Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Just Before Osun Governorship Poll

I have read many analysts cum political commentators trying to dissect or attempt a post mortem on Ekiti state governorship election that was won by the effant terrible of Ekiti politics, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

Nearly all the commentators tried to rationalise what happened in Ekiti as politics of stomach structure. In fact, the APC sympathizers amongst them have failed to see the failings of Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, JKF, in the governance of Ekiti state and by extension the overbearing attitude of Mr. Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state, who abused the Yoruba Obas and dubbed them useless with the exception of three namely: Awujale, Oba Akiolu of Lagos and one other unnamed Oba few weeks before Ekiti election.

In Yoruba land, the traditional institution is too sacred to be tampered with without its attendant consequence(s). Besides, the APC stalwarts across the Southwest wore the toga of  ‘saviour’ and in the process alienated themselves from the critical stakeholders – the masses. They have forgotten that in spite of the tokenism they doled out in form of social security in Ekiti the people could see through the deceit and hypocritical nature of the APC. Pray, what will a paltry N5,000 do in the life of an average elder when Governor Fayemi refused bluntly to pay the 27 per cent teachers enhanced salary, which would have improved their well being and dependent ratio. In a state that is regarded as civil service state, Governor Fayemi had a protracted crisis with NULGE. He refused to conduct local government election in the state. He fought the medical practitioners and other public officials to a stand still and people still expect the masses to cast their vote for him.

Governor Fayemi has proven to be a statesman by conceding defeat without much ado. He must have seen the handwriting on the wall, maybe that was why he promised to pay teachers what he has denied them for almost four years at the twilight of his administration. Like the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo predicted long ago that there would come a time when the masses will begin to fight for themselves. What happened in Ekiti was a revolt by the masses and it will reverberate across the Southwest. I was amused by the ‘Take away’ from Ekiti election written by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. Initially, he was frightened but now he was trying to rationalise it.

What could be the rationale for  a governor that enjoy free education to now impose N350,000 on the poor LASU students whose parents have either been improverished or sent away from Lagos state by Fashola regime of double taxation? When Punch newspaper published an exposé on Lagos schools where pupils learn sitting on the bare floor, SERAP, a non governmental organisation requested from Lagos governor the breakdown of the $80 million the state received from World Bank on school infrastructure. Instead of coming out with full details, Governor Fashola said the FOI bill that SERAP relied upon was not operative in Lagos State. A government that is not accountable to her citizens cannot be trusted to deliver the dividends of democracy.

We know that there have been improvement in schools and hospital infrastructure in Lagos State, but how many of the public officials in Lagos State have confidence in those infrastructure? Do they send their pupils or wards to those ‘fantastic’ schools or attend the ‘21st century’ hospitals they built for the masses even to treat flu? The former governor of Lagos state, Mr. Bola Tinubu, sometimes ago had a minor problem with his knees and had to fly to London for surgery. Are we saying even the LASUTH and other general hospitals that have gulped billions of  naira to upgrade is not good enough to carry out surgery on APC national leader? If the Ekiti politics is based on politics of stomach structure as the APC want people to believe, why is all its governors in Southwest panicking? Why are they now paying outstanding salary and throwing car loan everywhere? You can fool some of the people sometime, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Now, to Osun gubernatorial election that is coming up on August 9, 2014. We do not need a soothsayer to tell all and sundry that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is on his way back to Lagos State. After almost four years in the saddle, what we have in Osun is tension everywhere. If he is not causing chaos in his project implementation, he will be busy abusing an Oba. He had an altercation with Timi of Ede over land matters when he opened his wife garment factory. The people of Iwo will never forget in a hurry how the school merger nearly ruptured the peace hitherto enjoyed in Iwo when pupils wore masquerade dresses, choir dresses, hijab and all manner of dresses to school in protestation to Aregbesola’s policy. Opon Imo, the flagship of his programme, is full of contradictions.

Apart from the errors in the tablet that led to woeful performance in NECO and WAEC this year, he promised to deliver 150,000 of that figure, not a quarter has been supplied to schools. Do you now expect those people who have been improverished by his anti-people policy to cast their vote for him? Now, he has set N2billion apart to pay compensation to those he willfully destroyed their means of livelihood, won’t those people see the compensation as Greek gift?

Will the civil servant who have not received salary for an upward of three months cast their vote for Aregbesola?

What of O-YES who are being owed nine months, will they not use their brooms to sweep away Aregbesola? If Governor Fayemi who everybody agrees is a perfect gentleman could lose so scandalously because of disconnect from the people, what then will be the lot of Aregbesola who has lost touch with reality? Democracy is supposed to be government of the people for the people and by the people and not other way round. The governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Rotimi Chuibike Ameachi, said a while ago that the masses would soon be stoning them because of acute corruption, the Ekiti masses have responded through their votes and the train has moved from Ekiti to Osun where another landslide is expected. It is like a Passover feast of the Hebrews, it would soon catch up with Lagos and other states whose chief executive officers have betrayed the confidence reposed in them by the masses.

–– Oriola, a media adviser to  Senator Iyiola Omisore, sent this piece from Ile-Ife

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