By Kola Olabisi
It is exceedingly disheartening and excruciatingly worrisome and baffling that the State of the Virtuous which is the home state of the political legends like the late Chief Bola Ige, former Attorney-General of the Federation; the late Chief S.M. Afolabi, former Minister of Internal Affairs; Chief Kareem Bisi Akande, former Osun State governor and first interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Brigadier-General Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd), also Osun State former governor and other eminent personalities dead and living, could slide into such an embarrassing abyss that is its lot today.
Before now, It was always a virtue to be an indigene of Osun State and it is not for fun that as at today, the state is blessed with the highest number of institutions of higher learning among the comity of the states in the Federation, be it government or privately-owned. This perhaps informs the reason why there is hardly a homestead in Osun State today that does not parade, at least, two graduates of any tertiary institutions which subsequently translates to the high level of awareness in all ramifications.
Osun State is pretty difficult to govern because of the ubiquitousness of high number of lettered and informed citizens who could neither be bamboozled nor hoodwinked into mortgaging their fundamental human rights for anything under the sun. It is not out of tune for a curious mind to become riotous in thoughts on how the State of the Virtuous which used to be a darling of all and sundry has now become notorious for copious negative journalistic reportage.
Time was up till the recent past that Osun State was adjudged the state with the lowest incidents of crime commission. Surprisingly, such Omoluabi etho has changed as the state has been shamefully catapulted to one of those with the highest number of political violence that resulted to avoidable killings by the political mercenaries who are dining and wining with the newly emerged political gladiators in the state.
It is on record that no fewer than 30 members and supporters of the APC were slaughtered like sacrificial rams in order for the last series of elections to be rigged for the PDP candidates. About 17 of those who payed the supreme price among the APC members from the bullets of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) thugs were from Ijesaland alone.
Those at the corridor of power in the state in Osun State today are political bandits who got to the pinnacle of political authority by hook and crook means. They won all the elections through violence but alas! The devil has incapacitated the proverbial dog as it has been bugged down by a visible sore on its head.
It won’t be an overstatement to observe and conclude that Adeleke and his co-travellers can be likened to a proverbial car hijacker who forcefully snatched a vehicle which the arrowhead of the illegal operation could not drive, a situation which makes him and his ilk to be at the mercy of self-acclaimed experts who are doing trial and error with the resultant effect being perpetual movement without motion.
There is hardly an exercise which the Ademola Adeleke has got right since the inception of the administration as the story has constantly being the same in all ramifications. The first of the Adeleke administration untoward exercise was the rice scandal; there was the issue of the digging of a sophisticated and functional bore hole in each of all the 332 wards across the state to be commissioned by Adeleke in the commemoration of his 100 days in office.
To state that the Adeleke borehole project was a monumental failure cannot be an overstatement as not up to 20 of the boreholes are completed across the state while the money earmarked for same had since been paid to the various PDP members who posed as contractors while the projects are left unexecuted.
Adeleke frivolously and brazenly engaged in nepotism as he relegated the Permanent Secretaries appointed by his predecessor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, and instead appointed 27 others among who seven of them are from Ede town, the hometown of the governor which is divided into Ede-North and Ede-South Local Government Council Areas of the state.
The remaining statutory 28 local government councils and an Area Office were left to contend with the left-over of the posts of 20 permanent secretaries which is suggestive of the fact that many local government council areas would not have a PS during the tenure of Governor Adeleke.
The series of infighting in the almost seven month-old administration of Governor Adeleke is legendary as there is hardly a day that disenchanted members of the PDP would not come up with offensive video recordings where some of the gladiators in the PDP are berated for one misdemeanour or the other.
The latest of such governmental endeavours where the Adeleke administration has recorded another abysmal failure is in the area of its truncating the free train ride which has become a norm since thirteen years ago when the progressive governments were in the saddle.
It would be recalled that it was former Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration which initiated the free train ride for the eight years of his two tenures despite the fact that there was verifiable paucity of funds that his administration had to contend with, the chain of the free train ride during both Christian and Muslim festivals was never broken.
The free train ride to and from Lagos to Osogbo for the indigenes of Osun State and the neighbouring states was haphazardly handled by the Adeleke administration during the last Christmas and the New Year celebrations as it was snubbed by those it was meant for. The free train ride then almost became scandalous as one of the media aides of Governor Adeleke was caught plagiarizing an old story which he published in order to falsely put a pep into the programme which was an irredeemable failure then.
The excuse advanced by the Adeleke government that it was a damaged rail track around Abeokuta-Lagos old gauge that orchestrated the bungling of the programme does not hold water and it only exposes the government of the day of not being resourceful and incapable of thinking outside the box.
If not, that Governor Adeleke is limited by running a minimal government, it wouldn’t have been difficult for him and his co-travellers to know that there should always be an alternative means of settling any challenges. At any rate, twice under the immediate-past administration, the government had to undertake the repair of the rail tracks just to ensure that the programme did not fail.
Is it only the train that is the source of ferreting commuters in a period of crisis or emergency like the one posed by the damaged rail track as advanced by the Adeleke administration? If truly Adeleke has the genuine love and interest of the commuters who had wanted to board the train to their destinations in Osogbo and elsewhere, those thinking for him in that area should have come up with another better alternative if fixing of the challenge of the damaged rail tack was beyond them.
An investigation confirmed that the true story behind the bungling of the free train ride by the government is more than what was told the public. Paucity of fund is said to be dealing a fast one on the Adeleke administration, a condition which relegated the transportation of any commuter by whatever means to his destination during the Eid-Eil-Kabir festival.
…Olabisi, a reporter, writes from 111, Itasin Street, Agun’s Compound, Modakeke, Osun State.