Politics is the art and science of government or governance, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal resources through parties’ structures. In politics, politicians struggle to control the administration of their people for the mutual benefits of all. The interest of the state is paramount even in the face of rive competition in politics. The type of politics played by people is a derivative of the degree of complexities of states. All animals are involved in politics though at different levels and in different degrees. It’s primary, secondary and tertiary objectives should be to better the lot of the masses.
Opposition is allowed in politics as it is the tonic that gingers meaningful development in a state. But opposition should have a human face. John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902), the historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed a popular opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887 that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” William Pitt, the Elder, The Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778, put it aptly in a speech to the UK House of Lords in 1770 that “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it”.
These sayings are coming to past in Osun State politics. It was apparent that the lousy and arrogant politicians mismanaging the resources of Osun state before the current government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori, believed that only them, and not even God, can run the affairs of the sate. They declared openly on March 25, 2005, in a national daily, that there was no opposition in Osun State. In April 16, 2005, God sent an opponent who today is in control of power in the state.
Between April 16, 2005, when Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola declared his intention to challenge the leadership of the People Democratic (PDP) government in Osun State at Osogbo Sports Club, till present day, not less than thirty-five people have been killed in a politically-motivated ways. Exactly a month after the ‘declaration of liberation’, Hassan Olajoku was killed on his way from Ilobu, after he has been turbaned the Balogun Adinni of Ilobu Central Mosque. He was politically killed on May 16, 2005.
Late Wale Oni was an uninvited guest at the birthday party of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on May 26, 2005. He disrupted the gathering according to the instruction given by his pay-masters. On Oroki Day in Osogbo on August 6, 2006, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was physically shot in order to end his political ambition in the way of late Ayodeji Daramola and others. The Assistant Commissioner of Police, who was sent to arrest the victim of the Oroki day was dumbfounded after watching the proceedings of the day. But as an officer he had to obey the instruction of the power that be and Aregbesola was whisked away to Abuja for two weeks detention. The government was found guilty of unlawful detention, but up till now, the compensation of N5million to the injured has not been paid.
In the same 2006, Aregbesola family-house was destroyed as a way of terminating his political ambition. Four people were killed in Ilesha. Late Saeed, an agent of Action Congress, whose mother was a PDP member, was killed in Ikirun for daring to ask why the ballot box in the polling booth where he was an agent was being stuffed with already thumb-printed ballot papers. The killing was callous as the killers, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, killed him openly in the presence of other voters. One party agent wearing a tee shirt with Aregbesola’s picture was killed in Ife at the palace, another one was killed in Igbajo, another party member in Ede and another in Ila.
In the April, 2011 election in Osun State, Honourable Rotimi Makinde’s brothers were killed in a church alongside three other people including the pastor of a church and his son. There were disruptions, threats and assaults in other places. In Ward 4 of Olorunda Local Government, in one of the elections, opposition charged and attempted to distract the party faithfuls so as to stuff the ballot boxes with votes. The masses were twice wiser and turned into a blocking-stone against the wish of the mischief-makers. These actions and counter actions of God against an unwanted group of people did not deter them from their offensive and obnoxious actions.
Of late, the oppositions in Osun State have changed their strategy from being physical to being mischievous. The governor and his wife went for a private visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirate, in May 2005. Before he came back, the Ojo-Williams-led PDP in the state started a rumour of self destruction that the governor’s leg has been cut after he fell from the bathtub in his house. he came back hale and healthy and participated in the Passing-out parade of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ede with the chagrin of the opposition.
In July, 2011, Aregbesola and Alhaji Hassan Sumonu had a working visit to China at the instance of Alhaji Hassan Sumonu and the deputy governor, Otunba Laoye-Tomori. The visit was to shop for Chinese investors who will develop the state in the areas of agriculture, health and tourism. The journey was an eventful one as the state has started benefiting from the visitation. The opposition in their callousness posited that Aregbesola was sick. The cause of his sickness was attributed to bloating of the stomach. He came back hale and healthy to meet jubilant Omoluabis.
The worst in the imaginations of the opposition came in August 2011 when the rumour mongers spread the rumour that Aregbesola was afflicted with terminal disease. Aregbesola visited Um-rah, as a tradition he started since 1997, to ‘recharge’ and thank his God for what He has done for him and for all He has promised to do for him. This is constitutionally right as their is freedom of religion enshrined in our constitution. The National Assembly (NASS) went into recess to allow its members who are Muslims to observe Um-rah.
On Sunday, 21 August 2011, in the Nigerian Compass, on the front page, it was published that “Aregbesola battles cancer”. This is libelous and unbecoming of a normal Yoruba person or group. It is not Nigerian to wish another person ill-luck including one’s enemy. But, even Aregbesola ought not to be seen as an enemy for holding the mandate of his people. He should be seen as a liberator for all the good plans he has for Osun State. The Sunday Compass that carried the news started by saying that “He has travelled out again” was always the lamentation of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi anytime Obasanjo travelled out. According to their assumption, Aregbesola was not looking for investors.
Though sociopaths and psychotics take part in politics, these people should apply decorum in what they do or say. “Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (1 Chronicles 16: 22). Aregbesola and members of his government assumed office miraculously considering the fact that their court cases record is unprecedented in Nigeria. These leaders are not without the consent of the God. Anybody that wishes them well, wishes himself well.
Olufemi Oyedele, Osogbo.