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Osun: au revoir, IleriOluwa; et tu, TOP?

By abiodun KOMOLAFE 

There is an unraveling mystery about the Nigerian press. The custodian of this value is clearly misunderstood and misused in opportunities. But it is for the present crop of journalists to reinvent themselves into relevance; otherwise, the Nigerian press will remain a caricature of itself and the ideas of its founding fathers. Nonetheless, the patriots were also guilty. When it’s time to go back to that story, we will!

Thank God the 2022 Osun governorship election has come and gone! A victor has finally emerged and the losers have ‘moved on’. However, that the victorious Governor Ademola Adeleke and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) continue to feast in celebration of the Supreme Court judgment calls for concern. In sane climes, the governor should be thinking in terms of the responsibilities that the judgment has placed on him and how to manage the success therefrom. Yes, this is not the time for buffet parties or the ‘a la Carte’ philosophy synonymous with our political gladiators. Now that the ‘Dancing Senator’ has danced his way to Osun Government House, it’s time he actually sat down and fenced the opposition through the delivery of democracy dividends.

All the same, it is important to note that nothing kills a nagging society than taxation without representation. In Osun as we speak, people can no longer build walls around their property unless they have thugs or police backing. To a common man on the street, neither of them is available. And, since the principle of ombudsman, which is an ingrained ingredient in professional journalism, has taken flight, no one calls the attention of the government to the need to remedy this anomaly. The ‘omo onile’ syndrome that is regarded as stale, and dealt with by the early responsible society, is just rearing its head in the ‘State of the Virtuous’ now rechristened ‘State of the Living Spring.’ So, it’s always like five steps forward, ten steps back! While society may be ready for all kinds of the PDP-like anomalies, let the ruling party not forget that that’s how the decline of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osun State Chapter, started. So, ‘ he who has ears, let him hear’.

Well, the thinking behind the title of this piece is for Osun APC to achieve a clean break from the past without residue. It is also to avoid the possibility of an evolutionary throwback on the state, and the party as a whole; otherwise, it might just be the laying of a solid foundation for an indestructible comeback of the ‘IleriOluwa’ faction. After all, ‘The Osun Progressives’, aka TOP, only saw an avenue to be relevant; and it cherry-picked it. As far as this factional arm of the party was concerned, it was a right decision; and the beneficiaries were happier, and better for it! But now that the party as a whole has found itself in this quagmire, what’s next?

To answer this, we may need to interrogate a seamless chord which links the beginning of the end to the end of the beginning. If the code is taken for granted, it may spell doom for the society because in it lies the dynamics of change which is acceptable to the people. Therefore, if one cannot search into its vortex, it is better not to dabble into it in the first place.

Whereas IleriOluwa was a creation of political necessity, one crippling feature about the now-rested TOP was that it consisted of known people, previous palls and previous party foot soldiers, certainly with a long history of mutual benefits. So, dealing with people like that would always take its unpleasant tolls. Let nobody be deceived: the longer the relationship, the deeper the arsenal of weapons; and the more acerbic the contents of warfare! And, in a political war of attrition, all is fair! To this end, Nigerians should look beyond IleriOluwa and the defunct TOP organizations. They have little or no relevance in the calculus of the present situation. But we may need them for mention, just to put the record straight. Anyway, it couldn’t have been otherwise. After all, in a poverty-stricken society and a public administration that’s largely laissez-faire, that statement will be true, one million times.

Some political parties that went comatose in the 1960s, truth be said, didn’t get realer than what Osun APC is going through, presently. People live in denial, and they see certain things as below their social status. They have over-bloated ideas of who they are, which is what killed the party in the first instance. Also, social status is like a bubble. It measures nothing, yet, it assumes everything. But then, assumptions are not reality. That’s why one has to be careful about how one draws social inferences, because, once the mechanism of social control becomes terse, with no firm grip, then, trial-by-error tales take pre-eminence. 

When we mismanage success, we caress other excuses, forgetting that success itself must be managed. The fact that certain issues of life always have reverberating effects suggests that such effects are dealt with – with military precision and finality – to push against an unpleasant reoccurrence; because, if social sentiments are not well-managed, there will always be a repeat performance of IleriOluwa in Osun.

Again, here comes the topical issue and importance of the formation of behavioural patterns. For instance, when people discovered that the behavioural pattern of Osun APC was that of nonchalance, the masses simply waited for the election to come. In the eyes of a typical Osun resident, the party was neither whole nor its directives seen to be effective anymore while its proclamation was no longer supreme among members.

The bitter truth is that the Isaac Adewole-led Committee already has its job cut out towards reconstructing the destiny of Osun APC. If it’s able to rise above self-inhibitions and truthfully address the party’s particular woes, then there’s hope. In other words, if it’s able to find out what actually has brought the party to this pass, then, it can be remedied. But should the centre break and the falcon develop itching ears towards the strange codes known only to the initiators, then, welcome the crux of the matter as Osun APC may kiss ‘ground zero’ sooner than envisaged.

The tragic truth is that the largely unrepresentative elected representatives and some greedy, ‘chop-and-clean-mouth’, ‘feed-fat-on-crises’ political appointees also added their own plate. So, they shouldn’t be glossed over; plus the reward system which is important in political participation.

The media is part and parcel of society. In other words, whatever happens to the media also happens to society. So, it behooves the Committee to undertake an assessment tour of the roles of a somewhat touchingly unmotivated, deeply divided and worrisomely uncoordinated media team as the fighting arm of a would-be-successful government. Well, I hope to come back to this in the days ahead.

One other thing! Political activists are like gadflies with no fixed address; and this belief system dates back to the ages. So, those who may be  thinking that, at a time like this, carpet-crossing is a virtue, the time is ripe to see the possibility of  holding on to that which is consistently virtuous.

All said, Nigerians are waiting for the Committee’s next move. If it’s dead, so also shall be the expectations. Perhaps, the party at the national level may have to step in; for it is the outcome that will confirm the assuredness or otherwise of au revoir, IleriOluwa; et tu, TOP!’

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Osun State!

• KOMOLAFE wrote in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk; 07087941459 – SMS only)

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