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State. But it is a statement of fact that Aregbesola received counterpart funds from UNESCO”. Gibberish! Balderdash!!
Omisore lied, barefaced, to warm himself into the heart of Osun people, but he was immediately negated by Olusola Macaulay, the UNESCO’s Communication Consultant (Regional Office) in a quick humiliating refutation: “UNESCO did not contribute any fund to the construction of that road to Osun Groove. And there was no time the Osun State Government or any of its agencies approached UNESCO to support the project. We did not pay 70per cent or any other fraction to the project as being peddled. As I speak with you, we have no project we are undertaking in Osun State.”
No sooner that the UNESCO lie detector confuted the lie spued by Omisore, the Osun chief thriller, than the Me in him collapsed; and his public image came crashing further, with a deafening cacophony and devastating thud in a heap of open shame such that Omisore, faux bonhomme, is now fighting for bits of fresh air out there to sanitize his head. The message here is manifold: one, Omisore has earned himself a non-hero stature for his salacious appetite for libelous lies, with self-indulgence in riotous imaginations or guesses; two, the abject lies of the ‘glamour boy,’ thought to be a wasp in the ignoble court of lies could not after all be deployed creatively; three, his temper tantrums, his seditious lies, with bravery akin to arrogance cannot lead the society and man to new frontiers of knowledge, growth and development; four, the UNESCO quick rebuttal has made more public Omisore’s grouchy image, green fingered at lying that was aimed at crushing Osun under his barbarous lies and intent at making self a grafter, tricking to be given money to shut up; and five, having split a lie fatuous on the whole world about what UNESCO did not do in Osun, Omisore indeed could not be said to be a pathfinder in any global virgin forest. Rather, he remains a study in tragic equivocation and ambivalence. Pity Omisore, the infernal! He fails more than he thinks he’s succeeding. His governorship ambition is not made in heaven, that’s the truth.
As though, Omisore, looking so bare and helpless like he cannot swat a fly that settles at the top of his nose and almost shy like Mahatma Ghandi was to the British Empire, only the Me in him must have propelled him on the dangerous lying adventures on such a grand scale. If wishes were horses, Omisore would have sculptured for himself a mouth to spew forth lies, had the Creator of man forgotten to fix up one in the anatomy of man.
Meanwhile, Osun has blown a whistle on Omisore and asked him to stay at home, off Osun governorship race. Complimenting the whistle, let the court of laws in Nigeria take care of the Omisores, the unskilled, reckless liars in Osun and elsewhere in the nation and bring them to book. Unfortunately, instead of tempering the nerves of liars, Nigerian government makes them more hardened and desperate. Otherwise, UNESCO ought to match Omisore to court
- OLUSESI is Assistant Director, Publicity, Research & Strategy, All Progressives Congress (APC), State of Osun