OPINION: The Battle For The Soul Of Osun
Ajanaku ko ja mo ri nkan firi . Bi a ba re erin a mo pe a re erin
The elephant is not an ordinary animal that can pass unnoticed. This implies that Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola is not a mean governor but a governor whose impact has been felt not only in Osun but in Nigeria as a whole. It is a known fact even by the political candidates jostling for the seat of governor of the state of Osun.
The August 9, 2014 election is no doubt gathering momentum, and the various political gladiators are going about in the state soliciting for the votes of the electorate, so far so good, it appears that the coming election will be between the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, the incumbent governor, Aregbesola and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Senator Iyiola Omisore. The bill boards are all over the state, not only adding beauty to the streets, but adding glamour to the political process. A bill board of Omisore reads “ Atari Ajanaku Ki seru omode”, meaning; The head of the elephant is not a load for a kid . It is interesting to note that Omisore claim to be an elephant’s head, while the incumbent governor, Aregbesola political appellation is that of a living and complete elephant. So, which of the two is heavier? The elephant’s head or a whole elephant
Philosophers do not answer questions, but muse; they try to understand the questions as there is no definite answer to philosophical questions. Thinkers trade in questions.
Aregbesola is often saluted as “ Ajanaku koja mori nkan firi bi a ba r’erin ka mo pe a ri erin. This means elephant cannot but be noticed. Aregbesola’s personality, vision and mission have catapulted him far above his contemporaries in the political space, his wealth is the people that passionately love and appreciated his governance everywhere he goes.
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the former governor of Abia state that participated in the last edition of “Walk to live” in the state could not hide his feelings when he declared; “I am a member of the PDP but with what I have heard and seen about your governor made me to come out in the open to support good work.
Iyiola Omisore is a personal friend of mine but I will always say the truth. Few days that I have spent here and the way his people talked about him truly showed that Governor Aregbesola deserve another term to complete that good work that the Lord has used him to start during his first term”.
Ba ba ri erin ka mo pe a ri erin- Former Inspector General of Police and Chairman of Police Service Commission Mr. Mike Okiro added his voice to what Aregbesola has achieved in the state when he declared that Osun is saved for investors . The American Ambassador added his voice to those who have seen what elephant looks like, by encouraging investors to come to the state. Comrade Chukwu Merije, a PDP member and Senate Chairman on Education Committee on a working visit to the state urged other states to emulate Aregbesola’s reforms in education.
Historically speaking, every age produces leaders that come to meet the need of the hour. Henry Ford asserted: “The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what it is one’s destiny to do, and then do it”. This hour has produced Aregbesola that has uplifted the state to become the seventh economic developed state in Nigeria. The man has justified the mandate given to him by the people. Under three years, he has provided jobs to over 40,000 youths, through OYES and another 10,000 jobs in the civil service with 54% additional teachers recruited to meet the educational reform. There is no community, or household that has not benefited from this singular initiative. The World Bank has since recommended the project to the federal government.
The Educational sector has become a phenomenon; dilapidated school structures have given ways for new, modern and well equipped schools. Parents have been relieved of burden for payment of WAEC examination fees, that cost the state over 400 million naira annually.
Opon Imo, the computer device that aids learning, is another fit that nobody can deny. Aregbesola’s score on this learning device has earned him several laurels across the globe. The governor has asserted that “Education offers the best way to produce great individuals that will create great society. This is the trust of our mission in education. It is a mission that should be backed by all, for it is a mission that is in the interest of all”.
When a leader embarked on a mission that benefited all irrespective of the circumstances of birth, that leader will be hard to dislodged, because he is no longer an ordinary leader but a statesman. The other candidates for the coming election will contend with the public scrutiny on many issues which include; ethics, love and transparency. On ethics, George Washington was better illustrating it, when he was asked who cut down the cherry tree, he replied, ‘I cannot tell a lie.”
Some of these gubernatorial aspirants are noted for telling lies quite often to the extent that their names are synonymous with lies. They lied over what is generally known to the public, they lied over their secret weakness, they lied to co party leaders, and they lied about their achievements within and outside the public domain. Ethics are a set of basic working tenets for life and business. The stronger our ethical behavior, the better leaders we become.
Trust – There ought to be trust between leaders and the led. It is the fulcrum that leads to social contract, but where there is no trust between the led and the leader, the right to govern the people is lost.
Love for the people and the passion to bring a positive change to the lives of the people will be tested. Once the people realized they are dealing with selfish and power hungry politicians, they will not hesitate to give their mandate to the trusted, tested and transparent leaders. This is the edge that Aregbesola has over the other contenders. That is the edge that will make his second term bid a walk-over.
Obaditan wrote in from Osogbo