Come Monday 27, November 2018, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola will gracefully bow out of the government of the state of Osun after eight years as governor.Aregbesola’s presence in governance was like a Comet that illuminated Osun. Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola felt its luminous trail; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scrambled its enormous arsenal of political assassination to get rid of the Comet but the light was inextinguishable. It still is!! And the political assassins are still on the prowl.So, why was Ogbeni different? Simple; it was and is because the man is EXCEPTIONAL!!Most exceptional people inexplicably attract the atrocious sting of low-level actors especially in politics and government. The phenomenon is not new. The very Legend of the Yoruba nation himself, Obafemi Awolowo went through a similar situation.Within two years of Independence, savages in the Nigerian political maelstrom had framed, persecuted and imprisoned Awo. Their purpose was to have him killed but they stopped short because they dreaded the consequences.Ogbeni was lucky because he had power. Awo was unlucky because he was rendered powerless. If Awo did not leave his power base in the west, Nigeria’s history would have been different and today, the West of Nigeria would have been more developed than Malasia!!The political inclination and thought process of those in the Yoruba west, who fought Awo to the death and practically destroyed his achievements made between 1956 and 1960, were the driving forces behind those who opposed but failed to dislodge Aregbesola in spite of the vitriol in their opposition to everything Aregbesola stood for and achieved in Osun.It is too early for anyone to forget that the eight years Ogbeni was in power in Osogbo were the most peaceful in Osun’s history since the return to civilian politics in 1999. That was what catalysed social, economic and environmental development like it had never been seen in the state.Today, the level of economic activities in Osun is higher than at anytime since 1999. Those who argue to the contrary are dishonest, perhaps even evil. Similarly, civil servants are earning higher salaries than at anytime in the history of the state. The level of direct government intervention to curb poverty and engage youth unemployment, as well as provide financial assistance to those who are challenged – especially the elderly – is not only unprecedented in Osun, it is unique in Nigeria.There is hardly any family in Osun that hasn’t been impacted by Aregbesola’s creative initiatives in the last eight years. A people would be perceived ungrateful if they refused to acknowledge the progress made under Aregbesola’s tenure; and the worst of those are in the PDP axis. The leadership of the party especially has become so insensitive with hate that their capacity to discern even the obvious appears dead. To them, there is not a single thing Aregbesola has done that is good.Fortunately, the marvelous projects this dedicated son of Osun has done in the last eight years speak so loud and so clear, the discerning world at home and abroad applaud. Nothing speaks more eloquently of this than the massive leap forward in education and educational infrastructure that Aregbesola has brought about in Osun. Let the doubting Thomases anywhere in the world come to Osun and see things for themselves.So spectacular is the progress made, that when the PDP axis of evil would comment on it, they shamelessly averred that, “Osun did not need the sophistication of the school infrastructure” that Aregbesola has introduced to the state. That, precisely, is the stuff of which evil is made. In PDP’s thinking, Osun does not deserve the sophistication that Ogbeni has brought to the state.In a quaint fashion, PDP’s admission of sophistication in Ogbeni’s delivery of progress is underhand endorsement.But above all, the victory of the APC in the last governorship election, albeit by a hair’s-breadth, ensures that what has been done by Ogbeni will not be undone by the vicious people who are fighting, tooth and nail, to hand Osun over to the DEMON of this world to repeat once again the madness of 1962 that crushed the progress of the Yoruba nation when Awo was handed over to the barbarians.Ogbeni, the good people of Osun hail you; our children will not forget you; the world has taken notice of your distinguished service to your people; our great party – the APC – salute you; and may the goodness of Allah flow in and be with you in whatever responsibility you may be assigned by Him in the future.
OGBENI, God is with you!!!Oyatomi is the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, APC, State of Osun