I had hardly left the stage of a toddler when I became psychical with that Yoruba aphorism that a twenty year-old pounded yam can still tickle the hand. As a journalist, I began to think that probably that adage has no meaning afterall as my ascension to the stage of puberty seems not to have lent credence to this ubiquitous fact.
My mind became stranded as I began to think that probably our stage actors have turned prissy (after all if people say you are bad and wicked and you are behaving to the contrary, it only means that you have taken their proof to the arena of corrigenda) and certain scenarios started unfolding.
The military incursion into our political experiment of post-independence era in 1966 dealt a great blow to our political maturity and that we are still grappling with even today. Since then, it is only the military apologists that hold sway. It does not matter whether they are doing it right or wrong; so long as they tilt their opinions to the side of their skewed hegemony, they will always get away with their atrocious acts.
The anti-graft agencies are conscious of the fact that attempt by their dragnets to be active within this terrain will have them shredded.
There were rays of hope beginning from 2003 when the then president put in place some bodies that will bring to book those with questionable character, It was then the slogan of due process became popular.
The veracity of certain statements that onion will not germinate to bring forth ordinary vegetable or yam to germinate and bring forth potatoes will for ever hold water. Olusegun Obasanjo’s insincerity remained the bane of those efforts. He is corrupt and any efforts towards incorruption were bound to fail, and that woefully.
Tax payers’ money was only wasted for four solid years to pay the salaries and allowances of the civil and public servants in the anti-graft bodies as their efforts ended in the thrash can. Those who were indicted never smelt prosecution because they were connected with the powers that be.
THE exception was in the opposition. These had caused a huge mountain of filth and dirt to pile, so the time had ripped to rid the terrain of exasperating deluge of socio-political Nausea when the incumbent president got the mantle of leadership in 2007.
He met us like Augeas, the mythological king of Elis in Greece, whose numerous stables that have been left uncleaned for a long time of the excreta of his great herd of oxen became dangerous and hazardous. We need the bravery of Hercules, the man of courage with extraordinary know how and power who would not sit and watch the king die or allow for the obliteration of a people through outbreak of epidemics.
He cleaned up the stables by diverting the course of a river through the stables and the Augean stables were redeemed. We need such efforts to get out of our peculiar mess.
We would have remained in our despondent and hopeless state if the men of vision amongst us have gone to sleep. If they have derived contentment in the reward of their sweat, great enough to afford them needed comfort. These are men who have really used their energy and talent to seal means of livelihood. The opulence around them is enough for them to be complacent but they have chosen never to be self centred.
They are of the opinion that not all efforts are rewarding and so the not-so-fortunate should be prevented from destructive and debilitating squalor. They have staked their pride, their integrity and often times their lives, just as Hercules did in Greece.
Though they have no effrontery, like Jerry Rawlings, one time Ghanaian head of state who decided that some of Ghana’s heads of government were “Jonahs” who should be dropped in the sea so that fishes can eat them up. He lined them up in a public square in Ghana and asked that they be shot.
They were executed and their blood was used to cleanse Ghana’s Augean stable. Since then Ghana has not remained the same. Ghana can only be affected today by global economic trend, not self inflicted economic epilepsy that is ravaging our country presently, with political instability as the hallmark, while mismanagement and corruption remain our handmaidens. These appear alien to today’s Ghana.
The elimination of destructive albatross that is domiciled with us is no mean task because those who profit from it are usually desperately ready to prolong its life at all cost, as doing so will simultaneously prolong their own tenure as beneficiaries. It would have been possible some years back to want to feel that constructing a viable replacement would be a difficult task to accomplish, as a result of negative orientation associated with junta rule.
TODAY, the story is different because The Soyinkas, The Enahoros, The Gani Fawehinmis, The Akinrinades et cetera have exigently been replicated. The consternation of systemic continuity is thus non existent, though an elixir is no cheap find: A lot goes into it.
As bad as the last regime was, there were The Iwealas, the Akunyilis and a host of others, who though were partly forced out of the system, rekindled some hope in the despairing tomorrow leaders. We descried some things in their efforts and actions which will remain compasses to get solutions to the myriads of problems that may confront us in the foreseeable future.
These are revealing enough to give us the fury of a river that will be directed towards the messy junks of our past political leaders to clean our Augean stable.
The process must start from somewhere. And I believe it has started. Whatever the size of a conspiracy, it is possible for it to be alloyed. As a matter of fact, the bigger it is, the greater the prospect of its infiltration. So, the fact that PDP today, is the biggest party in Nigeria (if not in Africa as claimed) does not mean that something good which is against the aspiration of its majority members, cannot be fashioned out through the activities of the minority that have infiltrated it. That may account for the purging process that has just begun.
It was unimaginable to suggest that personalities like Olabode George and those in his shoes could be invited for questioning. Not to talk of keeping them in detention for a number of days. They indeed held sway earlier in this century but the misused opportunity of those past years will forever hunt them. If it were to be the likes of Obafemi Awolowo, Bola Ige and Bisi Akande that had the chance they got, Nigeria will, by now be a paradise on earth.
The opportunities they got were squandered. They did not only fail to build enduring structure but the little laudable legacy they met on ground was made to crumble, with nothing left to bequeath to the future generations.
It is also heart boggling to know that the gentle man in Oyinlola’s government has been squeezed by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). It is however an admixture of sorrow and joy: It is sorrowful because Osun deserves no humiliation in the public parlance. We have all it takes to attain unto greatness but the squander maniacs in power are all out to make this impossible.
They are grossly specious, so much that there is no reliable information emanating, from the seat of power anymore. It is all lies. It is on the other hand a thing of joy that if the SSG in Osun can be called for interrogation and the facts against him are so weighty as to detain him for this so long a period, Oyinlola must be warming up for his own turn, because immunity is not forever.
THOUGH any drive for food sufficiency, industrial raw materials and exportation now is about four decades too late, there is no orientation towards that direction. All we are fed with is propaganda, and despite the fact that emerging facts always debunk such, our Governor is not wise enough to have a rethink and initiate some measures that will redeem government’s battered image.
It is only those who are feeding fat on the state that will see anything good in it. Any laudable programme that is launched is doomed from the onset because every of such moves is to bundle out some bales of currency to fulfill the course of profligacy.
Some local government chairmen under Oyinlola have been squeezed. Many more are yet joining. Now that the secretary to the State government (SSG) has also been invited for a seemingly endless chat, other accomplices of Oyinlola in the plunder business of Osun resources are advised to brace up for their own bitter pills when they will also be plunged in their nemesis of governance incongruity. Meanwhile, let us continue to search for political and economic analgesic with varying doses of efficacy that will cure this “BEELARIA” that Oyinlola’s political and socio-economic climate has exposed us to.
The end shall surely justify the means because the pounded yam that has survived two decades today still irritates the hand and the dragnets are fulfilling their lawful acts.