OPINION: Osun 2014 And Aregbesola’s Victory

rauf-700x352I believe that all men and women of peace should commend the present administration in Osun for the far-reaching development programmes it has initiated for the benefits of our people. It is our duty to see to it, that these positive programmes of development succeed and the momentum maintained. Our people should commit themselves to this noble cause. What others could not do during their tenure, Aregbesola has done in three and half (3½) years of coming into office, very prudently and transparently. No wonder, he coasted home to victory in the August 9th governorship election for a second term.

Indeed, anything is possible if we have faith, the will and joyful hearts. I know we all have the will to play our parts in this campaign for accelerated development in Osun State. I know we have faith in the present regime and we have the hearts to face the challenges ahead. Our people are urged to support this administration’s laudable programmes of economic reconstruction, social justice, unity and religious tolerance, that will guarantee our present happiness and future prosperity. Test of faith can only be ascertained by God Almighty, in whose hands is the sovereignty of heaven and earth.

The cause of Aregbesola’s regime is the cause of the common people and the less privileged members of our society -the villagers, the labourers, the farmers and those millions of unemployed. It is a cause that compels our serious attention and commitment.

What is, therefore left for us as a people of Osun State, is to make a pledge from now on that we will bury all our differences and come out fully to consolidate on the achievements of Ogbeni Aregbesola.

Let the politicians pledge, that they will not misuse the trust and responsibility, that are thrusted upon them by our people. Let them pledge that they will speak for those who have no voice and to remember those who are forgotten. Let them pledge that they will love us as themselves and that looting of public treasuries will not be their major preoccupations. Let them remember Hisab-accountability before God Almighty, on the day that all would be assembled before Him.

The challenges for the electorate is to give voices and votes to people of integrity and for those fundamental democratic principles of human freedom, free economic enterprises, self respect and accountability.

Indeed, Aregbesola’s regime has offered us new hope. New hope of gainful employment and self respect for those thousands of our school-leavers; graduates skilled and unskilled through O’YES.

New hope of economic recovery, through the dedicated pursuit of individualistic and collective approach to agrarian revolution and small-scale industrialization in the state through O’REAP. New hope of good quality of life for the rural populace through the faithful execution of populist-oriented programmes, like the DAGBOLU scheme, through O’HUB.

Socially, we must build bridges of understanding. And economically, we must narrow the wide gap between the rich and the poor, if we want peace and stability in this country. Indeed, we stand at a great turning point, when Osun State and indeed Nigeria is looking for a new direction, through a second term for Aregbesola and an APC federally controlled government.

A time like this calls for leadership like Aregbesola that can set a firm focus and positive vision for the future and rally the people of Osun behind it. We thank God that at this point in time in Osun State, we have such a leader in the person of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. Let me commend all his good efforts toward ensuring progress in the state since he took charge. However, the governor himself must continue to reinforce the attributes of good leadership with which he is already identified and make more use of home-grown people to man key positions in his second term in office.

The school merger programme by the government should be vigorously pursued, possibly with modifications. The structures being put in place are of world standard and a legacy that will outlive Aregbesola. I am impressed, that the various sites demolished are now been beautified with walkways. Definitely, we need to embrace modernity in all aspects of our life, though no changes come about without temporary pains. Only change is permanent.

Aregbesola’s  government has been listening not only to the clamorous voices of the priviledged few and the opportunists at the corridor of power, but also the hardly audible voices of the proverbial silent majority.

The governor has declared that his administration does not presume to have a monopoly of knowledge. He has brought ‘dissenters’ into policy discussions, rather than freeze them out. He has invited constructive criticism because he believes the critics have a right to be heard. We should realize that the lamps of enlightenment are lit by the spark of controversy and that their flame can be snuffed out by the blanket of consensus.

In this regard, we must concede, that out experience in this state between 2003 to 2010 was not particularly edifying. We saw hatred and sorrow on our faces waiting for love and happiness. We saw families divided against themselves, waiting to be brought together again.

To find answers to all these unwholesome acts, we must look within ourselves. Let us forget the past and come together to build this state for nobody else can do it for us because it belongs to all of us. We must close all sullen pages and open a new chapter.

Let us give unalloyed support to Ogbeni Aregbesola, so that those who were left out in the cold in those years of inaction, could be accommodated for positive contributions. Let us know that we cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another; until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices.

Let us remember that if we succeed, generations to come will say of us now living, that we mastered our moment. That we helped to make Osun safe and prosperous to live in. This is our summon to greatness. Let us pray that strength and courage abundant be given to us; that the good that lies in each of our hearts may day-by-day be magnified. That we may come to see more clearly not what divides us, but that which unites us. That the true spirit of this time – its joy, its hopes and above all its binding faith may live among us. Osun State must always be many steps ahead of others.

We must build a virile state and improve the standard of living of our people, because the worth of a nation is the worth of the men and women in it. We must not lose hope, for in ashes there can still be spark. For as the passage in one of the Shakespeares works put it “there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken in time leads to good fortune.” We must not allow this golden opportunity to slip by.

We thank God that August 9th governorship election was devoid of violence and acrimony in whatever forms. We should know that our leaders can only govern over the living. All political parties in Osun should come together and join hands with Aregbesola administration. For there is no victor, no vanquished. The victory is larger than Aregbesola’s, it belongs to the people of Osun State, irrespective of political parties.

Aregbesola is working, Osun is progressing. For Aregbesola and the people of Osun State, It is a goal scored in a grand style, after an epic and protracted play against concerted forces of fate.

•Lawal writes from Osun State