By ISAAC OLUSESI
In Nigeria, Oriade-Obokun Federal Constituency, State of Osun, none of the accredited speakers starred at any notebook, the manner of soothsayers, immersed in a divination process; and the audience listened with the profundity of loyalty and pervading interest in what the speakers were wont to say.
The event changed the Ijesa skyline last Tuesday; it was the All Progressives Congress (APC) endorsement of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, with the party in the constituency, urging him to carry on for the second term in office. The party faithful, encompassing also the Igbo, Hausa, Igbira, Fulani residents across religion and sex in the 22-ward constituency, all enamoured to Ijesa dialect and eulogy, enthusiastically gyrating like in a gym for joy that reverberated cross culturally, quick and fast in reverse order, said so much about the engagingly robust logic of the historic moment: the endorsement of Oyetola, then his birthday, in a sequence. And at the event, the party men, women and youths dispensed hands of fellowships with Oyetola, revived their fascinations with his Leviathan achievements in the state, and waxed stronger supports for him by the APC 2-finger victory sign apparently in swift response to the vibrated salvos of party slogans, first fired by the party chieftains from the podium and were immediately aided effectively by town folks at the Ijebu-Ijesa Town Hall, venue of the formal endorsement of Oyetola, with the venue filled to its rafters, spilling its contents to its surroundings and across roads.
The goodwill messages from the party chiefs incisively shaped the past 22months of Oyetola in the Osun governance, seasoned with refreshed allusions to his inexhaustible acumen and commitment in a steadily coordinated patience, according himself a pride of place in the Osun politics, economy and health-road-security-peace infrastructure. The speakers patterned his present and defined his future, explaining that the developments here and there today across the state are a miniature, a tip of the iceberg, adding that more of such huge developments in terms, are to come with Oyetola in his second term in office.
Entered the endorsement galore. And in a jiffy, the state legislature, replicated for practice in a prototype, had its carbon copy Rt. Honorable Speaker Nathaniel Agunbiade mimic “a call for a motion for endorsement of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of State of Osun for second term in office. Accordingly, the motion was clearly moved on its merits by Hon. Bosun Oyintiloye, member of mockup legislature, supported by another member, Hon. Aloba Isreal Oluwatomilayo and the motion was passed as a parliamentary resolution after the ‘Yea-in-support’ unanimously roared above ‘Nay-against,’ in the simulated hallowed chamber and the ‘Yea” had it, with the traditional bang of gravel, the ceremonial hammer, for order by the Rt. Hon. Speaker. The mock legislation put to rest the opposition doubts about the purity of the Oyetola governorship at the next primary and general elections. A replica season of the imitated parliament had earlier in the day unanimously endorsed Prince Gboyega Famodun to continue in office as APC state chairman, impliedly, to carry out the convention of raising Oyetola’s hand, unopposed in any open field for party primary election to the acknowledgment of the party and general publics. The parliamentary teeth to the galaxy of endorsements for the day heralded exemplary standing, earth-shaking applause from the audience that intensely vowed to stagnate any assemblage of the Osun APC intra opposition to do away with Oyetola in the party governorship primary election.
Little do the oppositions know that Oyetola, unassuming in politics though, he’s penetratingly a dynamite political pugilist who suffers no fools gladly, with the opposition elements, weird and unguided, correspondingly, idiotic because the heaven of their internal dissonance, internal dissent, internal rebellion is the preserve of the idiots. “After all, in the first place, God created idiots and that was for practice,” in the words of Marks Twain, the great 19thcentury American writer in his book, Following the Equator. The kicks and rankles of familiar trick in the APC in-house opposition to the Oyetola governorship are meant to undermine the laudable achievements of Oyetola in the state, but ironically, they reveal the opposition guff, wearing cynicism as a virtue on their epaulette to provoke acute depression on the fundamental integrity, dignity and discipline in the praxis of the party primaries in the state. Meaning that anyone in any part of the state, marching against the APC Oriade-Obokun federal constituency endorsement of Oyetola will only be arranging a rendezvous with self entrapment.
Speaking, Chief Kunle Odeyemi, Chairman APC, Ijesaland had called on the traditional rulers in Osun to help resolve whatever internal strife there is in APC, known to them in order to enable dividends of democracy get more equitably distributed in their domains. And Otunba Jumoke Ogunkeyede (JMK), deputy party leader, Oriade/ Obokun federal constituency, redefined democracy dividends as accountability, fairness, equity, justice and transparency and said, Oyetola is daily cultivating these precious virtues of democracy to earn achievements, gargantuan, tremendous in the state that also birthed his endorsement today for second term in office.
The state party chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun, also chairman of the event said, the endorsement of Mr Governor by the Oriade-Obokun federal constituency is the outgrowth of the party symbol shared in common by party members, performing enormous integration function and making the party a party to beat in the state. The state party arch chief therefore charged the party men, women and youths to remain steadfast in their support for the Oyetola governorship, noting that the event of endorsement has simplified the party governorship primary election ahead. And Hon. Isreal Ajibola Famurewa, representing the governor, said that the state helmsman called for unification and unity of the party in the constituency, adding that any compulsive or unilateral conspiracy against peace would cause the party loyalty effervescence, weaken party discipline and make further development difficult. He thanked the party peoples of the constituency for the endorsement of Mr Governor for second term in office.
The event that made everybody happy, with the party leadership, happier that Oyetola is not a small mind of the Lilliputian achievements in government, was not a solo event. His 66th birthday not only got a huge mention, it was spiritedly celebrated with a birthday cake beautifully baked, shaped cake walk with APC logo and 4+4=8 wishes inscriptions. And the endorsement event provided the icing on the cake sliced, shared and eaten at the event, with all having full advantages of the dual event of the day suffused with colorful banners of different shapes and styles that hedged the venue in the airy skyline, welcoming all to the event.
And the day verdict? The greater responsibility for the stability of APC in the state, with the tested culture of cohesion, discipline, solidarity and party interest articulation shouldered by Famodun from diving into utter, sheer political mutual suspicion, insensate hostility, unbridled antagonism and incendiary has provided the much incentive basis for the brilliantly immense performances of Oyetola in office to court popular endorsement by the Oriade-Obokun federal constituency. The verdict is that Oyetola is a governor with unbeatable sense of common purpose, always in pursuits of the greatest good for the greatest number of people above all other considerations. And by that, he has assumed a concept too risky to ignore in the next governorship calculus at both the primary and general elections in Osun.
The day had its own undersides. The endorsees had souvenirs presented to them to the admiration of all present. And there were moments for razzmatazz and clinging of champagne glasses that savoured down tantalizing meals with cow meat, dry and fresh catfish amidst sumptuous celebrations of funfair, jokes and banters after endorsements and birthday done in grand style. And that was for a good reason: deep down the heart of the APC Oriade-Obokun federal constituency, with JMK, the grand convener and his able lieutenants, the endorsed Oyetola for second term in office stands high and above mediocrity; and in more ways than one, Oyetola is a treasure island of the aspiration of the people of Osun, measuring his next term’s achievements by his present term’s accomplishments, visible in the state.
The event was well attended.
_OLUSESI is Assistant Director, Directorate of Publicity, Research & Strategy, All Progressives Congress (APC) State of Osun_