By Adeboye Adebayo
Let me make it clear from the onset that as a contributory and participatory member of a progressive party from the days of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to these days of All Progressives Congress (APC); as a Media Consultant of repute; an Opinion moulder; and indeed a Social media influencer, I am old, matured and experienced enough to understand party politics and to air my opinion on issues of national and state discourse as a major stakeholder.
Also, it is worthy of mentioning that my contributions towards the emergence of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola as the current Governor of the State of Osun are second to none, because I did not collect any dime from anyone to carry out my political works. I did it for myself, (that) maybe there will be a reward on our political struggle if our party continues in office. I did it for my great party, APC, to continue to remain in power so that we can have a platform through which we can continue to use our ideas, innovations and networks to create opportunities for our party members and electorates in general. And I did it to complement the efforts of our leaders, stakeholders and members of our great party, APC, who genuinely believed then that we could win that election despite all the odds.
Apart from participations in strong mobilization, deployment of strategies, door to door, street to street public campaigns from friends’ camps to enemies’ den through my capacity as the Chairman, Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation (AGF); Campaign Team for Oyetola; Secretary, Oyetola Strategic Forum (OSF); and indeed as the State Coordinator, Oyetola Focus (OYEF), under the distinguished leadership of Otunba Olajumoke Ogunkeyede aka JMK, I stand to be corrected if there was anyone, I am bold to write, there is none who generated more qualitative, offensive, defensive Media Contents than I did, a feat Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the APC gubernatorial candidate then testified to.
Prompt and up to speed Media Contents that threw the entire Adeleke Dynasty off balance at many points in time. In a nutshell, not that I am blowing my own trumpets rather I am making it clear to all and sundry that I know and understand what I am writing. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Tunde Rahman, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, Femi Oyetola; the first Son of the Governor, Mr. Governor’s siblings; Kunle Oyetola, Tunde Oyetola & Taofeek Oyetola, one of the family members called “Prof” can testify to all these claims.
Otunba JMK, Hon. Ajibola Famurewa, Mr. Richard Tinubu, Mr. Jamiu Olawumi, Hon. Sola Oladepo who was the Chairman of IleriOluwa Mobilization Group where I served, Ekerin Ikirun, Alhaji MOSHADEK was a sub Chairman of that Committee, Hon. Abioye, Ifelodun local government scribe and Wale Adebayo PA to the Governor, were also members of the Ileri Campaign Committee where I served. Sola Ajetunmobi, Mr. Wahab Oyeniyi, Mr. Niyi Idowu, Femi Ayanga, Sola Ogunjide, Hon Rufus Oyegbile; Hon. Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment & Sanitation, Mr. Wale Oyeniyi, Chairman, OSF, Alhaji Muideen Kosemani, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, Mr. Rosco in Iragbiji, Hon. Seun Ajeigbe, Apostle Dr. Stella Alhassan; a woman of God who dedicated her time and life and prayed fervently day and night for the success of the poll, to mention just a few among numerous others are living witness to my activities.
I salute the courage and sagacity of the entire members of Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation, State of Osun Chapter for job well done then. I remember when we visited Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Our Principal to brief him and submitted our preliminary findings and solutions to him for necessary actions. He commended us, though we didn’t ask him for money but he promised that he will get back to us and he never did till we won the poll. We didn’t hold it against him, never, he is our principal. We believe him, we trust his leadership and we will continue be in his camp any day.
It should also be noted that my relationship with Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as my Mentor, Leader, is more robust now than before. My relationship with the Symbol of democracy and good governance is dated far, far back. He believes in me, trusts me, he sends me jobs with adequate resources and I always deliver according to the mandate given. I will always be a Raufist to the core any day. The support he gave me because of his believe in me during my Chairmanship tussle in Orile Agege LCDA in Lagos are still fresh in the memory.
My activities and result-oriented performances during Governor Oyetola and President Buhari’s elections’ processes earned me a letter of commendation and recommendations from the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters then; Hon. Gideon Samani and I thank God and Baba Samani for recognising our great efforts in Abuja. So, I want to implore my readers to please understand the fact that I know what I am writing and nobody can form opinion for me on this issue. Thank you.
Now to the kernel of my piece, I have been following happenings in the State Chapter of our party; the All Progressives Congress, APC, sad, so sad but I will limit myself for now on the much-touted Education Policies’ Reversal recently approved for implementation by the Oyetola led administration.
The Political party as we all know is the platform that we use to contest and campaign for elections. The electorates vote for the party as it appears on electoral ballot papers according to their conscience and believe in the manifesto and programme of the party. The Action Group, AG to United Party of Nigeria, UPN were both popularly known in their various times of reign for their progressive policies & programmes under the leadership of the late sage; Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Lagos State today has been a model and reference for many states and some African countries because of the party’s robust plans, policies and programmes under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and today, Lagos has recorded tremendous progress, growth development because no successive government or governor reversed any of its or his predecessors’ policies or programmes but rather they continue to patch them up and build on them since it is the policies and programmes of the same party. Despite many rancours that happened between former governors Fashola and Ambode, the latter did not reverse any of their former pronounced policies. Also with unceremonious ousting of Ambode, Babajide Sanwoolu did not deem it fit to overturn any of its known policies, because all policies and programmes are seen as party’s own. The waste management, you may want to mention was not overturned as policy, rather players implementing it were changed and not just for the yearnings of the people of Lagos State but also the party stakeholders.
