OYETOLA: Beyond The Cacophony Of Wistful Jubilation

To become a leader or king in Nigeria, it requires many factors such as contacts, connections, large funds and crazy thoughts

2years ago when His Royal Majesty, Oba Femi Agunsoye was picked as the paramount ruler of Ijebu-Jesa against the wishes of some powerful people in the ancient town and they were visible plots of conspiracies everywhere questioning the authenticity of his family to contest for royal seat especially how the throne rotates to favour him. I wrote a piece to console few who were visibly angry with the kind of system or processes that produced him as king. Permit me to make reference to a paragraph;

“To become a leader or king in Nigeria, it requires many factors such as contacts, connections, large funds and crazy thoughts. In a battle for leadership positions, any factor considered by any candidate to dribble or manipulate processes; for the candidate to have emerged, it shows that such factor is in line with his or her fate/destiny”.

Out of 510528 eligible voters who participated in the electoral process, Senator Ademola Adeleke recorded 255,023 votes. Gboyega Oyetola was declared by electoral body as the winner of Osun gubernatorial election with 482votes. Adeleke challenged the electoral result at the tribunal, he was favoured with a split verdict and after months of tough legal battles at higher courts, Oyetola’s victory was finally upheld by the apex court. I have listened and read people’s opinions about the verdict, the argument for and against but the least I expected was the recent outbursts of the sitting governor of the state.

His Excellency, Governor Oyetola publicly declared that he felt ridiculed by contesting with a dancer he defeated with 482votes in an election of 510,528 people. The outburst of the governor is unnecessary and I doubt if the governor really understands the situation of things in the state. Every victorious battle calls for jubilation but it should be a matured one. The election has come and gone. Legal battles have come and gone. A winner has been declared and upheld by the apex court. The project of growth should be embarked on to rescue the dying economy especially people who would define next election from dying.

Osun state is a dying patient inside emergency ward that needs adequate attention. Every decision the governor takes from now would determine the survival or diminishing of the state. Testing the political microphone after months of legal battles is quite unwise. All attention should be diverted to the survival of the state. A governor running the affairs of the state he systemically won with 482votes needs to know that he is running the state against the wishes of 255023 eligible voters in extension families they represent.

Tragedy looms ahead and the repeated beats of drums of war can not save the impeding doom of a state who can not pay the salaries of her workers without seeking for loans. Political statements can not. My sympathy lies not with the rich and elite class who can easily move to another state or country rather with the poor and struggling class who are the direct casualties of any action of the rich unfortunately have no other place to go. Songs of poverty and language of acute hunger in the state are pointers to any serious government that there are loads of work to do.

From health to security to education to economy to standard of living to agriculture to infrastructure, all sectors are in sorry state. There is acute hunger in the state. Poverty is now a blessing for every household because we have a government who does not care about the survival of her people if election is not around the corner. People have lost hope because they have been severely insulted several times. Workers now wonder why they sacrificed their funds secretly diverted by past administration on failed projects. Every project was a bomb back to back (Apologies to Olamide Badoo); from Igi Iye to Opon Imo to Ido Airport to Agba Osun to Ayegbaju international market to Hassan Olajokun park and several others, these projects are living testimonies that workers have truly sacrificed for nothing.

SECURITY

Osun is living on a borrowed peace if proper measures are not taken by the government. Fulani herdsmen and bandits have taken over farmlands, thrown the state into fears as people now think twice before going to farmlands. Unauthorised mining of Gold that could be linked to some powerful forces known to the government and royal fathers have caused some families eternal sorrow over demise of loved ones. I doubt if there is a single junction in Osogbo, the capital of the state that is not dominated by thugs. These thugs cause fears, molest our mothers, sisters and daughters and create unnecessary tension. No thanks to our politicians who empower these people during election periods and when they are ignored after election, they find means to survive till next election.

EDUCATION

I have continuously expressed my displeasure about the sorry state of education especially tertiary institutions in the state. Poor state of lecture rooms, insufficient writing materials, unstable electricity, poor water supply, absence of public toilets and no soft loans accessible for students. Decay infrastructural facilities, health centres where they treat dogs in some countries are far better than what we have in some campuses in the state and exploitation of students by managements and lecturers for the purpose of survival. There are tens of courses awaiting accreditation in these institutions, students leave school and become rejected vessels by the same society that made them. Heads of Osun schools are nothing but titulars. They have only excelled in displaying arrogance and character of a Nigeria politician in office.

ECONOMY

Osun economy is in chaos. I know business owners who have moved their business to other states because we have a government who have no clue on what economy is all about. There are several opportunities for young entrepreneurs and farmers other states tap into to promote small scale business ignored by our dear state because we have people who have no interest in the growth of the state. Implementation of heavy tax duty in a state dominated by civil servants on modulated salaries who also own small scale business when it is obvious that government has failed in provision of basic amenities that would enhance productivity.

UNEMPLOYMENT

75% of Osun youths are jobless and have no tangible engagement at hand. Most frustrated youths have found succor in internet fraud and “yahoo-yahoo” being the largest company in Nigeria as accommodated a large number of unemployed youths in Osun state taking Ilesa and Osogbo as case studies. Go to bars, clubs and big hotels, these yahoo boys are always available in large numbers spending heavily on drinks and girls. Go to every junction in Ilesa at nights, cultists and yahoo boys have dominated everywhere. They do not only run finances of our girls, they run the state economy too. That is the sad narrative of our dear state. May I publicly declare that Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme is one of the greatest frauds in the history of the state, a means of siphoning public funds. A responsible and visionary leader would prefer to properly put such wealth and human resources into farming and achieve something significant than sweeping of major roads in the state.

STANDARD OF LIVING

The standard of living in Osun state is zero. 85% of Osun people can not afford three squaremeals per day. People leave their houses in search for non-existing works that would provide foods on their tables but have nothing to hold on to. Thousands of graduates leave school every year to join the colony of unemployed ones in the state, this colony keeps on expanding because we have a government that believes that a scheme that pays less than #10,000, weakens the morale of every responsible youths and subjects graduates to mental torture is what Osun youths deserve better. It is very sad to note that since 2011, Osun state government has not opened his job portal to employ more people into civil service of the state because current workers of the state have not been properly catered for. Billions of funds wasted on elephant projects, if properly managed and channelled towards creation of jobs, our story would have been different from the sad note we are known for.

Politics comes every four year. The exchange of political banters should be postponed and all attention should be diverted towards the people. There is no cause for jubilation in the absence of wistful melancholy. The seat remains unchanged, the party that spent eight years is still in charge and no change in seat of power. Youths wake up every day entangled with vagrant thoughts of money, elders are not catered for and those who have worked for the government in all their lives are not appreciated. The current song of sorrow of the pensioners and cries of the dead ones should be appealed by settling of debts. Osun is on one second time-bomb, if it explodes and a group of people come together in the future to study the situation, I pray that they would find one of my sermons worthy to serve as warning to deterrents.

Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo is a columnist and can be contacted via 08164411922 or [email protected]

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