As this my article goes to press, the forces and individuals within the progressive fold in southwestern region of Nigeria that could (and in my opinion ought to) put a conservative political action in the field in time for the August, 2014 gubernatorial election in Osun State, are already in motion: Caucusing, coalescing and laying careful plans for actions that will take place before, during and after the election day.
Though, it is not within the power of this writer as a patriotic Nigerian from the southwestern part of Nigeria, even if it were my place, to describe in details the probable sequence of events, or to describe the innermost thoughts or speculations of Nigeria’s leading progressive politicians and columnists in most leading Nigeria’s print media. But the calendar and election laws in Nigeria impose certain inexorable requirements on the hopes and plans of men, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that might compromise with the hawks in the national ruling party (PDP), to rig the forthcoming election in Osun State.
To take care of the southwest, Prof. Femi Orebe, writing in his weekly column in The Nation of Sunday, May 18, 2014, stated that “Not only has the presidency assembled the usual political outcasts in the region, it has successfully breached what has hitherto an impregnable regional elders redoubt with the result that men you could count on a few years back have completely sold out”.
Mustering one-fifth of the south-west’s population and 30 percent of its natural resources, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s government in Osun is rapidly consolidating a new force, both moral and material, with which to raise the living standard and erect adaptations of the design of modern progress to their own distinct cultural environments. Whether one adheres to the concepts of southwestern Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) document or not, this is the direction of Osun State progress and thousand of Iyiola Omisores and Abdul-Jelili Adesiyans in combinations cannot stop it.
It is corrolary to the shift of the south-western economic frontiers, as the whole epicentre of former Western Region affairs rotate back towards the area it started, i.e. pre-Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s administration. In this situation, it becomes vital that our own country orient its policies in consonance with this basic evolutionary condition rather than pursue a course blind to the reality that the PDP era in Osun could be reinvented as Osun people now covet the right to shape their own destiny. What they seek now is friendly guidance, understanding and support, not imperious direction; the dignity of equality, not the shame of subjugation.
Their pre-PDP government standard of life, pitifully low, and it could be infinitely lower if the devastation plan of the hawks in PDP is allowed to manifest, God forbid. There are those who are possessed with satanic spirit and desperately determined to capture Osun by any means. Nigerians know them, the people of Osun are vigilantly watching out for them. The incidence that led to the brutal murder of Chief Bola Ige over a decade ago is still very fresh in the memories of most Nigerians. The perpetrators of this heinous crime were allowed to get away freely to come back again and do their thing as they know best. That is why the PDP hawks in south-western states, particularly in Osun and Ekiti states, are developing a new phenomenon of criminal intent, and anyone who does not understand it will not be able to understand the chaos that contemporary Yorubaland has become or the potential anarchy the PDP hawks, in collaboration with the Presidency, are threatening to bring to all of us again.
Nigeria will be absolutely in despair if Oduduwa Nation deserts it. But the thing is inconceivable. Osun is not going to desert it. The people of the southwest are not going to desert it. The job is to get that into the consciousness of men who do not understand it. The job is to restore some of our fellow citizens to that large sort of sanity which makes a man bigger than himself.
It has always been regarded as a blot on Yoruba political sophistication that the PDP hawks and retrogressive elements in Yorubaland be allowed to hold in unwilling bondage of the people in southwest; it has seemed to argue a lukewarmness in matter of socio-political order on the part of the national ruling party, and it has always been apparent that the people in the other five geo-political zones in Nigeria were more opposed to PDP political domination of Nigeria and consequently, more in sympathy with the opposition parties. State policy, begotten of national jealousy and national rivalry has always held the governments in check. The people, overlooking or despising reasons of state have seen only the injustice. But for the jealousy of what has been called the national ruling power, there can be no doubt that PDP rule would long since have ceased to exist in the southwest of Nigeria.
For Ogbeni Aregbesola, Governor of Osun State, who is the architect of vibrant domestic policy of the state from year 2010 until this present moment, and, hopefully beyond, nothing would serve the state consolidation better than a long period of peace. Hence, Aregbesola deserves a second term to complete the good work he has begun.
To their own minds of course, the trio of Iyiola Omisore, Abduljelili Adesiyan and Musiliu Obanikoro, nursing the sentiment of revenge was the chief threat to the state and by extension, the stability of the southwest. May be the enemies of progress within our midst should be reminded of the crisis tagged Operation Wetie, of which this writer, a septuagenarian who was an eye-witness at Mushin voters’ collation centre of election that was not to be in Mushin, and that which consequently triggered the crisis that engulfed the whole of Western Region as a result of the rigged election that took place on October 11, 1965, which led to the first coup of January 15, 1966. I believe that Omisore and his co-hawks should learn from the lessons of the past and behave.
Ogbeni Aregbesola no doubt, is committed to a better, egalitarian society. Although, he is fully anxious to build a society with massive physical infrastructure that promotes better living, believes first in pursuit of those human values that can pave the way for the emergence of that total man who is socially responsible. Hence, his dogged pursuit of extra-curricular schemes such as the Calisthenics, Omoluabi Boys and Girls Club and other schemes aimed at re-orientating the youths to channel their energies towards a society where the promotion of the common, collective good will dominate the crazy pursuit of the good of the self. He stirs the hornet’s nest often, usually in his determined attempts to break the norms to achieve extra-ordinary results.
To date, he has ignited debates on federalism, restructuring of education towards functionality, equity, justice and fairness in all spheres of life. Even in the face of mounting criticisms, Aregbesola holds tenaciously to his ideas, convinced that opposition to them is a product of long years of military rule, ignorance of what is even good for humanity and the acute manipulative capacities of those whose interest it is to keep the ordinary people perpetually subjugated.
Engr. Shoyebo, an Author and Publisher wrote from Mushin – Lagos.