Friday 10 March 2023

Oyetola's Mother, 12years After By ISAAC OLUSESI

The atmosphere was a bit sunny and airy as cars careered through, unaccompanied by the body guards or police escorts. The cars' occupants were not proclaimed by the blare of sirens or frightening flash of hazard lights. Inside the slowly revving, gently cruising cars, came cool music, wafting from car stereo and the occupants' main companion were diverse kinds of mobile phones called handsets, each clutching one; and the cars, all steered to a stop at the premises of  the late mother of His Excellency, Gboyega Oyetola, the erstwhile Governor of Osun State.

The guests, alighting,  starred like a shootsayer immersed in the divination process, and then words came promptly, asking them to take their seats in a typical homage to the memory of the dead. The event chief host, Oyetola, an eminently soft spoken former state's helmsman, with the intelligence of an oracle welcomed the guests to the 12th Prayer  Remembrance of his mother, the late Alhaja Wolemotu Arike Oyetola

Howbeit, I never knew or had any occasion to know the mother of the immediate past governor of Osun. By the cross opinions wrapped last Monday in Oyetola's Iragbiji country home, in Boripe local government area, the late Mama whose 12th year of departure from this terrestrial, marked, same Monday, with prayers and thanksgivings, was neither in power to be feared, nor in wealth to be envied and pursued after, the trending odd nature of today's society.

But the late Mama was said to be of good character to be trusted and she was practically trusted, described as passionately honest, dependable and a resourceful mother, rare and worthy of emulation. The Iragbiji septuagenarians, octogenarians spoken with by me, reminisced about the precepts set by her, and  correspondingly, was described as a virtuous, dutiful wife and mother, good manager of homestead as well as adviser and counselor to the distressed mankind; and a dedicated Muslim devout who respected and upheld the values of her religion.

From the seamless declarations or open acknowledgements made by the living  legends in Iragbiji, describing plausible but extraordinary past events, not embellished or fabricated, Mama had travelled the road of life and living, pork marked with pumps, pitfalls and a myriad of unforseen hazards, the ravenous road that devours very many unwary victims, sucking them down its bottomless abyss.But the legendary accounts or testimonials of the  oldies around quickly added that Mama's own ability and efforts that made her brave adversity and survive the harshest weather were the Grace of Allah _, The Sustainer. The Most Merciful. Most Gracious. All-knowing_ .

And true, as destiny would have it, Oyetola's mother survived and progressed into opulence, a blissful growth into an enchanted rose-tinted world, one reason, amidst others for the annual rituals of thanksgiving remembrance of her departure. Other reasons. Many people from far and near honour her departure, also in celebration of her son's giant strides in the private sector economy, public politics, and governance of Osun.   

The venue for the prayer remembrance of the deceased mother was spiced up, humble. All the guests, Muslim and Christian well wishers showed up and no guest was unwanted. No one fumed, no one cursed. Some made it to the event, early enough before it started, others, midway to the event, and yet no one came late after the prayers had started.

Right at the event, guests applauded Mama's integrity, dignity and reliability, while the Muslim clergy appraised her religious stamina and sure footedness in Islam. Allusion to the Qu'ran with uncommon alacrity made the event thoughtfully reflective to all, and more humble before Allah, the stillness of the night descended in the day as the clergy did a penetrating, incisive, vivid and candid surgery of vanity of life and moral atrophy in the society. Those at the event listened to the incandescent brilliance and candour of the cerebral delivery. There was no time for joke as there were no jokes to crack. No one was left in doubt about the potency of the prayers and ascession to heaven.

The event, a demonstration of the continued acceptance of Oyetola as his All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders, bigwigs and members in the state showed appearance, more pleasing. And Oyetola used the occasion of the prayer remembrance and thanked the Osun electorate for the victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as  president - elect.

Tinubu is a hero of democracy and human rights activist, Distinguished Senator, Governor Emeritus, and chieftain of National Democratic Collation (NADECO), the platform of cerebral men, including Anthony Enahoro, Alfred Rewan, Wole Soyinka, Ayo Opadokun in Nigeria and JMK Ogunkeyede, others of NADECO, United States of America, USA and host to the self exiled NADECO chiefs.The platform brought attention and focus on the nation's scavenger, predator army generals and openly said No to the despotic military regimes, rooted them out in 1999 and had democracy and good governance in place, with Tinubu as Lagos State Governor, the NADECO's first gain, and Tinubu, the president elect as NADECO's major gain.

Those who couldn't match Tinubu shoulder to shoulder tried everything to bring the colossus down but he outsmarted them by his training, tact, wisdom, power of ideas and vast networks of committed friends, associates, followers, footsoldiers  and supporters built over the years in political advocacy in Nigeria and USA.

Oyetola, at the prayer remembrance event enjoined the voters to elect APC to the House of Assembly,  "these are the people that will work with us when we return to government," he stated. Optimistic of his mandate retrieval, he charged party men and supporters to believe with him in God Almighty, in fasting and prayers, that his mandate in the hands of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) interlopper in Bola Ige House would be retrived through the court. 

Hear him:"Every necessary step is being taken to ensure the mandate is reclaimed from the impostors. Justice would take its course," adding, he's more ready to pursue his petition to a logical conclusion. 

Oyetola who's not power hungry but has the pull and push in him by the zeal to reclaim his mandate given by the people of the state, reiterated commmitment to reclaim his mandate, and he's not ready to stake any deal or trade off the mandate with the usurper, the embattled, still basking in the pyrrhic victory inside government house. He's more ready to pursue his petition to a logical conclusion. 

He called party men and women to resolve all internal conflicts and keep away all secrets which could become an alibi for adversaries to destabilize the party structures. He saluted the tenacity of the party men and women and described their commmitment as enhancer and stabilizer of the party.

The late Alhaja Wolematu Arike Oyetola's actions while on earth were said to be as good as her words, for the love of her neighbours across religions.The traits underlie the world view of her son, soonest to return to office as Osun Governor. The son who's absolutely contemptuous of arrogance of office, spoke of his mother as one who always cultivated right principles and stayed by them.

From me: Grandma, continue to rest in the bosom of your Maker, also the Maker and Overseer of the Heaven and Earth. 

OLUSESI is Deputy Director, Directorate of Publicity, Research & Strategy All Progressives Congress (APC) Osun State

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