We Are in ACN – Senator Amosun

Our attention has been drawn to media reports insinuating that our supporters and I have left or are on our way out of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Even one of my close associates was quoted as confirming the false report.

After careful investigations, it was discovered that the report is the handiwork of some politicians from the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who would love to find bed-fellows in the ACN. They will definitely be willing to gloat over an imaginary crisis in the ACN.

They are in for a shock. Our teeming supporters and I are in ACN and we are even more determined to strengthen the party further for the great task of ensuring that the present inept government in our dear state is BOOTED OUT in April. We owe the people of our dear state that duty and we will not be involved in anything that can rupture the goal.

I wish to appeal to our teeming supporters all over the state to remain calm and steadfast. Our party leader, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, the state executive members, myself and other stakeholders in the state are still operating on the same platform in our determination to rebuild our dear state from the ruin the PDP has caused.

We are together in our quest to, through the ballot box, oust the PDP from our dear Gateway State, and no one can stop the wind of change powered by the ACN from blowing away the mis-governance in our state.

The time has come for the good people of Ogun State to experience good governance as epitomised by the BROOM revolution being experienced by the good people of Lagos, Osun, Edo and Ekiti States.

Signed

Alhaji Bola Adeyemi

On behalf of Senator Ibikunle Amosun

Obasanjo rejects ‘compromise list’

Vanguard Headline

The battle for the soul of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Gbenga Daniel took a dramatic turn when Obasanjo, reportedly, rejected the ‘compromise list’ of candidates for the party in the state for the April polls.

The chief of staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadome, and the PDP national secretary, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, said to have witnessed the former president’s action, were stunned.

The scene, according to a report, was the residence of Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Thursday. The report, was, however, denied, yesterday, by a factional chairman of the Ogun PDP, Basorun Dayo Soremi. He said there was no ‘compromise list’ from the Ogun PDP on the April polls.

The factional chairman described the report as sponsored.

Report of the ‘compromise list’ came just as Daniel was reportedly, persuaded, at a meeting convened by Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday night, to get his group to concede the governorship slot to the former president’s faction.

Ogun State information commissioner, Mr. Kawonise, yesterday, dismissed the report that any such meeting held not to talk of his principal being asked to get his group to concede the governorship ticket.

Obasanjo was reportedly livid with anger that Oghiadome and Baraje had the effrontery to present to him a ‘compromise list’ of candidates for the PDP in Ogun State for the April polls when the party could have adopted wholesale the list from his group.

He told the team, raised to broker a truce between his faction and that of Daniel by Jonathan, that the only list of candidates acceptable to him was the list which emanated from the primaries put together by him in his private library in Abeokuta.

However, Obasanjo declared that the only elective office he would concede to Jonathan is the Ogun East senatorial seat which had already been picked by Daniel.

Sunday Vanguard was told that the ‘compromise list’ presented to the former president by the team from Jonathan was the product of “very carefully, well thought out attempt” to put paid to the growing discontent over the list of candidates for the Ogun State chapter of the party for the polls.

The list was said to have been structured in a manner as to give both warring sides a sense of belonging.

Of the three senatorial seats in the state, Obasanjo’s faction was allegedly allotted two seats while Daniel’s faction was given one – interestingly, the Ogun East senatorial slot initially conceded to Daniel.

In terms of the list for the House of Representatives, the proposal gave Obasanjo another two thirds majority of producing six of the nine prospective members – that would leave the governor’s faction with just three members.

For the governorship, the Daniel faction was handed the ticket while Obasanjo was requested to forward three names of possible running mates to Gboyega Isiaka, the Daniel factional candidate, to pick from.

The reason for this, according to the proposal, was because the governor would have to work with his deputy and, therefore, would need to be the one to make a choice.

The state House of Assembly, which had been a theatre of the absurd since 2008, was shared with Daniel’s faction allotted 75% of the total seats while Obasanjo’s faction was given 25%.

This, a source said, was with a view to ensuring that the G-15/G11 scenario, which had crippled effective legislation in the state, was avoided.

After perusing the list, Sunday Vanguard was informed that the former president rejected it.

It was further gathered that the two persons Jonathan sent to Obasanjo’s Abeokuta residence, Oghiadome and Baraje, practically went on their knees begging the former president.

Obasanjo was said to have insisted that apart from the Ogun East senatorial seat which Daniel already had, he was not willing to relinquish any other name on his list.

After about two hours, the team departed Abeokuta for Lagos en-route the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to report back to the president. Jonathan was said to have launched fresh troubleshooting efforts at the weekend on the Ogun PDP crisis.

The crisis actually started when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, insisted that it would recognize the list submitted by the Obasanjo faction to it, in obedience to a court order which barred the commission from accepting the primaries conducted and supervised by the PDP national headquarters but which had in attendance the factional executive chaired by Chief Joju Fadairo.

Daniel had signaled the possibility of dumping the PDP for another party.

But Jonathan quickly dispatched Anenih, Oghiadome and Baraje to Daniel’s Asoludero Villa residence in Sagamu.

The Ogun governor flew into Abuja on Thursday with a view to holding a meeting with the president on Friday to discuss the outcome of the ‘compromise list’ presented to Obasanjo.

No ‘compromise list’ —Factional chair

Denying that any ‘compromise list’ existed, Ogun factional PDP chairman, Soremi, yesterday, in a press statement, said: “our BOT chairman and international elder statesman man has absolute respect for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which he had occupied as a military head of state and as a two-term civilian President.

“We wish to state categorically that there were no two lists of candidates in Ogun PDP other than the one submitted by the harmonised executives and approved by the national leadership of our party. “The list containing our party’s flag bearers have been submitted and accepted by INEC. The only alteration we made was the accommodation of Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, as directed by President Goodluck Jonathan.”

Daniel under pressure
Meanwhile, Daniel was reportedly under pressure, yesterday, to get his group to concede the gubernatorial ticket to the Obasanjo faction.

Reports said that, at the end of a meeting held at the Aso Presidential Villa, on Friday night, between Jonathan, some members of the PDP National Working Committee, NWC, key party stakeholders and those involved in the Ogun PDP crisis, the governor was asked to concede the governorship candidate position to the former president’s faction if peace must return to the party and the state.

Reacting to the reports, last night,however, Ogun State information commissioner, Sina Kowonise, said his governor did not attend any meeting in Aso Rock Villa on Friday night. Consequently, according to him, Daniel did not make any concession on the controversial Ogun PDP candidates lists.

When Courageous Tunisian Meets Moronic Nigerian

By Taju Tijani

Brave heart Mohammed Bouazizi’s self immolation in Tunisia will continue to remain the stuff of revolutionary legend in his country and an indictment to every oppressive government around the world. He never courted his gruesome but courageous death. Painful deprivation and climatic resignation catalyzed him into a murderous action that sent him to his eternal home. He realized in the oasis of his gently exhaling life that his leaders, the menacing scoundrels in the government house, would not listen to his bemoaning despair. African leaders are genetic apparition with no common touch for common people like Mo Bouazizi. He is the kind of citizen Africa hates: a protesting, baying and murderous youth who is ready to sacrifice his life for the true freedom of Africa from barbaric servitude unleashed by his own people. In Tunisia, there is millions of Mohammed Bouazizi who are yet to be enticed by death as bedmates in a covenant of perpetual sleep. Before he turned himself into a human canon ball, Mo must have ruminated on the manifest and festering wrongs he was forced to endure as a young man. He must have philosophised like the ancient philosopher Anacharsis who likened laws to cobwebs-strong enough to contain the weak and too weak to restrain the strong. Mo was the delicate tinderbox and the policewoman who slapped and confiscated his fruits turned out to be the matchbox that helped him in his untimely journey of no return.

