2nd May, 2012
It is not difficult to fathom why the PDP and its allies feel so uncomfortable with the public posture and indeed the personage of Ogbeni Ruaf Aregbesola, the Governor of State of Osun. He is hewn in the mould that is radically different from those of the people that populate the PDP. He does not mince words in baring his mind. He does not prevaricate or equivocate on any issue he deigns to comment on. He does not harbour any traits of Janus or a double faced personality that says the opposite of what is in his mind. He does not label the spade differently than its real name. He is a straight talker, who suffers fools gladly. He sees diplomacy and such other arts that mask the real intents of man’s heart in demeaning lights and takes none of it.
These attributes are alien to the rank and file in PDP who take politics as duplicity, deception and guile; all packaged into one seamless take-away pack. For a party that delights in subterfuge and grand obfuscation as means of careering off and on an irresponsible power route, the person and image of Aregbesola is unfathomable. Not for their members alone, but also outside their enclave where all is fair in battle. The PDP brooks no such attributes as Aregbesola has come to personify. Aregbesola leaves you in no doubt where he stands on any issue. He is not afraid to take on any issue or anybody so long as he feels the need to address an issue. He is not one that goes to a parley with a dagger hidden in his clothes but who before any meeting, brandishes his weapon and dares you to get yours and meet him in an open battle. He does not stalk on his assumed friends or foes and strike the dagger when they least expect. He gives you sufficient warning of any impending attack and dares you to get prepared for it. He does not know how to back stab but knows how to publicly excoriate when he feels an issue is not going right.
Being a governor and with his known penchant to shoot straight, Aregbesola constitutes a potent threat to the PDP’s own maniacal desire for untrammeled power. His knack for provoking issues that so many people feel uncomfortable about marks him as a red hot threat to the suzerain empire the PDP easily dreams of. His boisterous and bonhomie mien adds pep to his well expressed desire to ensure that every issue is brought on the table and not hidden under the rug. As governor, Aregbe adopts unorthodox style that gives him quick result. He has unruffled many with his style, which has however endeared him to the hearts of Osun people. Not for him is the culture of sitting idly on the waiting room of bureaucracy while things could be done in quicker ways.
We all know how Aregbesola ran an electrifying campaign in 2007 against an incumbent and his political party that spared nothing to beat down the tsunami, which Aregbesola provoked with his campaign. A glimpse into how he scared the living daylights out of the PDP was how Ebenezer Babatope, a PDP chieftain, tried to explain the questionable victory that was awarded the PDP in 2007. He claimed that indeed, Aregbesola scared them to the extent that he beat them hands down in the urban areas of Osun State, while the PDP claimed the state with votes from the rural areas. But this story did not jell with Osun electorate who pretested loudly that in both the urban and the rural areas, they voted Aregbesola and no one else. The history of his determined and roiling battle to reclaim his stolen mandate was historical, as it was tasking. Every hell was levied against Aregbesola as he fought the power soaked vandals for his mandate. So it is easy to understand why the SouthWest, and by extension the national PDP feels that Aregbesola is one hell of an object on its reckless way that must be put out of circulation for them to enjoy their unimpeded way to unearned power.
So it is easy to understand why the PDP had to resort to the kind of brash tactics it went for recently when it fabricated and caused to be leaked a specious and outlandish cocktail of fairy tales, with high puerility content and routed through the ubiquitous security agencies of Nigeria that have excelled in deepening the security crisis and taking up the dirty fights of the PDP against every other Nigerian. I strained my eyes to see the treasonable and secessionist contents of the juvenile hack the SSS passed as ‘security reports’ on Osun State. I needed no soothsayer to know that the entire thing was a tissue of forgeries, intrigues and fables the badly hurting gang of electoral rogues that constitute the SouthWest PDP employed to create confusion and tension in a sedate agrarian state that is far removed from the concocted picture the so-called reports painted. The generous back up the PDP threw to this widely condemned attempt to sow tension and crisis where there is none, clearly demonstrated the asinine intent behind that tissue of lies and negative conjectures.
Heavens, they say, know no greater fury than that of a woman scorned and I dare add that heavens know no greater fury than that of the disgruntled, disoriented, dislodged political jobbers and free loaders that were rusticated from governance in the SouthWest recently. It is in this maze that we locate the spurious security report that was firmly anchored on fiction and laughable reasons. What we saw were mere fictional projections of how the PDP feels it can steal power again in Osun, the SouthWest and consolidate its tenuous hold on power in Nigeria. Aregbesola is a potent threat to this dream that has wrecked almost everything in Nigeria. So the plot is alleged secession and religious manipulation, even when these are founded on baseless grounds, provoke an insurrection and employ this to levy security take over of Osun State. This stems from a primitive and raw concept of power, as the PDP has found so attractive employing these past thirteen years in power. The feeling is writ large in the diarrhead power laboratory of the PDP that once the recalcitrant Aregbesola is taken out of the way, it would be easy to take on other more restrained ACN governors in the SouthWest.
The tragedy is not that those that scripted this baloney believe so much in its practicability and potency. The real tragedy however is that the present federal government invests so much faith in this infantile political jeremiad. But when we understand that what passes for a federal government in the past two years is no more than a highly impressionable, shallow agglomeration of clueless mandarins that see themselves more as PDP wayfarers, we will understand why the nation is tottering so aimlessly on the watch of these partisan enforcers. It is the same tragic mess that a national security that has excelled in allowing Nigerians to be used as punching bags by so many fonts of state violence is the one being used by political layabouts and rent seekers to widen the circle of violence and religious war all in the name of offering services to an amoral political party and its bestial interests.
I believe that this monumental misstep will work to steer Aregbesola aright as he braces to face the infantile fury of the PDP, which will manifest in several ways as his re-election battle approaches. It is good his traducers have shown their hands so early in the day, and in an embarrassingly puerile manner. It will allow him and his strategists enough time to plan containment strategies that will leave the PDP with a bloodier nose than he has inflicted on it so far. He should count himself lucky that his traducers are so inflicted with raw bile, frustration and the attendant fury that they let themselves out so cheaply. I believe that he will emerge much stronger and more fortified to deal with his opponents and continue on his laudable mission to leave indelible positive impressions on Osun, as he is doing at present.
Oparah wrote in from Ikeja, Lagos. E-mail: [email protected]