Why Oyinlola Put Off March Open Forum

Governor OyinlolaJOLTED by the judgment of the Court of Appeal that set aside his controversial re-election in the April 14, 2007 governorship election in Osun State, the state Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola has put off last month’s edition of his monthly awareness programme titled Open Forum.

Sources close to Government House, Okefia, Osogbo disclosed to OSUN DEFENDER that the governor was weighed down by the judgment to the extent that he could not muster enough courage to face the people of the state who are apparently fed up with his oppressive administration in the state.

It would be recalled that the governor who relocated to MicCom Golf and Holiday Resort, Ada in Boripe Local Government Council Area of the state with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; the deputy governor, Erelu Olusola Obada; the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Peter Babalola, almost collapsed when he learnt that the Court of Appeal had admitted the police security report and forensic evidence among others tendered by the petitioner, Engr Rauf Aregbesola.

Oyinlola was said to be so rattled to the extent that he visited the toilet three times within the duration of the judgment while he was been calmed by the Ooni that all would be well.

It was learnt that when it dawned on the governor that the court had set aside his controversial victory awarded to him by Justice Thomas Naron-led Election Petitions Tribunal and ordered retrial of the governorship election, he found it difficult to believe his senses because the Ooni was said to have assured him that he had done all necessary things to ensure his victory at the Court of Appeal.

The sources hinted that when Oyinlola became cold because of the unfavourable judgment, the Ooni told him that he should not bother much after all, the status quo of his occupying the governorship seat until the final determination of the petition subsists.

It was this royal assurance that strengthened the governor’s resolve to summon courage and exchanged banters with those in his entourage and subsequently prostrated for the Ooni, thanking him for staying with him that far.

It was gathered that the governor and his team left for the Government House, Abere, Osogbo, Osun State where he hosted some of his supporters and other PDP chieftains with reservation because he knew, deep down in his mind, that the judgment did not favour him and his party.

It was also learnt that a local drummer who is a regular caller wherever the governor is was carried away and praise-singing the governor on the judgment, was shouted down by Oyinlola, who asked him the source of his joy.

A group of illiterate PDP women-members who were also singing were also shouted down by the Okuku prince, asking them that “if you are not literate enough to comprehend the content of the judgment, can’t you find somebody who will translate it for you? You are on your own as there is nothing to celebrate about the judgment.”

The sources informed OSUN DEFENDER that Oyinlola had expected a rerun verdict which would have afforded him an opportunity to oppress, harass and suppress members of the opposition.

In the past, any time Oyinlola was not around on the last Saturday of the month, his deputy always stood in for him. On the particular Saturday in question, neither he nor his deputy was around; the only development was an announcement on the state broadcasting corporation (OSBC), informing the people that the monthly programme had been put off, without any reason.