Osun Election: Yoruba, Ro’nu!

Okada Riders - 3bThe same way it was set up in Ekiti State ahead of June 21 governorship election, a dark cloud has again started looming over Yorubaland ahead of the gubernatorial election in Osun State this Saturday.

With similar technique the political desperadoes used to truncate realities that tactically shoved Dr. Kayode Fayemi, a man of integrity out of governorship office by hook or by crook, efforts are on again to steal and kill the true will of the people of Osun as was done in Ekiti.

This season, election rigging strategy in Nigeria is changing from the way it used to be. What the managerial manipulators are now doing is beyond taking good performers out of office, it is more about butchering democracy to revert the nation to a one-party territory as was under the excruciating military era. Where election is not being technically rigged via technology, resources meant for crucial needs of the masses are being shared to charade legislators for impeachment of governors in any of the states desperately hunted to sustain presidential position.

Please, be reminded that whatever allegations were asserted to push Admiral Murtala Nyako (Rtd) out of Adamawa State governorship seat was an old tale of when he was on the side of the ruling political party. Shifting to the opposition party brought the challenge of his old “sins.” Currently going on is the desperate efforts to delete Nassarawa State from the opposition kingdom. Chitchats on desires to extract Edo, Oyo, Borno, Imo and Rivers states governors through legislative hara-kiri are no odd news.

Nothing would be wrong for a governor or any elected officer to be voted out by the people or impeached for abusing his office. But everything becomes wrong when people are misleadingly lobbied with what is now called ‘stomach infrastructure’ or legislators get desperate to impeach because they were bribed with massive public fund to attain self-centered political aspiration by all means. Indeed, if democracy is to have impactful reward, such corrupt people are the ones eligible for elimination from their elected seats.

Fact: Impeachment plots are being prompted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the aim of crushing opposition parties ahead of 2015 general elections. Watch NTA and AIT, move around Abuja and see billboards, President Goodluck Jonathan is already rapidly campaigning for his re-election even as he is yet to publicly declare his intention or chosen democratically by his party.

With the gubernatorial election in Osun State now at hand, one of the strategies used to pilfer Ekiti has commenced. As was the case in June, the massive militarisation of Osun ahead of Saturday had already started. Last week, Osun people were being intimidated to see their environment as war zone. More than 5,000 operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) have been deployed, with abundant military and policemen, fallaciously showcasing an assignment to maintain law and order before and during the election. The pretension became reality when a group of the operatives that were masked, with others wearing black T-shirts stormed the streets of Osogbo, shooting sporadically into the air, causing panic in the state capital.

Not that the authority in power that mandated the armed forces was unaware of the right step for the protection of people of the state. They know that under the Electoral Act, troops are not supposed to be deployed to polling stations, just as police personnel deployed to polling booths are not expected to carry arms. But since the illegal deployments for militarization and harassment made all manner of ignorant commentators to see the Ekiti election as “peaceful,” “free and fair,” why not capture Osun through such means to the hand of the clueless headship that wants to remain in power at all costs? Or isn’t it astonishing that Boko Haram is not being militarized with such massive forces as being done for elections in states that “must be won?” After all, Ondo and Anambra states were not as embattled with security forces as we are now seeing.

It is only genuine leadership that can know that for a nation to move forward, stipulated procedure cannot be compromised. Let there be realization that whenever the contrary is done, the eventual consequence will be catastrophic. When law is set aside, illegality is perpetrated and grave injury is inflicted on the spirit of the nation. This is to say that jeopardy to democracy becomes potent when those who are supposed to stand by the dictates of the law are the very ones used to desecrate the same law.

Without spinning politics to tribalism, the certainty is that South-west has been a target for political attack. Apart from the few egocentric individuals with self-interests, Yoruba masses have hardly benefitted federal dividends since 1999. In 2009, the new Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi lambasted the Yoruba nation as “the problem with Nigeria.” He wrote: “In sum, the Yoruba political leadership, as mentioned by Balarabe Musa, has shown itself over the years to be incapable of rising above narrow tribal interests and reciprocating goodwill from other sections of the country by treating other groups with respect. Practically every crisis in Nigeria since independence has its roots in this attitude.”

Some of the Sanusi details might be factual, there are many minuses. He could not understand the way Yoruba people are being used as damaging tools against their land. He failed to recount the likes of S.L Akintola, Remi Fani-Kayode, Richard Akinjide’s stalling Pa Obafemi Awolowo’s sincere potentials to develop the nation as he did to his people. He also didn’t remember that when Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo was in power, none of his terms was ever assigned to benefit his own people. After all, it was under him that Senator Rashidi Ladoja was debased as Oyo State Governor because of personal variance with him. Sanusi couldn’t appreciate that there is no political gain for Obasanjo who is not even honoured in his ward today. A president who thought all was well because he was in power and did not work for legacy, must be realizing now that the power of man cannot last forever.

Those who really know who Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is will appreciate his humility, creativity and commitment to establish a legacy of good efforts. This is a man who can work 24 hours a day to achieve a purpose beneficial to his people. His assigned grassroots politics is dissimilar to Ekiti’s Ayo Fayose and Osun’s Iyiola Omisore kangaroo tactics. He is a proven devoted politician with agenda which he works to fulfill – just as Fayemi in Ekiti, Adams Oshiomhole in Edo, Babatunde Fashola in Lagos and all his other South-west colleagues attain whatever they pledge to do.

Today, many Yorubas are being used against the goodness of their own land. A generation desperate for money is unmindful of their future with alignment to political party that is not of viable interest to their people. If indeed there is love for the populace, why should PDP choose cantankerous stuffs like Fayose, and Omisore in a Yorubaland of numerous men of value? How much care about the real roles Musiliu Obanikoro and Jelili Adesiyan played in the Ekiti election – with recollection that they pierced into the state when some governors coming in to support Fayemi were barred by the military troops acting on nebulous “order from above.”

Isn’t it time for Yoruba people to recollect their past and see where they are and where their adversary want to lead them to? Just as late Bob Marley sang in Exodus, “Look within; are you satisfied with the life you’re living?” Should the antagonists of Yoruba progress again be allowed to be raised from the land to frustrate the true will of Osun people?

Will the good people of Osun by intimidation consent to the downgrading of their state which Ogbeni is restructuring credibly – in deed and in truth? Just like late maestro Hubert Ogunde demanded: Yoruba ro’nu, how I wish Osun electorates will think deep of their tomorrow and allow good works to continue by rising for the good performer to complete the remarkables he has started; let the untrustworthy politician who has nothing to offer be cast away. Nothing can stop dedicated people from defending their votes – not even being tricked to partake in voters’ falsification.