When I see that Femi Olanipekun of Rave FM, Osogbo succeeded in pairing the CPS to the Governor; Ismail Omipidan and our revered former Commissioner of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Barrister Kolapo Alimi; both APC guys, to argue for and against the Education policies and programmes of the government of All Progressives Congress, APC, I wept bitterly inside of me that our party, the party that we all suffered for has been shot in the leg.
I watched Aunty Funke Egbemode; the Honorable Commissioner for Information & Civil Engagements gasping for an acceptable explanations on Sunrise Daily of Channels TV when the lead anchor of the program, Chamberlain was asking her about the exact complains of the people of the State of Osun to have warranted the reversal of such Education Policies of the same party, when all, everybody is saying is that people want it reversed. She can’t obviously gave an acceptable answer because though, she is a professional and successful media guru but she does not understand at all the terrain and the political dynamics of the State of Osun, hence it is difficult for her.
I did not know when the Professor Aina led committee was set up but I know when it was submitting its report to the Governor, I didn’t know if memoranda were submitted and I don’t hear of any public hearing on the review but I saw in the picture the outgoing Chairman of the APC in the State, Prince Gboyega Famodun and I wonder if the outgoing Chairman had inputs on behalf of our party in the policies’ reversal.
One would have expected the outgoing Chairman of our great party; Prince Gboyega Famodun to ask the Governor and the State Executive Council to thread it softly in the interest of the party knowing fully well that it was APC government that made the policies and it will be very unfair for an APC government to reverse the policies outrightly and also for the fact that the people we claimed are clamouring for this reversal have been living with the policies since before the emergence of Aregbesola’s second term in office as governor, over six years now. Please do not get me wrong, there is nothing truly wrong in reversing some obsolete policies of government to suit any current realities but in this case overturning the entire policies on Education is uncalled for and has created a big hole on the wall of our party for the opposing lizards to be poke nosing, and they are indeed poke nosing.
For a fact, sadly, our great progressive party at anytime or levels have never been this polarised at least in the Yoruba nation. We always jettison some plans, decisions and actions in the interest of our party and I expect our administration as led by His Excellency, Alhaji Oyetola to do same if advised accordingly by the outgoing Famodun led State Executive Council of the party to at least shelf those plans at least in the interest of the party. It is very sad and most unthinkable that the dead PDP and its dumb members are now taking side with current APC government against the previous APC government and some dumbs in our party are happy about it.
I disagree, like the Honourable Commissioner for Works; Remi Omowaiye with the school of thought who are of the opinion that Oyetola’s administration is all out to wipe away Aregbesola’s legacies. Omowaiye has said it repeatedly that Oyetola’s administration is also part of Rauf Aregbesola’s legacies. Like Omowaiye ascertained, Aregbesola has so many legacies in the State of Osun too numerous to mention both physically and in the subconsciousness of the people, give it to him, Aregbe is a goal getter, an achiever, a rugged revolutionary, through the help of God, he is a maker of men and indeed Aregbe is scenes’ creator and he has created so many legacy ideas and scenarios that can never be wiped away in the mind of the people in Nigeria during his time as governor here.
By this singular action of our current administration for whatever reasons, the political watchers and elites will be viewing our party, APC as an unserious party, an inconsistent party, an uncoordinated party and indeed a party that was not ready for governance and it is very sad that such great polarisation of our party is happening under our government led by a seasoned & experienced administrator of repute who has made his mark in the corporate World and very close relation of our revered political Godfather; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who can sacrifice anything, I mean anything including his status and ego for our party to remain in power.
However, the good thing for us as a progressive party is that the dead opposition party still remain buried and they have no capacity to take advantage of any political situation, they lack the capabilities to gain from our polarisation but my greatest fear is that the polarisation of our party, APC, the high level dumbness & stupidity of the PDP can give a room for a formidable third force with a little here, a little there and that will be very disastrous for our party and its numerous already suffering members. The questions will now be “are we cursed to be going to elections all the times with difficult situations despite having resources of the state at our disposal for many years, despite many innovations, ideas and creativities we have brought into governance?
I humbly urge the Governor of the State of Osun; HE Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola as the current leader of the party in the State, with all sense of responsibilities to please do everything with other relevant leaders, stakeholders, members to save our party from total collapse under his watch. Our party has never been this polarised and our members are indeed going through a lot of sufferings, I mean a lot and if the party still remain in power beyond now, many of us who have been working immensely and intellectually for the growth, progress & development of the party and have not benefitted can still benefit, so far we are still in power as a party.
We will continue to pray for this our administration to succeed any day and any time, we will continue to support the government and our party with ideas, innovations for its development and benefits of the members and electorates in general.
Aregbesola has written his name in Gold, Oyetola is writing his own, May God not forget me too.
*Adeboye Adebayo is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC