Thursday 1 March 2018

Osun 2018: Who Shall APC send? By Abiodun Komolafe

Osun governorship election is some few months away. In a way, the interplay of forces between ‘Continuity’ and ‘Change’ will soon come to the fore, even take its toll on the state. While the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) might have been scratching its head on how to present a candidate that’ll be acceptable to the generality of the people, pondering the opposition’s foray into another charade of unrealistic fantasies and false utopias may also not be out of place.

As September 22, 2018 nears us by the eyelids therefore, we need to interrogate where we are coming from before taking a decision on our next course. Conscious of our recent experience in Rivers, Kano and Kaduna States, we also need to peep into the fortunes of our desired paradise and the profiles of our candidates in order to avoid falling victim to the nominal, hot-and-cold “political dealers” who always explore the people’s gullibility for vicious, ridiculous, hippomaniac and megalomaniac purposes.

Well, that Nigerian is currently at war with herself is no longer news! Like in Prophet Isaiah’s Israel, Nigeria seems to be on a moral and spiritual decline, with a lot of anger taking the better part of the land. From Boko Haram and herdsmen terrorism, to a bastardized economy which nosediveness has practically taken food off the table of the ordinary man, the country stinks and the opportunists rejoice! Quite unfortunately, Osun has been deeply affected by the misfortune which previous administrations wittingly or unwittingly unleashed on the country. But while the buck undoubtedly stops on Muhammadu Buhari’s table, the president’s shortcomings – real or imagined – may be excused on the fact that the government he currently leads was an emergency contraption, prepared, packaged and contracted to the retired General who didn’t weigh its contents or asked for appropriate prescriptions for the ostensibly bitter capsule. 
Little wonder we are where we are!

Coming back to the forthcoming Osun governorship election, our major challenge as Nigerians is that we always consider politicians who can deliver votes without factoring-in the electorate who do the real job of voting. This is why we are always bent on zoning as if it is one-size-fits-all thing. The way I see it, zoning is an unconstitutional but a party arrangement which, in most cases, only ends up robbing the electorate the chance of choosing the best candidate. While the last Osun West Bye-election has again demonstrated some of the incalculable inconsistencies inherent in such an arrangement, religion, on its part, has only succeeded in adding its own flavour to our political psyche as a people.

Poverty does not recognize the politics of zoning, seeds of ethnicity or the politicization of religion. That a governor comes from a zone is by luck, not design. For instance, I doubt if the judicial processes that eventually delivered victory to Aregbesola was on the basis of his being from the East Senatorial District of the state. Aregbesola became governor and the East adopted him as its representative in ‘Bola Ige House’. Even with his administration’s demonstrable spread of infrastructure development across the nooks and crannies of the state, Aregbesola is arguably the most misunderstood political leader from that zone at the moment, especially, going by some people’s misreading of the politics of capital city. But will Osun Central Senatorial District forget his contributions in a hurry?
Perhaps more importantly, what Osun needs at a time like this is a man with scientific approach to issues of governance who understands where the state is coming from in terms of development and what the Next Level truly means in the life of the state. Our next governor must be one who appreciates the worth of coaches whose traits revolve around discipline, hardwork, confidence and competence. He must also show love to bystanders, meanderers, even cheerleaders. Otherwise, politics may be said to have lost its essence.

Osun needs a governor who will not take away the electorate’s responsibility, thereby rendering them irresponsible. Preferably, he must be an astute administrator with popular connection that can extract and maximize capital with greater efficiency. God forbid our state is hit by economic challenges! It will require the expertise and ingenuity of an upright governor to galvanize available resources within as well as tap into the critical threshold of competent global leaders to mobilize funds and investment opportunities to the state.

So, who shall APC send as its candidate to the battle of September 22? Anyway, this is where the ruling party has to read the signs right. In many ways, the greedy power elite as represented by the opposition has no future in the new world order. But its feigned docility or inactivity should not impose a weird veil of quietness on the ruling party. Those of us who once accused the late Sani Abacha of recklessness failed to realize that he, like Napoleon Bonaparte, saw “an empty throne” and “the urge to sit on it fell on him.” Abacha capitalized on the weakness, the incompetence, the incapacity and the illegality of the Ernest Shonekan-led Interim National Government (ING) and the uncoordinated approach of Nigerians to the issue at stake and the rest is history!

In my considered opinion, the accident of coming from the same political party should unite the aspirants within the APC fold against defeated thinkers and habitual moaners who always end up succumbing to the vagaries of socio-economic hazards. Moving the state to its pride of place shouldn’t just be in mouthing platitudes but in the practicalities of delivering dividends of democracy. It is only by voting Aregbesola to succeed Aregbesola as governor that Osun can continue on the threshold of a new era. It is by so doing that there can be a total triumph for democracy and a historic victory for the temporal and moral good of Osun people. After all, the sound and the taste of a bitter kola do not mean the same thing. Candidly, if food is all that matters, then, one has no justification for leaving his parents in the village in search of any Golden Fleece in the city.

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ([email protected]

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