The policewoman is the strong arm of the law that is too strong to contain by a Mohammed who had been contained and pulverized both in body, soul and spirit. Mo lived in the despotic universe of repression and theocratic Arabized political orthodoxy. Beyond the virulent oppression are many symbols of Maghreb bravery like suicide bombings, self-immolations and massive irruptions against dynastic tin gods who rule over them. Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Egypt are the ancient symbols of courageous resistance in the face of feudal tyranny. Only last week, Egypt was turned into a theatre of war by rampaging mobs. In spite of all the chafing restrictions against their freedom, they hardly enter into an agreeable docility with their oppressors. The Arab mind is not colonized by ephemeral things like Jeep, a house in Lekki and billions in First bank but consumed with the noble grail of martyrdom as seen in the life of Mo Bouazizi. When pushed to the wall and with the death defying mantra of “Allah Wakbr” chanted, an Arab is likely to turn into a nihilist of thunderous dimension. This is not to say that I am glorifying purposeless death, rather I am celebrating martyrdom with a purpose. Bouazizi’s purposeful martyrdom brought about a political shift that led to the overthrow of corrupt regime of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Ben Ali and his cohorts in many African capitals are murderous villains who have deprived, maimed and killed the destiny of their people. Comparatively, we fared worse in Nigeria than in Tunisia. What the moronic Nigerian lack is the Bouazizian tragic route to protest, revolution and martyrdom. There are more Bouazizis in Nigeria than the naira but we have to isolate courage from the Nigerian Bouazizi and what is left is an empty shell of dozy, zombie, docile and thoroughly moronised fake Nigerian Bouazizi. Everybody wants to drive a Jeep and none wants to die! Now, look across your streets and you are faced with bedraggled Bouazizis on his ‘Jincheng’ and “Boxer” okada. These are the wretched victims of Nigeria’s greed and psychic cruelty. Look again, you will find around the ever busy T-junction a black-clad Nigerian police officer dehumanizing further the pitiable condition of our local Bouazizi through extortion laced with such commanding language fit only for a captive slave.

The Nigerian Bouazizi, a graduate, accepts all insults directed at him with studied silence. They all love to feast on humble pie. Daily, our acquiescing groove is ‘God dey’, ‘I leave it with God’, ‘Nigeria na wa’ and with such jellyfish accommodation of ‘mugunism’, tyranny, poverty, police brutality and social anomie, we in Nigeria must forthwith celebrate the uncommon courage of Mohammed Bouazizi. We have to begin to unravel the centuries of our celebrated shameless docility and acceptance of all political and social evils of our leaders. It is an atrocious scandal that we accommodate the corruption of our demented leaders without finding a closure through sweeping revolution to the aberration. The ‘okada’ riders, recharge card sellers, jobless youths, thugs, motor park touts, ‘Bolekaja’ drivers, armed robbers, hungry artisans, yahoo yahoo 419ers, gay hunters, ‘gbajumo onijibiti’, ‘olori ebi gbajue’, pure water hawkers, prostitutes, female Aristos and masked assassins are Nigeria’s own Bouazizis but all lacked the inner fire to set off a revolution. A common, passable, innocent and minor police infringement against Bouazizi brought about a timely ‘revo’ in Tunisia. In Nigeria, we are daily being bludgeoned to death, not only through police brutality, but also by governmental corruption and neglect that cry for the spirit of Bouazizian martyrdom.

President Jonathan, His Unbridled Tongue And South West Rascals

By Adepoju Paul Olusegun

According to Microsoft Encarta, speech is a learned system of communication requiring the coordinated use of voice, articulation, and language skills. Although many animals are physiologically able to use the voice for communicating a wide range of simple messages to others of their species, only humans are able to produce true speech (as opposed to the skills in speech mimicry of such birds as parrots and mynae). In a broad sense, speech is synonymous with language.

When delivering a speech, a speaker endeavours to pass his or her thoughts and opinions across; and at the same time, he or she ensures that the listeners really understand what the speech is all about. The success or failure at speech delivery is often pivotal to the achievement of set goals in almost every area of life. For instance, a sales representative must be very eloquent and convincing in order to secure his job and climb the professional ladder, a lawyer must be good at delivering speeches before he can get the judge to nod in the favour of his client. And politicians all over the world are always in search of the right words to use, that would convey their plans to the electorates.

According to Bob Lehrman, leading Democratic strategist and speechwriter, the secret to good political speeches is simple, a politician must get to the point – quick, make his speech simple, be filled with humours, get the people to his side, and drive home his points.

Respected politicians who are also eloquent public speakers often follow this rule. They say, “Here’s a problem, here’s why things are terrible,” and in the second part, “Here’s what we can do to make things better.” In the problem section, they are strong — to alarm people, and to show they understand it’s a real problem, as they do, and so their solution will make sense to the people. President Barack Hussein Obama is one of the numerous previously less known politicians who rose to the top as a result of his prowess and mastery of the art of public speaking.

Speeches like Martin Luther King’s (Jnr.) “I Have A Dream”, John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation, Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “We Shall Overcome”, Ronald Wilson Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing”, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Civil Rights Address are some of the timeless speeches with words that remain relevant even today. To those who heard the speeches first hand, the speeches were inspiring, insightful, thoughtful and motivational. No wonder they are regularly consulted archived materials, unlike those of Nigerian politicians.

Since the end of the Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa and Nnambdi Azikwe era, the polity in Nigeria has fall short of inspiring words that motivate Nigerians to resolve to do all within their power to serve their fatherland to the best of their abilities. The rationale behind this generational anomaly cannot be unconnected with the poor crop of leaders that the nation has had – people who seek authority, not to serve, but to access common wealth. Hence the words proceeding from their mouths often necessitate the need for Nigerians to look elsewhere – often to religious leaders, when in search of good leaders that would take the nation to higher horizons.

Literate illiteracy and the suboptimal educational attainments of most Nigerian leaders are additional reasons that are often given as being responsible for the inability of Nigerian leaders to utter inspiring words from time to time. And over a long period of time, Nigerian politicians have become notorious with their boring presentations that only journalists listen to. Lots of prominent Nigerians cannot greet well without reading from the script (somebody like Patience), and when they attempt to talk “from the heart”, grammatical blunders that initiate IBB (Independence Bomb Blast) reminiscence, indenting statements that fail to indemnify the well battered ego of the citizens, and divisive utterances that pitch one camp against another become the order of the day.

The best moment to assess Nigerian leaders is when they are not reading prepared speeches with croaky voices. It is worthy to note that the most unforgettable statements by current Nigerian leaders were uttered when they weren’t reading! One of such is Obasanjo’s credited declaration that the widely condemned 2007 elections would be a do-or-die affair, especially in Lagos. He also gave us “I dey laugh” slang at one of such uncensored sessions.

In both instances, his purported lousy comments proved to be extensively ostensible as Tinubu and Governor Fashola had to go all the way to ensure victory in Lagos; and Atiku was ridiculously defeated at PDP presidential primaries; all according to Obasanjo’s comments.

