By Doyin Odebowale
Attempting a rehash of the old heart-wrenching stories of those dark days is not as important as reminding those who may choose a path of indifference of the danger which lies ahead if PDP is allowed to overrun the South -west as they appear determined to do. We are confronted with the grim reality of having the panoply of the scum of the society as the anchor persons for those who do not put any premium on our values as a people. You cannot miss the message; this president wants to remain in the Villa.
I only recently listened to Chief Ebenezer Babatope, the renegade “progressive” and a converted and committed apostle of “mainstream” politics, a euphemism for lack of principle and foresight for which some politicians of South-west extraction, unrepentant nation wreckers, are reputed. He said the people of Ilesa were ready to join the mainstream. That is the only campaign promise. “Power” is the mantra. There is nothing on education other than a vow to revert to the old 6-3-3-4 system. Babatope could not have failed to see the new school buildings being constructed in the state. If he will, for once, forget the groveling and cavalier histrionics designed to impress the current dispensers of largesse; it will be easy for him to acknowledge the marked difference between the immediate past era, when it was more important to promote the game of golf at Ada than the provision of social infrastructure for the people, and now.
Aregbesola has availed himself of the benefit of his vast experience as an activist of note before joining this current democratic experiment. He has approached governance from the standpoint of making the masses the focal point of his administration. He has been erecting structures that hold promises of abiding for a long time to come. You will not find shoddy jobs in any of the public works undertaken by the government. The practice in the past was well known to the likes of Babatope and his fellow travellers. Most contracts were abandoned by PDP contractors in that land-locked state. If the almost seven years of their rule in the state could still have left it largely in its patent provincial state before the assumption of office of Aregbesola, then it is only decent for them to praise him for contributing, significantly, to the development of the state.
Omisore referred to the Opon Imo, the electronic tablet distributed to the students in public schools in the state, at no cost, as a scam. He may, perhaps, be in possession of another version of this ingenious innovation. I have seen a copy. I was fascinated by the possibility of training our children in the best way possible. I read a chapter on OduIfa and was greatly impressed with the audacious inclusion of an issue ignorantly despised and demonised by adherents of the two imported self-civilising religions. I remember the statements made by some politicians who sought to confuse the people on the symbolic content of the state flag adopted by the government. I cannot also forget the initial noise made on the refusal of Aregbesola to appoint commissioners and special advisers for eight months. All the hypocritical protestations concerning the so called phenomenon of capital flight has to do with the exclusion of the ruling party’s contractors who were accustomed to collecting huge sums of money as mobilisation fees with a clear intention of not executing the project.
There have been signs of violence bordering on intimidation, attacks occasioning harm and even death. There was an explosion in Ife and the curious incident of the collapse of a school building under construction. There was a reported case of an APC member shot to death by thugs on the campaign train of Omisore. Aregbesola has been going round all the local governments in the state and not one remote violent incident has been linked to him and his team. He has been in the saddle for almost four years. Nobody has been attacked and no opponent has been banished. The re-introduction of violence and attitudes which stand at variance with the Omoluabi principle with which anyone properly bred is nurtured must not be allowed.
It is sad indeed that our children are no longer taught history in schools. The PDP government at the national level has cancelled the subject. Those who claim to be teaching history even at the tertiary level of education are so much in a hurry to discard that sobriquet which they, ignorantly, equate with mere obsolescent narratives of the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires. It takes a functioning mind to see the direct linkage between the past and the present.
Any Yoruba man or woman, who fails to recognize the state of Osun as his root, readily exposes his/her ignorance and will compel an inquiry into his/her claim to Yoruba ancestry. It is our collective responsibility to safeguard this rich heritage, our common ancestry. No amount of intimidation and criminal connivance by INEC will stand in the way of a willing people. We must not allow these morally bankrupt elements, who have nothing to offer, destabilize our source. The PDP government has made it clear that only the scumbags in our midst are its pearls. We have a moral duty to reject this misrepresentation of our values as a people. Concluded
Doyin Odebowale, PhD, Classics, LLB(Hons) BL