The Governorship election in the State of Osun has come and zoomed off. All the hoopla and hullabaloo in the media and by party people on both sides of the isle about who was going to be hacked and bombed to death became a mere musing. No drop of blood was shed as I predicted two weeks ago. I know some politicians who relocated temporarily from Ibadan to Ilorin and Lagos because of their envisaged spill-over of pandemonium to contiguous states. Many families who worked and lived in Oshogbo escaped from the ‘belly-of-hell’ far away from a possible AK-47 attack that had been predicted would come without any shadow of doubt.
But there were still thousands of people who stood firm to have their voices heard. In the thick of it all, I too stood defying several warnings from my loved ones not to touch Oshogbo. Many prayed with and for me as if it was going to be my last weekend on the face of the earth. Some thought I came all the way from the US to die in a process from which I have never benefitted either as a contractor or a politician. I just believed that I was doing the right thing by my people in Osun, for this is my home. Here we are still in the guide of our God who alone has the power to kill and make alive. He is always our shepherd.
Whenever there is a missing puzzle in the lives of a people, God provides a filling. Anytime a people yearn and thirst for water that will never run dry, God springs forth water in abundant proportion, and many times from unusual sources. When there were problems for the children of Israel in Egypt, God raised a Moses; when there were problems in the hands of the Midianites, He raised a Gideon for Israel. God even raised a man who neither served nor worshipped Him, a heathen, unbeliever king called Cyrus, and He called him “my anointed”, to fulfill a purpose. (Isaiah 45). God is not interested in frivolous mind-sets of men; where there is a leadership vacuum, He installs a person who will carry out His agenda and bring about a relief. God will use anybody.
Now that the election is over, we should be able to express how we feel without any assumption of prejudice. My wholehearted belief is that RAUF AREGBESOLA, the man who won Saturday’s election, was born for this time, and it’s about destiny. Not all governors are leaders, and not all who occupy leadership seats can be called such. Many are dealers. Rauf is more than just a Governor, he is a leader. After Saturday’s election, he became a Nigerian fore-front leader. Any Governor who is able to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence is not just a governor, he is a leader. With him, it’s the people first.
Rauf’s work is not just noticed outside of Nigeria, it is reverenced. No governor in the history of the State of Osun and possibly in Nigeria has ever been invited to address the prestigious British House of Commons in London. In recognition of the O-MEAL food project in Osun, Rauf was asked to address the House in January this year. He is a governor out-of-the-box catching a lot of global attention. Rauf, the work-horse is not a hoax. This work-horse is tried and tested. This was some of the things that Osun people remembered on Saturday. Is Rauf Aregbesola a perfect man? No. Has he been a perfect Governor of the State of Osun with no errors and mistakes? No. Has he equally impacted every city and village in Osun? No!Is life in Osun State better under Aregbesola than it was in the preceding years? Absolutely yes! And voters remembered this last Saturday.
They remembered the free computer tablets preloaded with different tutorial notes, past examination questions, and textbooks on 17 subjects freely distributed to students to optimize learning. They remembered free protein-rich meals served to 300,000 elementary School students (Grade 1-4). which costs this government 3.6 billion Naira annually. They remembered N84, 000 have so far been spent on each elementary student and N30, 000 on each secondary school student. They remembered 750,000 pieces of new uniforms that have been distributed free to students. They remembered the brand new factory producing computer tablets, cell phones, plasma TV in Ilesha that will offer employment to tens of thousands of unemployed youths and help them raise a family. Anyone can disagree with Aregbesola on personal style and mannerism, but voters agreed that this governor has achieved so much in so short a period that he easily passes as one of the best governors in Nigeria today. These are some of the reasons why he won last Saturday’s election.
Every word Aregbesola promised during campaign Osun people believed. They have come to see him as the Messiah of this time. When people from this part of the country mark you as a liar, they are through with you. When they certify that you fight their fights and fight for them, they will stand with you. Old people crawled and limped to the polling booth to express their unalloyed support for the man who pays them 10,000 Naira per month regularly for many years now; they felt they couldn’t have done otherwise. It was difficult for those who live in big cities and small villages to close their hearts against the man who tarred their roads and gave their unemployed children jobs through several youth empowerment programs. It was almost impossible for members of the National Union of Road and Transport Workers (NURTW) to walk away from the man who gave them 70 new Toyota Hiace air conditioned buses for interstate transport services. What about the beneficiaries of the over 2,000 shops, stalls and warehouses at Ayegbaju Ultra-Modern Market? It was difficult for them to say ‘O-NO’ to Aregbesola, so also was it for the 800 displaced Oshogbo train station traders.
I drove around town during the week and counted 27 groups of people with a minimum of 17 people per group shrouded up and scattered all over Oshogbo with CD players and heavy loud speakers blaring into the streets in a continued celebration for the reelection of their governor. This man’s popularity has shot through the roof here. There is so much joy in this state, and that’s why the people said “O-Yes’ to Aregbesola last Saturday. What’s next now that the people have said ‘O-Yes’ to Aregbesola? A lot in this guy’s agenda. Stay tuned.