Unlike the developed world where party members are usually unaware of the strategies that their party executives and hired political mercenaries are planning to unleash at the polls to catch the opposition unawares, every Nigerian has well informed details on what and how Nigerian political parties intend to clinch victory, thanks to the frequent “high moments” when Nigerian leaders become lousy with their unbridled tongues. President Goodluck Jonathan is the most recent Nigerian leader who lost the key to his speaking faculty in the ancient city of Ibadan.

According to PUNCH Newspaper’s headline story of Wednesday, February 9, 2011, Mr President, surrounded by three ousted governors, made the following utterances that only synergistic effects of alcohol intoxication and sheer brutishness, tinged with several shots of paraga could force out of the mouth of a true president of a nation with vision for the future.

“We (PDP) must take over all the states in the South-West. The zone is too important to be left in the hands of rascals. We shall take over Lagos, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states. . . South-West is the most important zone where all Nigerians come. It is a mini Nigeria and it is very unique. . . It is true that we have our challenges in the zone, but we are on top of them all. We shall resolve our differences in our way.”

He went on to say that PDP leaders “will not sleep” until power was wrested from the Action Congress of Nigeria in Lagos state. This unforgettable high moment of Mr President is an insight into his perception of Nigeria, democracy, politics and indigenous African tradition of courteous human relations.

It is disheartening to note that decades after adopting the presidential style of government which put an end to regional administration, Mr President still belong to the school of thought which believe that one region is more important than the other. How should people living in the “less important flash point regions” up north respond to this matter-of-fact statement by the president? In a country that is loosely held together by sinews that are weakened daily, the President of all people, ought to know that unity as boldly emblazoned in our coat of arms, should be the theme of his speech, not divide-and-rule.

Is the president trying to say that the Boko Haram crises in the North; perennial burning, maiming and killing in Jos and Benue; bombings near his official residence in Abuja and Bayelsa, kidnapping in Aba and the entire South Eastern region, as well as oil militancy in his hometown are all less important? Like Obasanjo rightly said, President Jonathan is still under tutelage.

The president’s speech also put the nation’s nascent democracy on the same pedestal as wrestling where two contestants try to force each other’s shoulders to the floor, thus scoring a fall and winning the match. GEJ advanced Obasanjo’s wish of having Lagos under PDP’s umbrella. Like a stray bird hunter, Jonathan wants PDP to capture Lagos state. He clearly and eloquently shifted attention from the people, and bestowed power on his party, the ruling party. He enjoined the party faithful to “legally” use every resource within their reach to get Lagos state’s candidate Mr Dosunmu declared as the next governor of Lagos state.

Like his predecessors and political mentors, President Jonathan’s perspective of democracy is a battle between parties, not a political system in which the people rule through any form of government they choose to establish. Instead of addressing issues and presenting better plans for the South West under PDP, the president walked the inglorious path of preaching politics of calumny and bad name calling. Never in the history of modern politics had a seating president referred to anyone in the opposition as rascal, until President Jonathan spoke at the famous Mapo Hill in Ibadan.

What happened to leadership by example? Is it now normal and socially acceptable for politicians to refer to one another as rascals, even if they are? What about mutual reverence, respect and role modelling? Is the president trying to tell us that he has problem on those essential qualities of leadership? His religion, faith, principle and belief are also on the line here. Mr President fraternizes with popular pastors. He took a soul lifting picture that humbled unbelievers with Pastor E. A. Adeboye when he knelt before the clergyman for prayers. Many took him as a good Christian who put God first. But didn’t Mr President remember the Bible verse which goes thus:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers”

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan clearly went out-of-line with his utterances. While his camp might do damage control by claiming that he was quoted out of context, had a slip of tongue or used the wrong word to express what he had on his mind; many Nigerians are now watching the president very closely. They are of the opinion that he seems to be showing his true colour after several years of being a deputy. Only God knows what else is hidden under the President’s signatory hat.

In the culture of the people of the South West, utterances are taken serious. Hence for Mr President to have had his tongue unbridled is greatly frowned at by the people of the South West, just like other parts of Nigeria. Hence just like Mallam Nuhu Ribadu rightly said, the president owes people of the region numerous apologies.

When supporters of a PDP governor and supporters of a PDP senate leader engaged in a gun duel in the same Ibadan killing three people, the President did not refer to them as rascals. He was dead silent. When minority PDP state legislators in Ogun, in an historic feat, sacked the majority members of the parliament, the President did not call them rascals.

Even in the President’s home state of Bayelsa, when supporters of the PDP governor attacked supporters of Mr. President’s former adviser, killing six people, the president did not refer to anybody as rascals. On what basis can he now refer to anyone as a rascal? Not being ruled by PDP or losing control over one’s tongue?

Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)

Where Is That Bastard

By Pius Adesanmi

“Where is the bastard? I say where is that bastard?”

“Baba, baba, baba, take it easy now. Bastard wo l’en wa kiri sir? We are in a church for thanksgiving o.”

“Church my foot! If not for Olagunsoye Oyinlola who has been thanking God per second per second since he left office in Osogbo, I wouldn’t be here in Okuku to risk being insulted by that boy a second time. The last time Oyinlola thanked God for a successful tenure of office, that bastard boy came here to abuse me.”
“Baba, e ni suru sir.”

“No, mi o le ni suru rara at all. I’m in no mood to dey kampe today. Now that we are here again to thank God for Oyinlola at sixty, that bastard may barge in at any time and disgrace me again. Imagine that boy calling me names the other time. I wonder who gave him pounded yam and told him that egusi soup was a cakewalk.”

“But Baba…”

“Don’t but me any buts my friend. Do I look like I dey laugh to you? If I don’t deal with that boy once and for all today, he may be rude to me if Oyinlola invites us here again next week to thank God for his senatorial ambition.”

“Baba, stop worrying about him for God’s sake. He is not here. He is running for the Senate and is busy campaigning in Ekiti.”

“Is that not part of the nonsense that we are talking about in this country? We are planning to send all of our outgoing PDP governors to the retired governors’ pension home that is the Senate and that bastard is trying to do the same thing in the Labour Party. Can you imagine a boy who called me a father of bastards planning to retire to the Senate in this country?”

“Baba, please stop worrying about that Ekiti rascal. Even if he wins, he will not get to Abuja. Se b’awa ni. Let’s worry about the Emperor of Oke Mosan who is thumbing his nose at you in Otta.”

“See me o. That is how this country treats elder statesmen. Emi si Gbenga! Because he has a richer wardrobe than his elders, he now imagines he also has more rags than his elders. I will teach that boy a lesson he will never forget. Good thing Oyinlola did not invite him here today.”

“Shhhh, Baba, the Pastor is looking at us o. Let’s listen to the sermon…”

My brothers and sisters, distinguished chieftains, stakeholders, and elder statesmen of the PDP gathered to celebrate and felicitate with our brother, His Excellency General Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, you are most welcome to our church. I say unto you all: nothing happens by accident. Everything is of God and has been pre-ordained by Him.

God pre-ordained things and that is why you conquered this nation and captured power in 1999, 2003, and 2007. I tell you, nobody shall dispossess you of your possession in 2011 for I saw your dominion over this nation spread till eternity in a vision. For it is written in the book of Deuteronomy 7: When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

Distinguished chieftains, stakeholders, and elder statesmen of the PDP, even as it happened unto the chosen ancients in the Bible, I command it today that so shall you smite and vanquish the ACN, the ACPN, the Labour Party, the CPC, and all the other enemies of your sixty-year inheritance in 2011…”

“This is a good Pastor o. He is talking a lot of sense. Where did Oyinlola rent him? We need to do something for this church. How much seed should we sow during offering?”

