SMALL GODS DEFECATING INTO OSUN WELL
Adept users of Blackberry Smartphones are quite familiar with the instant message smileys and what they mean. These symbols are quite many and I remember the one that talks about putting up a 'straight face; ' another offers 'sealed lips' yet there is the one that displays 'big laughter.' For some time now, one has chosen these three while watching the drama all around.
One has seen characters beautified with our plumage now farting into our bemused mouths in the name of politics. Again, there are others quite alien to our realities like UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) marching rascally on the well cut turf of sound reasoning.
We have this decision in our party to maintain a straight face and keep sealed lips even when put in the crucible of insults from small gods around. In writing this, I am, deviating from that decision. I just read a speech credited to an Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) man called Sola Adeyeye, a professor from the United States. He was quoted as saying at an ACN rally last Sunday that Oyinlola in seven and a half years as Osun governor did practically nothing and in fact executed zero projects. There would have been no need to respond to this vacuous comment if it had come from someone else.
But coming from this professor who I know too well as a former ineffectual Local Government Chairman for over two years and who was suffered by his people as their inaudible voice in the House of Representatives for four years, I realized I owe myself a duty to tell him who he is.
I remember the Sunday rally where Professor Adeyeye mouthed the insults was not his first in recent time. He did it a few weeks ago as Chairman of the committee flung on us in Osun to launch ACN's seven cowries garnished with an alien Ori Olokun.
I remember I said then that the ACN would have done better if it had chosen someone with a record of achievements in public service to diminish Oyinlola's stature in accomplishments. Not Professor Sola Adeyeye. I told some newsmen to ask that man if he could point at any project (even if it is just a pit latrine or a deep well) he executed/sunk in his years as Chairman of Ifedayo Local Government. When he was in the House of Representatives, can anyone remember this professor for any worthwhile accomplishment or contribution in the nation's lower chamber?
Oyinlola did nothing in seven and a half years, and yet Adeyeye gathered his leaders inside the ultra-modern Centre for Black Culture in Osogbo to launch their symbols. Was that Centre (with its auditorium) built by the ACN within two months of its royalty in Osun? That Centre is a very loud, proud, imperishable legacy of Oyinlola.
Those of us on the other side have continued to smile and even laugh at the great public relations job the ACN has continued to do for Oyinlola since their government came on stream. First, they performed their inauguration inside the Technical College, Osogbo, which is second to none in Nigeria, courtesy of Oyinlola. And they know I am saying the truth. (I will even add that there are nine such colleges across the state.) Then the ACN people did their Education Summit, not inside Osogbo City Hall, but in the auditorium of Osun State University's main campus in Osogbo.
As they launched their symbol and held their summit, I kept wondering what could be going on in the minds of the men of the moment who have made it an art to score Oyinlola zero in everything except the negative. Now, for every structure our guests saw in UNIOSUN, Osogbo campus, there are five like that in the other five campuses.
I remember Professor Adeyeye hails from Ora in Ifedayo Local Government Area. I now want to ask him whether he ever asked his leader and superman, Chief Adebisi Akande, why he stopped the rehabilitation of Ikirun-Ila-Ora-Oke-Ila road at his own home town Ila-Orangun when he was governor. Perhaps Professor Adeyeye is too dislocated from his roots to know that the lot to bail out Adeyeye's people from the pains of commuting on the terrible road (deliberately left so by Akande) fell on Oyinlola as governor. I remember the broad banner displayed by the ever appreciative Oke-Ila people on the day the road was inaugurated. It read: 'What our brother (Bisi Akande ) denied us, Oyinlola has done for us.' The rest is history.
Even if Adeyeye will still refuse to see the elephant of Oyinlola in all these monuments I have mentioned, will he still shoot down the fact that Oyinlola's native wisdom and administrative savvy brought eternal peace to his native Ora-Igbomina? Prof Adeyeye understands what I am saying and I am not going to be tempted to cross the borders of discretion on this.
A moment ago, I touched on UNIOSUN and its auditorium where ACN's education summit held. Quite a lot of people felt our party should have spoken out when the new man brought down the plaque and the board bearing Oyinlola's name on that edifice. No, I said we should not talk and would not talk, knowing that the Nazis did things similar to France's heroes during the great war. Today the heroes have remained what they were while the Nazis are forever on the debit side of the balance sheet of history. There is always a tomorrow.
What else is there to say? Yes, it is expected that in moments of set-backs such as was wrought on Osun State on 26th November, 2010, miniature gods will dare Sango to fire duels- (Awon orisa kee kee ke a maa so wipe Sango ko pon 'moo re!) apology to that inimitable Ilorin born bard, Odolaye Aremu. Now that the ACN is ranging this professor for a battle to the Senate to represent a highly enlightened people, I expect him to start his campaigns from home, reminding the people of his local government how effective he was as their local government Chairman and then, telling those in his federal constituency what he did before and what he would do again in the National Assembly.
They will be glad to listen to him. They will be glad to listen as he points at his designer Bermuda shorts and bowler hats; his tasteful choice of beautiful companions in sleek SUVs. Those are what we know as his accomplishments as local government chairman and representative in Abuja. If there are others we don't know of, we will be happy to listen to Prof Adeyeye. I know he will readily claim that paucity of funds made it impossible for him to do anything as local government chairman (under Akande's governorship). I know he will blame the PDP for his own inaction in the House of Representatives.
I however, believe it did not lie in his mouth to condemn the PDP as a failure because his own party, the AC, is just a branch of the PDP. I know he as a brilliant man will know that the best proof was in the fact that his party went to the PDP in 2007 to borrow someone to be its presidential candidate. I know he will agree even more now that his ACN struts the landscape shamelessly with an Obasanjo child precariously on its shoulder as its presidential candidate.
As for the new lords of the manor, UFOs from the grove of strangeness, we will keep watching the drama, even clapping to their every act. We will keep on answering 'Oh yeah' to their every violation of the sacredness of the ever living spring of our state knowing that UFOs as alien beings always visit for a purpose, largely unknown, and, then….
Ojo-Williams is the acting Chairman of Osun State PDP