By: Taofik Alabi
“Consequently, I hereby issue the following directives which will be backed up with appropriate Executive orders: Immediate freezing of all government accounts in banks and other financial institutions / An immediate establishment of a panel to review all appointments and major decisions of the immediate past administration taken after the 17th day of July, 2022 / An immediate reversal of all to the constitutionally recognized name of Osun State / All government insignia, correspondences and signages should henceforth reflect Osun State rather than the State of Osun which is unknown to the Nigerian constitution.”
Those directives did not sound like a child’s play and neither did the issuer want to treat his intentions with kid gloves. They are authoritative, firm, resolute and challenging. Those words came out from the unlikely mouth. They are not orders that were expected from a dancer. The giver of the directives chose his onions and fired his first bullets on rapid mode of gun!
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky is the President of Ukraine and Ukraine is at war which the whole world adjudged unnecessary. But for Putin’s reasons and stiff belief, the war must happen. On the 18th day of April, 2022 Russia launched a renewed attack on the Donbas region. Russian forces continued to bomb both military and civilian targets far from the frontline, including electrical and water systems.
Ukrainian forces launched counter offensives in the south in August and in the east in September. These offensives and counter offensives activated the global mind to travel back to the period of Vietnam brutality. As for Putin, the rhetoric and dynamics of war are not unknown to him. He is an ageless ‘superhuman’ who has been in charge of war selection and determination for decades. His backup for Iran in the era of Trump tells his preparedness for any war at any given time. His monstrous antics and tactics about warfare give him a pass for continual gain of prominence in the face of catastrophes.
But Zelensky has shocked Putin and the world. The presumably easy ride on the fields of Ukraine has become a long whistle in the dark snowy forest of wolves. His steadfastness in this war to protect his subjects has cast new assumption about warfare. Zelensky has made Putin a king with clayed legs and he is having a dilemma of retreating or continuing the crusade of annihilation that could likely end in total abandonment and disgrace.
Adeleke is the unlikely governor that could be damning. His outlook combined with assumed ‘buttered’ reverence gives a pass for a weakling that will be a puppet in the affairs of governance and hub of intellectualism.
Unlike Zelensky who graduated from being an actor and comedian to a president in camo leading his country against an aggressor on the battlefield, Adeleke was not a money making dancer but a fun seeker whose dancing definition is synonymous to funfair without retarding his strict emphasis on responsibility. Far away from funfair to governance, his first month in office has been so audacious, hopeful and enchanting. The odds suggest that Adeleke would be more likely synonymous to Zelensky in acts in the days ahead. He could be unbelievable.
People without history do not have a place in the discourse of fame and identity.
Osun state has a deep historic stance as to its provenance way back to the period of colonialism in Nigeria. Championed by the then monarch of Osogbo, Ataoja Adenle with the support of the very brilliant Obas in persons of HRHs, Olokuku of Okuku, Oba Moses Oyinlola; Owa of Igbajo, Oba Famodun Laoye and the then Soun of Ogbomoso with the assistance the courageous politicians of that time like Chiefs Ladoke Akintola and Kola Balogun, the cause for the creation of Osun Province gained prominence as the activities of those very venerated people involved in the campaign hallmarked the Osun Province’s democratic demography that could not be toyed with.
By the 70s, the agitation for the creation of Osun State has grown beyond decimation and it continued till the second republic. Five Obas were prominently involved in the demand for the creation of the State; the Ataoja of Osogbo, Timi of Ede, Owa of Igbajo, Olokuku of Okuku and Ogiyan of Ejigbo. Others were Akire of Ikire and Olunisa of Inisa. Involved in the process for the creation of the state at political level was the Late Senator Raji Adeleke, the very father of the present governor of Osun State. So, historically, Osun State did not come from the efforts that limited its demand to backwardness and a political business venture. It was a baby of dreamers who thought of a better life for the people after their generation.
Three out of the six governors who have been at the helm of affairs of the State since its creation at different times have displayed plausibly that truly, an apple does not fall far from its tree. It is eminent to note that the primary conception for the creation of the state is to have a democratic demography that will accentuate the general wellbeing of the citizens to the appropriateness of political and democratic gains. Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, known as “Serubawo” and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the “Prince of Peace” were able to demonstrably interrogate politics as the ambience to resonate people-centered leadership where trust is gained when the business of governance is ordinated in the light of the day. Just like their fathers as time aligned them together in the beginning to demand for the State, they conceived that life as it should transcend live and let die. They held high the ace of live and let live.
The third in line that is most likely to imbibe the same toga and wear the cloak worn by Serubawon and the Prince of Peace is Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke, the younger brother of Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, the one month old governor of Osun State and the last of the Late Senator Raji Adeleke’s dynasty. His taste for arrogance of power appears to be dimly less while the coordination of his present micro team to kick-start the oath of office he took on the 27th day of November, 2022 has been impressively beholding.
However, it is too early to establish brilliance in this government in the essence that the ministries, agencies and parastatals are yet to be headed by political functionaries who mostly are prone to be infected by the comfort-driven political office’s virus of forgetfulness when they are eventually gaveled to hold assigned portfolios. Likewise, the governor and his cabinet’s interface with the Parliament and the Judiciary in the days to come will define and redesign the likely direction to which the state will move in the next four years or more; the ‘more’ which shall be the coefficient of the first four years if the governor allows being guided by the conscience and aspirations of the citizens.
The last one month of the new administration in the state has been a revealing entanglement with the team of the past governor, the past governor himself and the Adeleke’s new squad.