“Ten million naira should be enough, Baba.”

“Ok, I will do it but remind me to collect my money from the PDP national secretariat o. I am not sowing the seed in my private capacity o. Anyway, we were talking about Gbenga…”

“Yes o, Baba, since all these small small boys with a little change in their pockets are challenging us and rocking the boat left, right, and centre, what are you our elders doing about it in the Board of Trustees? Since Jonathan is always doing sme sme, I don’t think you should entrust him with our do or die strategy as we approach April o.”

“Who will trust that woman with do or die? He has messed up every do or die assignment thus far.”

“Baba, which woman are you talking about?”

“Goodluck Jonathan of course. Didn’t you just say he is always doing sme sme like a woman? Ordinary to transfer and neutralize Justice Ayo Salami of the Court of Appeal, Jonathan and Katsina-Alu have bungled that vital anticipatory do or die strategy of ours. We have the Supreme Court firmly in our pockets because Katsina-Alu and Ogebe are our boys but that Ayo Salami won’t let us have the Court of Appeal.”

“Baba, knowing Jonathan and his sme sme, the BOT should not have entrusted him with that delicate assignment.”

“I didn’t want to give that assignment to Jonathan but Andy Uba, Chris Uba, Ahmadu Ali, Tony Anenih, and other party elders persuaded me to let the president look presidential by appearing to be in charge of things. We told him that Ayo Salami needs to go if we are to secure a landslide of judicial victories after April. He handed that delicate assignment over to Katsina-Alu and see what they have done.”

“What would you have done, Baba?”

“I would have gotten my friend, Ban Ki Moon, to find him something at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. An important UN position that the stubborn judge would not have been able to resist because that would translate to Nigeria losing that slot at the international level. I have asked Jonathan to look into that possibility since the promotion to the Supreme Court option has blown up in our faces.”

“Baba, move closer and let me whisper an idea into your ears… what about…em … em… I mean what about the Esa Oke protocol? We are still the PDP, aren’t we? Our anticipated landslide victories will never be safe after April so long as that Ayo Salami is allowed to hang around o. My only fear is that if we use the Esa Oke protocol, that restless Professor who wears a white mane will go about calling us a nest of killers.”

“Is that why you are whispering? This is a family gathering. Babangida is here. Alao Akala is here. Segun Oni is here. Segun Agagu is here. That Ekiti bastard is not here. Only our inner caucus people are here. There is nothing we cannot discuss openly in Oyinlola’s sakani.”

“Baba, the wall has ears.”

“What is the world coming to? You are throwing proverbs around in front of an elder without permission. Is that how you were raised?”

“Apologies, Baba. Ah, the Pastor is looking our way again. I think we are talking too loud. Let’s join the hymn.”


Count your blessings name them one by one
Count your blessings see what God hath done
Count your many blessings
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the lord hath done

“Baba, as I was saying, we cannot talk with the full complement of our mouths here because the wall has ears. Baba, this place is infiltrated by the ears of the Asiwaju o.”

“Ehn, Asiwaju ke?”

“Yes, there are suspicious elements in this church. Asiwaju will go to any length to infiltrate a gathering like this.”

“This Oyinlola has gone soft o. How can he allow Asiwaju’s ears to infiltrate this space? Are you sure that Kayode Fayemi, Raji Fashola, and even Rauf Aregbesola are not here?”

“Haba Baba!”

“That is why I was looking for that bastard Ekiti boy. If only he had come here today. I came prepared for him.”

“Baba, this Pastor will drive us out of his church today o. He is frowning at us again. Let’s listen a little.”

…in conclusion of my ministration today brothers and sisters, let us all rise up and say in unison to our dear brother, His Excellency General Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, even as he places his new political direction in the hands of the most high at sixty, let us all say to him along with the prophet Isaiah:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you…

“Remind me to recommend this Pastor to Jonathan as the next chaplain of the Aso Rock chapel. He is a man of God in whom I am well pleased. He knows what to say.”

“Okay Baba, I will remind you. As I was saying, forget the Ekiti rascal. He is not here. Only his wife came to represent him.”

“Ehn, iwo omode yi, what did you just say?”

“Oh, Baba, I said that his wife is here.”

“At this thanksgiving service?”

“Yes, Baba.”

“Why didn’t you say so! And we have been here talking politics and Jonathan and Ayo Salami. I will never understand you boys of nowadays. Always leaving the best wine until past the midnight hour.”

“Em, Baba, I don’t understand why you are getting so excited o.”

“Didn’t you just say that the woman is here alone?”

“Yes, Baba, she is here to represent her husband. I think Oyinlola asked the Ekiti rascal to stay away out of respect for you so he sent his wife to represent him.”

“And she came here alone? All by herself?”

“Yes, Baba.”

“Lovely. Wonderful.”

“Baba, I don’t understand.”

“No, my son, you don’t understand.”

“Baba, I hope it is not what I’m thinking. Why must you think that every woman’s destiny is under your loins? Even Femi Fani-Kayode said that Saminu Turaki and co were supplying…”

“You see now? In the end, you are no different from that Ekiti boy who insulted me. You dare to open your rotten mouth and talk about my loins.”

“Baba, I’m just saying that you should control it and not think that every woman, married or unmarried, is…”

“You are a bastard.”

ACN/CPC, Don`t Do This To Us!

By Suraj Oyewale

At the conception stage, I wanted to title this piece, ‘ACN/CPC Alliance: An Autopsy’. This was shortly after news broke that the proposed alliance between the fast growing Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) and the dogged Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) had finally collapsed. The statement credited to the national chairman of ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, further put to rest the death of the alliance that would have done Nigeria good. But with General Muhammadu Buhari coming out the next day to say that there was still room for electoral understanding between the two parties, I concluded the coffin has not been nailed and the alliance may still be revived. I only hope I am not daydreaming.

In my almost three decades on earth, half of which I have spent actively following Nigerian politics at the national level, I have never been so concerned and involved in who emerged the president of this country. When civil rule returned in 1999, though underaged, I was, like my Awoist family, a staunch supporter of AD’s Chief Olu Falae. In 2003 and 2007, with PDP’s rigging machinery at its best, fighting the PDP, a party that has shown that it has nothing to offer this country, was like hitting one’s head against the rock. Apart from the electoral system clearly tilted in favour of the ruling party, the opposition was also very weak. The solid national structure of the party, compared to other parties, capped its chain of fair and foul advantages.

Then came 2011, run-up to which started with the removal of rigger-in-chief Maurice Iwu and appointment of the radical university teacher, Attahiru Jega, as the nation’s chief electoral umpire. Some of us that had lost interest in the system began to make a rethink. We watched as things began to look better. With other factors like the cracks in PDP leading to mass exodus from the party, increasing reliability and credibility of the judiciary in handling election petitions, the expanding tentacles of ACN, poor performance by PDP sitting president, waning influence of PDP garrison commander Olusegun Obasanjo, and increasing political awareness among the masses leading to widespread dissatisfaction with PDP across the land, PDP’s invincibility began to look more imaginary than real.

