Since Osun State governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), came into office, eight months ago, he has never found it easy with the opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, an indication that the battle between them may go on unabated for a long time.
The various attacks on the government of the Peoples Democratic Party, led by Adeleke is now being viewed as not only in the light of opposition versus the government but an attack of vendetta, and hatred against the governor, for losing the governorship.
The APC was in control of Osun State, for 12 consecutive years, with Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s straight eight years in office and four years of Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, who lost out in his bid to continue for another four years, of which, if he had succeeded, the party would have ruled Osun State for 16 years.
But that dream was cut short with the victory of PDP and Ademola Adeleke, which came through a rough road and serious battle, as well.
What is, however playing out in Osun State today, shows that the battle between the two political parties is not yet over and it is also being envisaged that the fight would continue for the rest of this first term of Governor Adeleke, as political observers say, the APC is not likely to relent in its attack and criticism of the PDP government.
For the past eight months that Governor Adeleke has been in office, he has faced hell with the opposition, who has never seen anything good in what he has been doing to change the tides of the state, in line with the promises he made to the people of the State, while seeking their mandate to govern.
From day one, the governor has been at the receiving end of the opposition, said to be envious of his five point agenda to transform the state. From the observers point, he began his transformation with the clearing of the backlog of salary and pensions, and high dream of boosting the economy of the State.
He has also started the skilled based education, affordable health care delivery, security, initiation of social security support and Agro-based Industrialization, for wealth and job creation, especially, for youths and women.
Though, all these intentions of the PDP government, which are described as laudable in some quarters, are offending to some, and amusing to others.
Among those, who have seen nothing good in these programmes is the APC. For the past three months, the APC and the PDP have q been at loggerheads and they have both not taken it easy with each other. While the APC is furiously attacking, the PDP too, never wavered to engage in severe, counter attack.
It was even argued, that his party the PDP is getting a dose of what it meted out to APC as opposition throughout the 12 years of APC in government in Osun State.This, it was said, could be regarded as a pay back.
Although a chieftain of the PDP in the State, said that the developments in Osun state right now, is good for democracy, what is worrisome to them, is the vendetta, hatred, campaign of calumny and the manner with which the APC is presently carrying out its criticism, as if the State is in a serious battle.
It was further argued that the events of the past few months, has shown that the APC is poised to run the PDP down, which they are not taking lightly, as well.
The latest of the PDP attacks on Governor Adeleke’s government causing ripples in the state and which has gained traction all over Nigeria, is the appointments of 25 members, that would constitute his cabinet.
What is ranging in the list presented to the Osun State Assembly, is the allegation that the governor included his daughter and a cousin in the list of commissioners to be in his cabinet.
The confusion was that the name Nike Adeleke was misconstrued to be Governor Ademola Adeleke’s daughter, who bears the same name with his Sister in-law, the wife of his late brother, Senator Adetunji Isiaka Adeleke, who himself governed Osun state, as the first executive governor.
Isiaka Adeleke died in 2017, and his nominated be wife is the daughter of the prominent billionaire business man and hotelier, in Osogbo, late Chief Omidiran. Adenike Adeleke, nee Omidiran, it was argued, is well qualified, to represent her Osogbo local government, in Osun State.
The second misconception in the list of the cabinet of Governor Adeleke, is that of the Professor of Mathematics Education, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile IFe, Professor Morufu Ademola Adeleke, who was alleged to be his cousin.
The Professor himself, had debunked the allegation, saying, that the name has nothing to do with the governor and he is a different Adeleke.
The professor in question, while reacting to the allegation said “it is just a mere coincidence, that I share the same last name with the governor. I say it loud and clear that I am not in any way related to the governor of Osun State”
Just as the argument on the governor’s relationship with the two names in his cabinet was going on, an Islamic outfit, the Muslim Right Organisation (MURIC), was accused of trying to undermine the administration of Governor Adeleke and wanting to use religion in causing disunity among the people of Osun State.
The leader of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, had condemned what he called wanton blockage of privileges, that should go to the Muslims and their diversion to over-pampered and overfed Christians in Osun State. He also said that Muslims have been marginalized and not being treated well with what they deserved.
He even labelled the governor as an agent of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), with his appointments in Osun State Even, some renowned Islamic clerics in the State, have been condemning MURIC and warned that its leaders should stay clear of Osun State, which has been in peace without religious sentiments over the ways, the people and the government have been going about their businesses. They described MURIC as an agent of destabilization.
One major issue, which the opposition was said to have engineered against the PDP government of Adeleke, was the attack he faced during the Eid-Kabir, when he went to worship at the Eid praying ground in Osogbo.
The attack was tagged as an attempt to assassinate him, which the person fingered to be at the centre of the crisis, Senator Ajibola Basiru had denied.
He said he never saw the governor nor his protocol team at the Eid ground and that he never saw the space reserved for the governor. But what happened, was that one Muniru Raji insulted him and in the process, other worshippers surrounded him to prevent him from being physically assaulted.
He then accused the overzealous supporters of the governor for causing the commotion and the embarrassment at the Eid ground.
Before the imbroglio between the the two parties in the last few weeks, the issue, which could have set the state on fire, if not that it was carefully handled, was that of the crisis that rocked the the Market Women Association in the state, which led to the withdrawal of the the vehicles being used by their leaders and the invasion of the residence of Alhaja Asidemade, who is the overall leader of the group in the state.
The APC at the heat of the crisis, through its State chairman, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, pointed accusing fingers at the the PDP government, of using its power to violate the rights of Asidemade, by unlawfully invading her residence at the Kola Balogun area of Osogbo, the state capital, which the PDP had denied.
Also, the replacement of the the Vice Chancellor of the Ilesa University and other key officers said to have been appointed by the immediate past governor, Oyetola, was another issue, which caused disagreement between the members of the APC and the PDP, as the APC argued that it was not done in good faith, just as the APC also picked holes in the security architecture of the present government, arguing that it is being handled with levity by Adeleke’s government.
As the imbroglio continues unabated between the two parties, concerned citizens of the state are worried and have been expressing concerns over what could be the consequences of their actions.
One of them is the Asiwaju Musulumin of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta, Dr. Khamis Olatunde Badmus, who condemned the attacked on Adeleke at the Eid ground, which prevented the governor from observing the prayer with other Muslims during the last Eid kabir festival. He said, few political jobbers in the state fueled the misunderstanding. According to him, “I believed that since the campaign was over, proper governance should commence and they should be allowed and left alone to concentrate on his
In his reaction to all the allegations against Governor Adeleke and his government, his media spokesman Rasheed Olawale debunked them, especially the statement by Professor Akintola. He said that MURIC should find elsewhere for his propaganda of extremism and divisiveness, stressing that Adeleke is understood and supported by the religious authority in Osun State.
He further said, Adeleke, since he assumed office, has been putting the interest of the people as his priority
According to him, the governor has been basing his actions and those working for him with competence, and commitment, arguing that his initial appointments for position of authority in government, were chosen not on the basis of their religions but rather, on their qualifications and ability to work with understanding, with the governor as a leader.
He said, “MURIC is an agent of destabilization with nuisance intention, pretending to be a religious body, which wants to use that tools to divide and distract the attention of Osun State government that is busy with correcting the ills of the recent past”
He, however, warned the APC and its agents to desist from the campaign of calumny against a government that is prepared to ensure that the people of Osun State enjoy the dividend of democracy as “the government of Senator Ademola Adeleke would not relent in is great efforts to make sure that the people of the State are happy, as he is more than ready and prepared to correct the ills of the past, bring Osun State to a standard that would be emulated by other states in Nigeria”