Adeleke has been so daring and damning in tabling the verge of perdition at which the state is, connecting it to the equation called financial recklessness and omnibus ominous state transactions and projects that were the conduit pipes in which the state’s trickled resources had been wantonly drained in the last decade. Aside financial improprieties that are oozing out with disturbing digits from the grave of the immediate past government, the most disturbing and disenchanting among the misdemeanours of the past government is giving long latitude to the members of the cabinet to loot the state’s assets under the pretence of law that gratifies service to the state by bolting away with the vehicles purchased with the State’s funds.
You will ask this question—were the members of the cabinet of Oyetola not paid salaries and allowances for those ‘services’ thereto that assets of utility which those that came after them to serve the State should inherit and use be granted as Greek gift to them (Oyetola’s Executive members)?
Going forward with such a shameful drift, does it translate to the state wasting its scarce and limited resources every four years to purchase utility vehicles for the handsomely paid executive members of the state government with billions of naira that can go into reshaping our Medicare, equipping school laboratories, training teachers to teach our public schools pupils to the required standard, rehabilitating and constructing old and new roads, and providing the essential public infrastructures that will attract direct and indirect foreign investment that will properly modulate job creation for our road-roaming male graduates and online sex-trading female graduates?
The State is too far from where it should be but the last one month had shown positivity if the upward trajectory continues unabated. In this wise and to get the desired result, the trending afro-beat new household, Asake sang in his Joha:
C’est comme le frères (it’s like brother)
Cest com le gars du l’argent (it’s like the rich guy)
Oya, hola, como estas? (Now, shout, styles?)
You want make I change my style…
The governor needs to change the style!
One thousand, four hundred and sixty (1,460) days were freely given to the new governor on July 16, 2022 to lead and renew the hope of the citizens of Osun State. The election was similar to the 2018’s where the voters opined that the system rigged the election against their wish. But this year 2022, it was different. The INEC declared the acclaimed dancing governor the winner of the election and the excitement and cities-rampaging celebrations that followed put the testimony to the fore that he was the ‘ilufemiloye’.
He was given the chance to change the narratives and prove his “fact-check” in four years. As it stands, the clock has started ticking. 1,460-36=1,424. His Excellency should bear in mind that the four years is no longer the four years. One term has diminished which is a signal to how 8 years always quickly pass by.
Like Yoruba would say “Owuro l’ojo” (make hay while the sun shines). Senator Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke looks responsible and responsive. Joining those who adjudge his persona with his dancing prowess as a giveaway to a failure will suggest running after the crowd without seeing the chaser. It can only be better if he can be observed from a rear and rare view. His political emergence was uncommon. He lost a mentor-brother who was the holder of Osun West Senatorial term at the National Assembly and swiftly chose to wear his shoe.
His first journey to the party in which his brother breathed the last breath, the APC was a catastrophe. He was denied and declined and without blinking the eyelid, he raised his hands to contest in the opposition party, the PDP. That was the bomb! He contested and won in the runoff election that availed him of the opportunity to be in the Red Chamber to complete the tenure of his demised brother. Not only did he win the election, he won in eight out of the ten Local Governments making the District and he won in Iwo Local Government where the PDP has never won since 1999.
His story has been a story of victory. In all the elections he has participated, both the primaries and the main contests, he has never lost one. He has contested three primaries and three major elections and won all in succession. That is a stunning record that should tilt the minds of his detractors towards a victor. He is massive in destiny just as he confronts a massive war in the next four years as the governor of Osun State. That is expected to be a pint of hope that his government may most likely write a history. Nonetheless, his elder brother has given a hint on July 24, 2022 at the Adeleke University convocation ceremony.
He said “I told the governor-elect and his colleagues that Ademola was lucky because he did not have any godfather to refund any money to. So, whatever people contributed for his election is contribution and it’s a sacrifice for a better Nigeria, for a better state. So, he and his colleagues are not under any pressure. The only thing that the governor-elect needs to do is to go and serve the people of the state dedicatedly.” He went further jokingly but seriously to say that “and I threatened them that I will be the first to call the press conference if I see things going wrong with his government. I will be the first to alert the world that your governor has derailed. I’ve also told him and his team not to allow anyone that is not ready to serve, anyone his focus is to come and look for money to steal from the poor people—Osun is a very poor state—into the team.”
The obstacles ahead are humongous. The works ahead are enormous. It is only by the design and choice of the governor that his plans and party manifesto can be interpreted and translated. But it is wise to drop the present chase for the real work at hand. The best advice is to toll the path of establishing the Judicial Panel of Enquiry to move up the job of the investigation and detection of the State’s looted assets and funds to be recovered while the business of governance is not hampered in equal proportions. The JPE will turn out to be the icing on the cake of his government; a side attraction.
This is a new year which has to come with a lot of hope, hopeful alleviations and plans.
In the next three months, it shall be an honour if the first people to see that truly the government has changed are the aged and helpless pensioners and productive workers by settling parts of their unpaid money in the last eight years. They were the pebbles that formed that avalanche that consumed the elongation of the twelve years of rule and ruin of the APC government in the State.
In the next three months, the governor must have conceived and given birth to his team of technocrats, brainy and selfless individuals whose mandates would not be overshadowed by self-will. People who would pilot the affairs of the state in a manner that the first assignment of raising the bar of hope of the citizens and the class of the people earlier emphasized will not become the only task to be done in a term.
Highly skilled personalities can form a government under the governor’s watch and launch a Sovereign Intervention Fund (SIF) where appeal to different wealthy individuals, celebrities and personalities as donors across the country can be made possible to raise N90 billion to mark the first 90 days of the new government in place as a takeoff to tell those old men and women who have put in their best into the services of the state during their productive age that they are honoured. It is doable if there is will and ingenuity.
Happy new year.
Taofik Alabi is a seasoned journalist and a political analyst from Osun State.
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