Then the next question: how do we dislodge PDP? The strategy, every concerned Nigerian acknowledged, will largely depend on the understanding between the opposition and the candidate fielded. Clearly, we all knew that no single opposition political party in Nigeria can defeat PDP on its own. An electoral relationship, preferably in the form of merger or alliance, among the major political parties is needed. The major opposition parties, namely ACN and CPC, seemed to realize this early enough, and began to work out the possibility of both going to the poll under one banner against PDP, to the pleasure of those of us non-partisan followers of Nigerian politics who want PDP out.

On the other critical issue of suitable ticket to confront PDP, various combinations were thrown up: Buhari-Fashola, Ribadu-Fashola, Buhari-Okonjo Iweala, Ribadu-Okonjo Iweala, Buhari-Tinubu, Buhari-Ngige etc. The issue of who should fly the joint ticket as presidential candidate was not so contentious as majority of the analysts believed Buhari stood a better chance of giving PDP a run for their money than Ribadu. Dogged fighter and big crowd puller that he is, Tinubu would have been a good choice as running mate for the incorruptible General. But when weighed against the ethnic and religious sentiments that cannot be divorced from Nigerian politics, the ticket may not fly, many watchers also acknowledged. But more importantly, let the alliance be consummated first, so we wished.

Just when we stayed glued to the news media expecting an official announcement of the consummation of this hopeful alliance, came the shock that the talk had collapsed and both parties will now go to the field separately. How disappointing can things get!

The fault, as the loquacious ACN chief put it, was Buhari’s. I’m inclined to believe this, even as a die-hard Buhari fan. ACN, to me, has displayed enough understanding by agreeing to concede the presidential candidate slot to CPC’s Buhari. Demanding that CPC’s platform be used, as Buhari reportedly did, is clearly a case of asking for too much. ACN is a tested and experienced party, having participated in presidential election in the past, not to forget the fact that aside PDP, the party is the second most national party in Nigeria, actively present in almost all the states in Nigeria. The party has five governors(Ondo’s Mimiko’s mind is clearly in the party) , did well in gubernatorial elections in states like Anambra and Kwara and appears positioned to do well in Oyo and Ogun states in the coming guber, what more can one bring to the table? CPC, on the other hand, though extremely popular in the North-West and fairly in the North East, is practically non-existent in the entire South. It is therefore only reasonable that ACN’s platform should be used.

If I’m correct, the fear of the CPC chieftains is that majority of their supporters are the barely literate talakawas of the North, who may have had CPC imprinted into their minds and may not want to hear anything apart from CPC in the forthcoming elections. This fear appears understandable but this can be surmounted if Buhari himself can do the magic by visiting these states to make the public declaration in the week between guber and presidential elections. Mai gaskiya(the man of truth), as he is fondly called by his teeming admirers in that part of the country, is a man whose word is highly respected over there. Olusola Saraki has done this many times in Kwara. In 1999, aggrieved that he was not given APP presidential ticket, he waited for guber election to hold where his APP won before declaring(which I personally heard over the Radio on that day) that his teeming party supporters should vote for PDP at the national election and PDP won in the national election. He had earlier done the same thing in 1983. So CPC’s fears can be allayed.

ACN and CPC should, for the sake of change-wanting Nigerians, come back to the negotiation table and seal this alliance. Even if they lose at the end, history will judge them as men who strove to extricate Nigeria from the stranglehold of the devilish behemoth called PDP. This is a golden opportunity to sweep away PDP. Those of us non-partisan concerned Nigerians cannot do it alone, neither can ACN or CPC . An alliance is inevitable. To defeat PDP is a task that must be done.

Suraj Oyewale,

VI, Lagos

Students Storm Education Summit – Plead For Reduction In Tuition Fees

By Goke Butika

 

Thousands of students across Osun State tertiary institutions trooped out en-masse on Monday to attend the Education Summit organised by the state government under the leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

According to Aregbesola, the motive of the summit was to look into and amend the decay, dilapidation and abysmal situation of the rotten education sector in the state.

The students, who expressed their satisfaction on the summit, saluted the governor for his readiness to ameliorate the problems facing education in the state, saying that the sector needed an urgent proactive action for improvement.

Led by the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian students (NANS), Osun Axis, Comrade Seun Abosede, the students called on the present administration to review all education policies implemented by the defunct administration of the ousted Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Presenting a memo to the education summit committee, the students demanded for immediate reduction in the tuition fees of all the state-owned tertiary institutions.

They threatened that the fees reduction demand, if not met, would be capable of bringing the whole system to disrepute, collapse all education structures and widen the gap between the students and the government and breach the trusts, confidence and optimism that the students, parents and other people of the state have in the present administration.

According to the students, education in the state is not accessible to common man, maintaining that the state education is in shambles.

The students said: “Under a healthy situation and as proclaimed by Awolowo, education should be free at all level. The UNESCO recommendation of 26 per cent of annual budget of every state government for education should be put to play.

“Before the advent of the illegal government of Oyinlola in 2007, we used to pay the sum of N7,000 in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and College of Technology, Esa-Oke and the sum of N5, 500 in Osun State College of Education, Ilesa and College of Education, Ila-Orangun in the state.

“On the pretext of economic backwardness, Oyinlola in 2008 arbitrarily increased the tuition fees to N30, 000 and N21, 000 respectively. This is the hardship that the already suppressed people of Osun State that could not boast of additional sources of income due to the government’s ineptitude aimed at bringing innovation to commerce and industry in the state.

“A week before the inglorious exit of Oyinlola, he arbitrarily increased the tuition fees to N42, 000 across all levels.  As at today, pre-ND-HND II students of Polytechnic will pay N42, 000 and Year I-Year IV students of colleges of education will also pay N42, 000”.

The students further lamented the inadequacy of lecture halls, non-availability of hostel accommodation in any of the state-owned tertiary institutions, adding that the laboratories, libraries and health centres of various institutions were bereft of equipment, books and drugs.

Commenting on the performance of the lecturers across the state-owned institutions, the students maintained that the lecturers were nothing to write home about, as they were not effective in discharging their duties.

They stressed that some of the lecturers were appointed with partiality and favouritism by the past administration through the Governing Councils and managements of various institutions, just as they called on the governor to review all appointments and education policies implemented by Oyinlola.

“The various authorities in the institutions were also appointed not on merit, but on political alliance and they reflected the unfriendly policies and continue to introduce unacceptable charges to further oppress the students.

“In 2007 Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s ICT charges was introduced in all the state institutions and each student had since been paying N5, 000 for the ICT centres, which have all been found not to be functioning across all the campuses.

“Other increased extortive charges in the institutions included: outrageous acceptance fee, sport levy and presently, a particular case in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, where the management of the institution, without the students’ consent, introduced an insurance policy, forcing the students to pay the sum of N1, 600 each.

Hurray! INEC Learns From Osun Governorship Election Petition: More Promises From Aregbesola’s Democratic Governance

By Femi Egbeyinka

Recently and to be precise, as reported in most Nigerian daily newspapers on February 1, 2011, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the frontline opposition party in Nigeria today, gave a poser to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on their incapability to detect double/multiple registration of voters. Some commentators on this issue were of the opinion that the ACN has again come with her criticisms. In his quick response, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said ACN’s alarm was unjustifiable.

