Just before INEC calls in time on campaigns at midnight today, the responsibility of deconstructing the concept of objectivity and aligning right in a political bout has yet again stepped foot forward amidst the staggering obfuscation that currently typifies the political artery of the gateway state, Ogun, my dear state of origin.
Events ushering in the governorship election of the state to this point have been, to say the least, more disappointing than envisaged. From the disgraceful party primaries across the board to the ongoing power game amongst the many actors, a lot of these things were no doubt avoidable had the intentions been altruistic.
Need I say everyone involved in this skullduggery has some blame to share here? That’s a no-brainer! But that stage is long past. Ego had crept in and the fight for supremacy other than collective interest is the defining core of the subsisting disagreement in the state.
This Saturday, like a few other states, the people of my dear Ogun State will file out in their hundreds to choose the next governor of the state. Particularly, my ever relegated and disparaged people of Yewa would be on tenterhooks, because more than ever, this election provides them the greatest opportunity to elect a governor for all Ogun people but from their part of the state.
Politically and constitutionally, every state is divided into three senatorial districts. Ogun State is not different. There is Central, East and West. Twice each, Central and East had produced governors: Olusegun Osoba/Ibunkile Amosun and Olabisi Onabanjo/Gbenga Daniel.
However, for political mischief at a time like this, some elements are quick to adopt a fourth leg for what is constitutionally a tripod. They say there is Egba, Yewa (Egbado), Remo and Ijebu. Remo and Ijebu are from the same East senatorial district. By this indiscretion, they stress the supposed unity of the state and play up mutual distrust, hatred and cards of superiority complex.
That’s why this election is this divisive. Those who congregate on the other side do not love Ogun more than those on this side. At best, they have begun to count both their losses and gains, even before the election and on the basis of such, choose where they now belong.
But when a people are ‘pretty in idiocy’, they no longer see what is wrong from where they stand, even if it's of vantage edge. They become so steeped in their folly that they start to think everyone else is equally a simpleton and incapable of staying above board. The administering of this category of stupidity appears through intravenous, because it is effective and almost immediate.
And so, they justify the misfortune of their mental servitude (because it is what it is) and continue to gallivant in cheap slavery. They are known to thrive in double standards, because hypocrisy is their lifestyle – it’s a life so cheap you don’t want to envy.
They hail doggone adventures in State A and demand something else – perhaps unlikely sanity – in State B. They shuffle between reality and idealism, because what sits well with them in the South of their option may not be readily available in the Northern end of it.
They boast and flash impossible dynamism, because it's ‘stupid convenient’. They rally round lies and defend poor choices for tawdry reasons. And when they get to the north of their option, they demand something else. Their life is like a rolling stone, there is always nothing to show for it. Forget the flashes and pizzas. They are empty. It is not where you want to be. Supporters of doomsday leadership – that’s what they are.
One of the most interesting topics in journalism classroom is objectivity. You never get to conclude it, because there are always many sides to it and every side is as convincing. The same thing applies to the debate between gift and graft in advance studies (Ethics).
The thin line requires circumspection. Someone had been sent to prison in this country supposedly for accepting ‘a cup of tea’. There is no one manual on how to determine these things. Wisdom and circumspection are most needed when in such a fix.
Standing with a choice in Saturday’s election has become compelling, albeit not a difficult one, because the die is cast already and at stake are too many things, particularly of tribal sentiments and concerns. Thus, sitting on the fence is not an option.
This is why I stand with Hon. Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade, candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), who left the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the heat of the brazen heist that characterised the party primaries last October.
Here is my thinking. If you thought Amosun’s idea of primaries was unbecoming, because of the way it was conducted, I’d shudder to see you defend the choice of the other side, which held nothing but merely wrote names, celebrated and affirmed the damned list.
If you thought Amosun’s decision to stand with Akinlade in another party was not dignifying, you therefore need to understand in what context the president advocated “vote for a candidate of your choice; it is your right” at the Ogun APC rally.
Then, talk about the candidates, I don’t have to talk down any of them. They all come with their assets and baggage. But Akinlade has proven time and time again to be the issue, not because of how he emerged or who is backing him; he knows what the problems are. He also understands the issues and above all, he can convincingly sell them with a clear breakdown on how to achieve results.
He is smart, intelligent, cosmopolitan and futuristic. His choice by Amosun is the smartest. He is by far an improved version of Amosun. Whatever are the inadequacies of the governor, even though he remains the architect of the new Ogun, Akinlade stands out in those areas and more.
He is my brother from Yewa/Awori and I throw my full weight and support behind him, because he will deliver and do us proud. He will change the current divisive status. He will not seek vengeance of anyone for reasons of their choice. He will remain focused and retell the Ogun story to the world in beautiful prose.
Any intelligent analyst, who is able to deconstruct the pattern of voting during the February 23, presidential and national assembly elections can tell the governorship election this Saturday, is a walkover. Let me give you a hint: go and take the presidential and national assembly elections’ results respectively and compare notes.
Bear in mind that some APC leaders reportedly ‘lost their polling units’ to some funny party, which of course is not by accident. So, work it out. But I won’t tell you what to look for. Do the mathematics yourself, if smart and see what is up for surprise this weekend. Don’t be reduced in your analysis by the overall party success. Pay utmost attention to details.
That said, dear people of Ogun State, on Saturday, as you file out to determine the fate of the gateway state for another four years, whilst you have reasons to bother about the competence and capacity of some of the candidates, because of what they signify, remember that to continue to see ourselves as brothers and sisters, justice is crucial. That crisis is absent is not indicative of peace. The only factor that guarantees peace is justice – unmitigated justice.
If in 43 years of the creation of Ogun State this opening beckons such prospects as never seen before for the Yewa people, shall we let the greed of a few, who seek to fester personal glory and prosperity blight the collective goal of one state, where creed and tongue do not mark us different?
Akinlade, not by any choice of his but sheer providence, towers over and above others, with reasons of competence, capacity and efficiency, in addition to youthful advantage.
That’s what Ogun State needs in taking the state to a desired station in the foreseeable future and not facilitating the aspiration of those who long to fleece our common wealth to service their choking and near endless debts, for a lifestyle they seek to sustain only in government.
*Olaleye is Deputy Editor at THISDAY on Sunday