By Sola Fasure
Festus Adedayo did not disappoint in his ‘Flickers’ column in the Tribune on Sunday titled ‘The averted bloodshed in Osun’. Dr Adedayo went full blast in his characteristic style – a collection of outright lies, inverted logic and seething hatred, brewed and served in the foulest and most intemperate language.
The summary of his argument is that if the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had honoured the invitation to attend a public lecture on the 10th anniversary of his wresting power from the PDP in Osun, there would have been bloodshed; that he rescinded his decision based on the gratuitous counsel of the former governor of the state, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, whom he defeated to become the governor on November 27, 2010; and that Oyinlola is being vilified, instead of being commended for this selfless and patriotic act.
He began his piece with a short analysis of the recent godfather-godson imbroglio in the polity. It is a clever sleight of hand to evoke the memory of the recent spat between former APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki in Edo in which the former got worsted. He exploited this sentiment by casting Governor Gboyega Oyetola in the mould of the underdog godson who is under the siege of his overbearing godfather. The idea is to portray Aregbesola as an overbearing godfather and set him up for roasting in the court of public opinion.
This portrayal of Aregbesola as a godfather is deliberately false and misleading. Governor Oyetola is not Aregbesola’s godson by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, he will feel insulted to be so categorised. The relationship between them in the eight years they served together was of mutual respect, though Aregbesola indisputably was the governor and chief executive.
Any player in the Aregbesola’s administration or even Oyetola’s current administration will attest to this. Though there were members of cabinet that would fit the bill of a godson to Aregbesola then – and now – but certainly Oyetola was (and is) not one of them. If Governor Oyetola has any godfather at all, it should be Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is the overall head of their political tendency.
When Dr Adedayo wrote that he has interest in Osun, I was hoping he would mention family members, relations, property or investments. But this ‘interest’ was the fact that he lived in Osun in the 1970s and this makes him more concerned than indigenes and residents of Osun who for seven and a half years, were practically put under siege by his client.
Last week, I noticed the revival of what I called ‘PDP machine’. This machine includes, but not limited to, a coterie of 2012 pensioners in the state, led by Baba Omoniyi Ilesanmi; fictive report by an adversarial section of the local correspondents: and a rash of hack writers circulating the same line of attacks against Aregbesola from a dossier handed to them.
This haunch has now been confirmed with Dr Adedayo’s piece pretending to be backing Governor Oyetola against Ogbeni Aregbesola. This machine used to be deployed anytime there was election in the state or Aregbesola was riding high or being honoured for an achievement. They act as subtle pressure on the electorate by trying to poison their mind against APC or impose a narrative of suffering in the state, for which APC deserves no victory at the polls or that Aregbesola should not be celebrated. Not that they ever succeeded.
But the question now is: since there is no election at present and Aregbesola is no longer the governor, at whose behest are they now acting? But the answer, as Bob Dylan wrote, is blowing in the wind.
Dr Adedayo’s magisterial assertion that the programme was suspended because of Oyinlola’s chastisement is laughable and he will now be held in derision in the circles of those who know the how and why and were instrumental to the suspension.
Oyinlola’s advice, as I wrote earlier, is gratuitous and he could not have meant well. It was not meant to heal or bring peace to the state. Indeed, all the outsiders pretending to be siding with the state governor are doing so for a purpose. They are driving further wedge into the APC because they are waiting to be sure beneficiaries in the hope that APC implodes. So, their support is a Greek gift. After all, when you want to burn down your father’s house, his enemies will be too glad to provide you with petrol and light the matchstick for you. When you see the circling of the vultures, be sure they are waiting for a carcass to fall to the earth for devouring.
It is interesting to note that Adedayo who had deployed the foulest language to attack the candidature of Oyetola, has had a dramatic encounter on the way to Tarsus, and is now waxing lyrical in his support for him against Aregbesola. Could this have been out of sincerity? It’s what Prof Soyinka calls ‘transparent subterfuge’.
Actually, the strategy is to pretend to be friends with the governor and then alienate him from his strongest allies; and having isolated him, they can have him for lunch. It is pure Machiavellian. These are elements well versed in the art of war and violence, using guile and deception. So, our columnist could only have been a bit part player in a bigger plot.
Dr Adedayo alleges that if Aregbesola had attended the public lecture, there would have been bloodshed in Osun. He didn’t explain how this would happen i.e. people coming to public lecture with guns, machetes, bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, which are assured to be freely used any time before, during and after the lecture. This is the specious logic that informed Oyinlola’s counsel and on which media narrative of the past one week has been built.
This is the narrative some people want to sustain in order to keep Ogbeni Aregbesola from coming to the state. I don’t know for how long this can be sustained, except you literally banish him from the state. Our columnist is so enamoured of this lecture- to-bloodshed nexus that it became the title of his column. I cannot even begin to contemplate how Festus Adedayo, PhD Political Science, became the avatar of the narrative that a public lecture will irreversibly lead to bloodshed, in a democratic milieu and therefore should not hold.
Oh, but I remember that he now plays in the big league of CNN, Amnesty International, DJ Switch and other practitioners of what the cerebral The Nation columnist, Kunle Abimbola, referred to as ‘e-massacre’ in which you establish through repetition a narrative of massacre in which the number of the victims keeps changing. You don’t need real body evidence, names of victims etc., just keep ramming it down their throat and the public will eventually swallow it and will soon be baying for blood, and then unleash anarchy on the streets.
What I even found more perplexing is Festus Adedayo, PhD Political Science, Brig Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former democratic governor and a section of the media foreswearing debate and public lecture organised by a supposed opponent. How democratic is this idea and how does a PhD Political Science got entangled in this totalitarian intolerance of free speech web?
This is naked intolerance being celebrated by those who should ordinarily be alarmed, being guardians of tolerance. But Karl Popper warned us of the danger of intolerance, that we should be intolerant of the intolerant in order to maintain a tolerant society, or else, tolerance will be destroyed and society along with it.
Fasure is the Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.