Earlier before this, INEC’s arrowhead, Professor Attahiru Jega, was summoned by the upper chamber of National Assembly to come and explain some issues on why there were problems with voters’ registration. In one of his responses to one of the questions asked, he said that INEC has facilities in place that could be used in detecting multiple registrations. I am quite sure that this our professor was sounding confident in the face of Nigerians based on the information given to him by his ICT experts. Has he on his own practicalised it? It should, however, be noted that it was the same array of experts under his nose that certified those problematic Direct Data Capturing Machines imported to Nigeria.   

Raising alarm now by the ACN is an eye opener to the Jega-led INEC for corrections not to be too late. We can easily forget things in this country as it affected the 2007 general elections under the chairmanship of Iwu. While preparing for the elections, we were all alive when INEC displayed state-of-the-art equipment in Abuja to execute the elections. One of the presidential candidates then said with what we saw on the ground, things were in order, but no one could predict what next. What we saw later was failed 2007 elections output as attested to by even our past president of blessed memory. The challenge before INEC now is to prove the ACN wrong at the end of the day. The more it proves the ACN wrong by delivering standard voters’ registers with error margin of +5% to Nigeria, the better. At the end of the day, Nigerians, including the ACN members, in future would crosscheck that assurance. Hence, we would be able to take good care of Nigerians in diaspora.

Again, it should be recalled that during the voters’ registration before 2007 general elections, INEC took individual photographs to identify multiple registrations. But now, having learnt from the effectiveness of biometric analysis of ballot papers used in Osun State gubernatorial election petition championed by the Osun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, INEC now introduces the idea of taking the prints of the voters’ ten fingers. In the development of science, scientific laws have their roots from hypothesis before developing to theory and finally law. No sooner than later, as it was noted during the period Aregbesola’s case was in the courts, this scientific approach will finally take its root properly in our electoral laws.

The development introduced by INEC in this registration process has sent a lot of panic into the systems of vote-riggers especially in Osun State. It was funny to hear Senator Iyiola Omisore of Osun State asking Proffesor Jega on the floor of the Senate about those who interchange DDC machines from one place to another in his constituency. Smart Jega said it was not possible and that the machines have been coded. One cannot actually blame Iyiola because he knew why he was asking such a question in the full glare of Nigerians who knows where he was coming from, where he is and where he is going. According to the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister in one of his tracks, he said he who wants to know how to sing Fuji music should come to his Fuji chamber for music injection. Iyiola should for once sit down and learn how to play modern-day politics rather than thinking of cutting corners. There is no way anyone can include an imaginary DDC machine anywhere without the knowledge or cooperation of Jega or his boys. So, our distinguished INEC boss must carefully watch this trend. Those who are deeply involved in the use of palmnuts in place of their fingers have been put on their toes because the ACN, by the wealth of democratic experience she has, is only doubting the level of INEC’s ability to maximise the use of the opportunity they introduce now to give Nigeria a voters’ register that will serve as the beginning of positive democratic change.

Meanwhile, let us now go to the drawing board. What are the things INEC should do for it to have good outing at the end of the day so as to have a laudable voters’ register? Firstly, apart from the hardcopy paper printout to be displayed and given to each registered party, they must make available softcopy version of the voters’ register. This would be in a storage facility that cannot be edited in any form. I mean a highly protected copy. Lists of voters’ register should be genuinely posted to INEC website. Secondly, INEC said it has a facility that can detect double registrations. While believing its hypothesis for now, we are challenging INEC to publish all their findings with details including the names of the individuals, passport photographs, states, local governments, wards and units where such malpractices took place. This will deter any other potential defaulters in the nearest future. Nigerians will not be pleased with ordinary sketchy information or data that will be fictitious.

Apart from the above, it is recommended to the INEC to bring those machines used for registration at every pooling unit out in addition to the hardcopy data on every individual on the voting days to use them as means of accreditation before voting starts. This is very simple, for anybody to be accredited, placing any of his or her fingers on the finger detector; the machine will simply bring out that individual’s data. Alas! I fear the hardware sensitivity and software inferiority of these machines. Genuinely, INEC on the day of election, especially presidential election to start with, should electronically transmit election results live on National Television Authority (NTA) immediately the results are ready in every state. We can learn from Obama’s election. Repeat of what happened in 2007 elections should be minimised. INEC promised to be texting the election results from each polling unit directly to its headquarters in Abuja but the arrangement was planned to fail. For the election results order than the presidential election, there is nothing bad in transmitting the results live on any state broadcasting television once they are collated from each local government or as deemed fit.

Finally, this innovation has clearly taken its launching pad in Aregbesola’s forensic analysis in the 2007 electoral petition. More of democratic training ground is on the way by virtue of the type of government Osun State governor is putting in place. So, it is not enough for INEC to say ACN’s position on the voters’ register is unjustifiable, but rather for INEC to justify its own side. It has an historic duty to present a standard voters’ register for this country which will serve as a veritable benchmark not only in the forthcoming elections but for this political generation and ones yet unborn.

Osun State, Justice And The Paradox Of Honey

 

A house built of the blocks of spittle can never

stand the frank judgment of an early morning dew.

 – Yoruba proverb

The echo of the judgment of the Court of Appeal that ushered in Engineer Rauf Aregbesola as the Governor of Osun State on 26 November, 2010 still reverberates.  This time, it is not the people of Osun State, who conferred the mandate that informed the judgment, who are feeling the reverberation, but those who have stifled justice and stalled growth and development of the State for years for selfish and self-serving goals. Having suddenly realized that the judgment signifies the end of the road to their looting spree and diabolical political ambitions in the state, they have turned to cheap blackmail by lampooning the integrity of the Judges of the Appeal Court, who gave the judgment. Initially they set out with writing articles in the newspapers under spurious names, raising all sorts of unintelligible posers. But when all these were not having the desired effect, the big masquerade himself came out in flesh and blood, pasting all sorts of advertorials in the newspapers, abusing and making wild allegations of unproven graft against the judges. He also threatened to leave no stone unturned to get to the root of the matter. What is more, he attempted to sponsor impeachment against the governor. Interestingly, this very important big masquerade is Senator Iyiola Omisore. 

Some people have even asked the question, why is this man crying more than the bereaved Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who the Court of Appeal sent packing as governor? But looking at the political profile of the man, should anyone be bothered that he is embarking on this self-destructive path? Without going into details, Senator Omisore remains till date incomparably the only award-winning candidate, who won an election from maximum security prison. Considering this, should anyone expect any better thinking from him? He is feeling the most aggrieved today because he believes his big achievement has not been given due recognition. This man hitherto believes he is the anointed heir to the throne that he and the others in the PDP have installed in the governor’s office at Abere. Before the verdict, he had hung on each lamppost across the state his portrait-sized campaign billboard that bears his half-headed picture with an underneath statement in Yoruba language – Eniyan iyi ni wa ni ipinle Osun. The self-introductory statement bears dual meanings in English translations – “We are important personalities in Osun State” or “We are all followers of Iyiola in Osun State”.

With all these efforts, to suddenly wake up and realize that his ambition has been neutralized by a “mere” court judgment was a blow he could not take.  And that this has forced him to go and obtain a return ticket to the Senate is an insult rubbed on his sore. More so, the next trip to the Senate may not be that easy because the usual rigging machinery of the PDP this time is under the threat of the mortal attack of the progressive people of Osun.

But if you ask me whether the good people of Osun are swallowing the balderdash pouring out of the senator, I will say no. And I am going to illustrate this by an analogy that has struck a chord in me since the verdict of the Court of Appeal. This I call – the paradox of honey.

