OSUN 2018: What Prospects For meaningful, Purposeful Transformation?
In matter of months, the curtain would be drawn on the administration of the self-style ogbeni in the state of the Living Spring, the Osun State in the South Western Nigeria – thereby bringing to an end the ‘heart-rending’ regime of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
This is a governor that is famous for following his heart up to the last lap, even when it is clearly obvious that his programmes of action are becoming unpopular among the people he swore to serve and protect.
On whether Aregbesola’s eight years rule has impacted (as it should) either positively or otherwise, the life of an average Osun resident, is left for the people to judge. This goes beyond sponsored endorsements, promotions and campaigns by people who have benefited in way or the other from the same government.
From all indications and indices, the much talk, media campaigns, jingles and hoard of promises from the Abere seat of power under the out-going regime have not really translated to concrete and meaningful development of the state – except the make-believe ideologies people are made to buy into by state officials – this is a submission from the 3rd party point of view.
Beyond the talk-in-town by residents of the state, the state of things in the state will no doubt present the in-coming administration a major challenge, if not a herculean task to surmount.
The question is: how was the state’s external debt profile about eight years ago, precisely before the in-coming of Rauf Aregbesola? All for juxtaposition, what is the current status of the state’s debt profile? No doubt, loans were taken for capital projects. But, for instance, how was the state of Osogbo-Gbongan road about eight years ago? Despite all the campaigns, jingles and all that, what is the state of the road now? Sure money has exchanged or may have exchanged hands.
How about other white elephant projects (majority of which should ideally not have been initiated in the first place due to their irrelevance to the state’s economy) that adorn some areas in the state?
How is the economy of the state? The people’s well-being – is it something to applaud? Living – for the man in the street, how has it been?
Like him or hate him, the governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose once raised a poser when he queried governors who indulge in taking loans beyond their tenure. On a serious note, why must a sitting governor take loans that he cannot repay until the expiration of his tenure – all in the name of working for common good? Is that truly a common good? Or a clandestine move being perpetrated to mortgage the fortune, future of a state for immediate selfish agenda?
What actually constitutes common good?
Having subjected the state to another round of hardship with their accidental and reckless style of leadership, they still go as far as coercing the people to be applauding, sing-praise them ignorantly. If this was how developed nations of the world wandered through their respective phases of transformation from the primitive age, and on to the present day, one wonders if there would ever be an abode for everyone today – a place where people (including the accidental leaders who have plundered the state’s resources) run to for cover.
Without mincing words, I think the constitution of Nigeria as it is presently, laid the foundation for corruption in the country. As long as governor’s, president’s, local government chairman’s misdeeds and inactions while in office cannot be visited with a view to determine whether they conform with societal ethos, norms, values and moral principles that govern sane society, then the nation is in for a long walk in the fight against corruption. Suffix to say here that the political witch-hunting being perpetrated by the Federal Government as fight against corruption is nothing but a scam, waste of time, resources and a slap on our collective corporate existence.
In all of these, and without neglecting the evil that electoral fraud, other malpractices have inflicted on our society, the people still remain a major stakeholder in determining who governs us.
An analyst once said a nation gets the leadership it deserves. This simply means the type of leadership we get is a reflection of the type of followership that is eminently available to elect (that’s where election truly counts, though) our representatives at all levels of governance.
History beckons. Come September 22, 2018, it is up to the residents of Osun State to determine who occupies the Abere seat of power for another four years – whether they choose to pitch their tent with another man or woman who will promise heavens and earth to turn around the fortune of the state created about 27 years or go with the one who will tell them reality, facts etc. for instance, how much the state gets as monthly allocation from the federal government, what’s the state’s actual IGR? Clearly list potentials that can boost the state’s economy; determine the state’s monthly wage bill; what the people really wanted?
Osun state residents must also know the implication of the recent recession that pushed the entire nation down the line of stringent economic realities with several millions of job losses, companies folding up. So anyone coming to tell you that Nigeria is completely out of the woods is doing you more than harm than good. No doubt, the state of the nation’s economy is still very fragile, if feelers from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and other world economic experts are anything to by.
‘Poverty’ as economic deficiency and ‘Poverty of the Mind’, are some of the anomalies that have inflicted grave damaged to Nigerian economy and indeed, our national life.
The ruling class realized this, but sadly, instead of working round the clock to change the status quo, to get the people enlightened and more sophisticated, they rather exploit the unfortunate situation to their selfish advantage. Little wonder the Microsoft founder, Mr. Bill Gates blamed the government for not doing enough to invest in human development.
Today, when you hear vote buying, it is simply a mild definition of the evil agenda of the ruling class to sway the voting pattern of the people. They know a good number of our people, due to poverty and poverty of the mind, are ever ready to sell their birth right, sell their conscience for a pot of porridge – six yards of Ankara fabrics, five cup of rice are sure more than enough to sway their mind set. Can a state, nation truly develop with this situation at hand – with highly impoverished people being raised on purpose by the ruling class?
Is it not high time the people to open their eyes and open it wide?
Ondo State is thus one of the neighbouring states to Osun State. Before the gubernatorial election in the state, all the candidates, including the eventual winner, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, did promised to change things for the better. Hardly had a year passed by, people of the state have started complaining – including those who voted for him.
Only recently, tuition fees in the state were increased by almost 400 per cent. Was that part of his campaign promises? No. And these are same people who benefited Pa Obafemi Awolowo’s FREE EDUCATION.
This, surely, is a pointer to the fact that those who parade themselves as leaders or aiming to join the ruling class today, are not to be trusted. They are like chameleon which adapts its colouration to that of its surroundings.
The people needed to be enlightened to know who they cast their votes for. All those appearing to be sheep in their flowing white gowns are terrible than wolfs. Their conscience is as dead as yesterday’s pounded yam. Watch them, watch their utterances.
Electorates should NOT sell their votes. Consequences of yesterday’s error are still visibly being felt today.
They should watch and vote wisely. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.