Honey is a substance of an intriguing nature. In Yoruba, it is called ‘Oyin’. It is sweet but sugar-free. In the medical world today, it is regarded as a medical wonder for its healing efficacy on wounds and other diseases. Also it is said to be used in performing some surgeries. Not only this, because of its sugar-free nature, it is used in the production of some drugs. The reason it is a desire in some hospitals and not a few herbal homes or businesses are smiling to the banks today. Even in some homes, it serves as a flavour for foods such as tea, pap, garri etc. Nevertheless, as valuable as this substance is, the unhealthy, human effort in our society has made it a paradox – sweet and bitter.

However, this honey is a product of a creature, an insect known as bee. This bee is more of intrigue than the honey it produces. By its nature, it has two-sidedness of life – sweet and bitter. The honey is its sweet side. The sting is the other side, and this, no one ever prays for. Anyone who has experienced the sting of a bee will understand this. As small as a bee is, its sting is heavier than a bag of ossified cement. In other words, the sting of a bee can reduce a giant to naught. With the sting, a collection of bees can ravage a community. And the bee, its honey, and its sting are all the creations of God.

Human beings, generally though, cannot create bee, but in our own part of the world, they have created their own type of honey with a sting. And this honey is the carbon-copy (the adulteration) of God’s own – the original. Unfortunately, this fake honey is more available in our society than that of the original.  Here lies the paradox of honey.

That Osun people had tasted both brands under the two previous successive governments headed by Chief Bisi Akande and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola respectively is not an overstatement but more of a reality than a fact. Though, when the original honey came in a disguise under Chief Akande, many people of Osun could not discern it. However, Prince Oyinlola whose name incidentally means honey is wealth (and enjoys being called Oyin) opened their eyes when he gave them the full dose of the sting of the other brand.

They now could see the reason Baba Akande would want to save more money for the State instead of going a borrowing as Oyinlola did; the reason Baba Akande would rehabilitate many roads and Oyinlola would not; the reason Baba Akande would execute many projects by direct labour, while Oyinlola would instead award the same to contractors, who would subcontract them to the contractors that would give him ten percent and at the end of the day, the contract would remain undone; the reason Baba Akande would choose an ascetic lifestyle instead of Oyinlola’s profligacy; and so forth.

Therefore, the difference was what the people of Osun waited for to express in the 2007 elections. But this came with a more brutal price.

Before Aregbesola came to contest the governorship election, Oyinlola and his PDP party had completely gagged the opposition in Osun State via violent intimidation to erase any sense of alternative. It was, therefore, a big sigh of relief when Aregbesola came with a perfect traditional sense of history and a lot of political intelligence. And it did not take long when he became a ‘symbol’ not only to his political group, Oranmiyan, but to all the people of Osun. When the PDP leaders grasped that his coming might signal their end, they started waging war. As a symbol of the struggle to liberate the people, Aregbesola, therefore, faced many trials. Where can one start to recount: was it the Oroki Day’s experience where attempts were made on his life when he was shot at in his private vehicle several times, or other several attacks on the members of the Oranmiyan group and later AC (Action Congress)? Or the several killings of AC members and massive manipulations of votes during and after the election, which threw up Oyinlola as a winner for the second term?

Even the judicial balance that the people of Osun later hung their hope on did not help their matter initially. So much judicial abracadabra (courtesy of (in) justice Naron, the extra cool judge and his likes) was foisted on the people. It took three and a half years before God gave approval to their prayers through His messengers in the garbs of Court of Appeal judges.

If these Court of Appeal judges had taken the inglorious path of Justice Naron and his co-travelers, the PDP by now would have been celebrating them to the high heavens. To the likes of Omisore, they would have become the doyens of the judiciary and the heroes of their time.

Therefore, after seven and a half years that people of Osun had waddled through the rough sea of dashed hopes and survived through the struggle led by the Symbol of hope, Rauf Aregbesola, there is no doubt that they have known the difference. They have grown wiser like a woman who, after trying two successive suitors, has known which is better.

Therefore, the lesson they have learnt as regards honey is such that it does not have to come as a name of a leader before they can enjoy the original honey under him. This is what Omisore and his breeds are afraid of. That the people of Osun can now identify a fake leader from the original one has turned to a ghost of their past now hunting them about. Moreover, that the current Governor, Engineer Aregbesola, is carrying on in a peaceful manner without witch-hunting anybody – the grace the PDP does not have – has become their ‘Harmer House of Horror’. The reason they cannot rest anymore like a swivel chair on a permanent spin.

When the Court of Appeal declared Aregbesola the winner, three things elated me. One, that we are gradually getting do-or-die election behind us in Osun state. That, at least, the election riggers should see the handwriting on the wall that this is not going to be business as usual anymore. Two, that one party system will be a scrap for the dustbin of history. Because a system without opposition is as good as a system whose security is in the hands of armed-robbers. And the third, this is the one that elated me most. That come 2011 elections, Osun will not witness another round of bloodshed by the agents of do-or-die. That is, innocent souls would not have to die defending their votes.

However, with the recent development, I am not that optimistic anymore. Senator Omisore is not someone who threatens you and you go to sleep. He does not have only proclivity for violence, he has an assured history in its tactics and strategy. Somebody like him is like fish out of water during peacetime when his ‘boys’ will remain unemployed. More so, he is in PDP where sense of reason has taken flight right from its creation. It is of note that before the judgment arrived, the members of PDP in the State had started attacking and killing one another in their rallies – a prelude to what they can do and would have done to the opposition if the judgment had gone otherwise.

They have not slept. The anacondas are still wide-awake, only hibernating. This is the lesson to learn from Omisore’s defective grenade-launcher. The reason the euphoria that greeted the victory ought to have died down; and the time for jubilation ought to be over. It is the time for people to be on a red alert to guard the victory and support the Governor to make a success of it.

However, with what has happened so far in Osun State, I have the strong conviction that in the end, sword is always conquered by the mind.

•Jubril is a social and political analyst.

Osun To Reveal Plan For 2010 Civil Servants’ Promotion Exams

By Kazeem Mohammed

 

Osun State governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has said that he would make his position known on the 2010 promotional examinations for civil servants in the state, as soon as the state Civil Service Commission make its submission to his office over the matter.

The governor disclosed this in Osogbo, the state capital on Friday, while addressing members of the commission, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, saying that for as long as there is no contradiction between the government objectives for the state and the submission of the commission, there would be no any crisis over the issue.

The disclosure followed the request of the commission made by its Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Adebisi, asking the governor to order the commencement of the 2010 promotion examination, which he said, was already due.

Aregbesola however said that it was not his style to just give sensational response to issues as complex as the status of the civil servants, whom he described as the heart-beat service in the state, adding that he could not make any categorical statement on whether to go ahead with the promotional exams or not until submissions are made before him.

He however demanded the submission from the commission, an action which, he said, would influence him on what to do accordingly; adding that what would determine how the government progresses on the matter was unity of purpose of every stakeholder.

“For as long as there is unanimity in our perspective; for as long as harmony on our objective, be rest assured that there will be no crisis at all and you will have the best of relationship with me. Whoever is interested, committed and willing to serve the people of the state would be encouraged by us and would be seen as a partner in the effort to revamp the economy of the state”, the governor said.

On the question of political difference between him and members of the commission, Aregbesola stressed that he had sworn on oath to be fair to all categories of people irrespective of their political or religious background, saying that he would not do anything to contradict the oath he had made.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the commission commended the maturity, sense of good leadership and the governor’s strong will to succeed for retaining members of the commission despite their political differences with him, saying that they would do everything possible to support the administration.

Adebisi also commended the efforts of the present administration to involve the people in communal effort, saying that the idea would go a long way at ensuring rapid development and harmony in the state.

He then urged the governor to order the commencement of the 2010 promotion examination of the state civil servants, just as he described the state civil servants as God-fearing and hardworking people, saying that with care, they would work hard to ensure successful implementation of the government policies.

Care Taker Committee: Between Integrity and Sophism

By Ade Olugbotemi

 

My intention is not to draw people’s attention to the muchness or lack of it between two individuals. Rather, this attempt is geared towards an exposition that will cause those engaging in cobweb politicking at the detriment of our own dear state which is seriously begging for efforts at moving her forward. It is in my candid opinion that enough damage had been done in Osun State, and as such, every right thinking person however passive his occupation may be in space and time must have his or her mind occupied with the possible positive moves to bail her out of the doldrums.

Ogbeni Aregbesola did not show any pretence about his determination to change the fortune of Osun State before and after he became the governor. Unlike his predecessor who only engaged in needless grandstanding for public applause, he knows his onions and he has told his political associates that it is no longer business as usual when governmental process was regarded as moonlight child’s play. It appeared a bitter pill when he told the people of Osun State that he is the governor of, and for all, irrespective of political difference and divergent viewpoints. I think this is the correct mind set for a leader that intends to succeed. Honest disposition to this standpoint will definitely see everybody to the promise land.

I am not Aregbesola’s advocate. I cannot qualify to be one because he has many in Sofunde and Co, but I most point to a current phenomenon which is creating serious ripple amount the rank and file of the members of the ruling party in Osun State. When the first batch of the recruits in Aregbesola’s twenty thousand jobs’ advocacy was released last week, the list was greeted with surprises and unbelief, simply because the list contained the name of known members and loyalist of the recently sacked People’s Democratic Party in Osun State. The infuriation became more intense when some of those who felt, as major stakeholders in the ruling party (ACN) they should call the shots, and have gone ahead to assure their followers and co-loyalists that their names would be shortlisted. I am not saying they do not have the right to demand for this legitimate democratic dividend; as a matter of fact, considering the marginalization, intimidation and humiliation they suffered in the hands of the immediate past government, they have that unalloyed audacity to demand for a “totalitarian” government that will favour first the party faithful and then the masses.

Governor Aregbesola also is not oblivious of this fact; but he is also not oblivious of the fact that the so called beneficiaries of PDP extraction are integral part of the masses that should benefit from his government. He is also aware, I am sure, that it should not be at the detriment of those who had suffered one injustice or the other in the hands of sacked Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his cronies. Good enough, the disgruntled party members stand the chance of being assuaged both in the current exercise and future edeavours. Aregbesola is a man who believes in justice and fair play. He will do everything humanly possible to ensure that everybody gets his or her due share in his effort to move the state forward.

I was not surprised when Hon. Adejare Bello, the speaker of the Osun State house of assembly showered encomiums on Governor Aregbesola because I know a little of Aregbesola’s sterling qualities. I however, heave a sigh of relief at the confession that they (Adejare & Co,) had a wrong impression about the personality of Ogbeni Aregbesola. According to Adejare Bello, “They now know better that Aregbesola was different from the kind of person they have been taking him to be”. In my own opinion, this is a correct assessment and that of a great opportunity to work closely with the man of vision to change the fortune of the bewildered state. There are three arms of government viz: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The three arms are supposed to develop symbiotic relationship for the general good of the masses. As a matter of fact the three arms are to work in tandem with one another so as to reap the maximum benefits of democratic rule. No one should gag the other. An attempt to do so will generate serious tension and dislocations that will remain antithetical to the expectations of the people. Any anti people government by all intents and purposes is despotic and in a same society, such government cannot endure because it will be voted out of relevance at polls as it happened here in Osun in 2007.

It is very astounding and disappointing to see the recent moves by the PDP controlled Osun State house of assembly under the leadership of Adejare Bello aimed at frustrating the efforts of Governor Rauf Aregbesola whom the same Adejare Bello had acknowledge as a man of integrity and vision that will move the state forward. When it was being speculated that Adejare Bello would evolve as the leader of PDP in Osun State after the ousted Olagunsoye Oyinlola, I felt God has really answered the prayer of Osun State because, in my whims, if Adejare Bello who is now favourably disposed to Governor Aregbesola is from a different party, it will be easier for the governor to unfold his agenda with the full support of the state assembly to bring them to reality. The latest moves have however tended towards an opposite direction. For the state assembly to want to stand on the way of the governor in his effort to constitute the third tier of government, which is the closest to the people at the grassroot, is not only misconceived, but it is most unfortunate. By PDP’s disposition, I know that the people therein cannot give the opportunity they demanded for from ACN government if they are still in power. It is further surprising to know that he state assembly is allowing a discredited party, to which majority of them belong to prompt them to put a clog in the wheel of progress of the state any further. One gets more confused when the leader of PDP in the state, in person of Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi has already paid a courtesy visit to the governor, acknowledging at the same time the quality that the governor is equipped with. There is supposed to be constant relationship between party leadership and party members in government, in whatever capacity. If there is party discipline, those in government must draw inspiration from the leadership of the party. The latest development is however at variance with this, because the anointed PDP leader has pledged his loyalty to the state governor as Adejare Bello did a few months back. Why then is there any act of sabotage emanating from the official constituency of the same person who had openly confessed that Rauf Aregbesola is a man of integrity capable of moving the state forward? I think the latest development calls for serious brainstorming.

The decay and dilapidation at the grassroot level now call for urgent attention, and this can only come from a constituted authority that is democratically empowered to do so. For the state assembly to have maintained a hard stance on the screening of the members of the local government caretaker committee under the guise of one frivolous court injunction is most unfortunate. It is true that nobody will like to be ridiculed. This consciousness is in the PDP – dominated legislative arm, having realized that the caretaker committees will be out to outwit the former regimes at the various council areas going by the pedigree of the man at the helm of affairs in the state. The fear has gripped the legislators of PDP extraction and so they are looking for ways either to delay the takeoff of this all important tier or frustrate the composition through undue admixture of their party members, which to me is really not significant to prevent the incoming caretaker governments from performing.

I am using this medium to educate the legislative arm about one fact that they need to know; and that is that everything is ephemeral. Whether they like it or not their tenure will end one day and Osun State will remain forever. It is whatever they do now that will form a record of reference for them tomorrow. The fact remains that Aregbesola will be in the saddle for the next four years and whatever quota they add to the success or otherwise (God forbid any failure) of this regime will be a reference point later and what to accord them in form of respect or humiliation will be determined by today’s action or inaction.

The people of Osun state are very expectant. People are clamouring for rebirth, people are clamouring for reparation; and people are clamouring for different ways of doing things, so that real democratic norms can be institutionalized. This in turn will generate reorientation that will create in us that consciousness for sacrifice and hard work that will form the bedrock and fulcrum for a greater tomorrow. Nobody, however highly placed must constitute a hindrance to the smooth sail of this state to a bay of comfort where everybody, irrespective of political leaning will feel proud to have either originated from the state or chosen the state as a place of abode.