Open Letter to Ondo State Youths (2) – Adedayo OlaOluwa

Dear Ondo state youths.

Happy new month and congratulations on our 40th anniversary as a state.

Sometimes in the week, I went to the market and noticed that the prices of onions, tomatoes and pepper have gone down. This caught me by surprise because an average seller in the last few months have hiked the cost of their goods and services under the convenient alibi that ‘dollar don rise’. When I spoke to my APC friends about the development,  they claimed it is a direct emerging dividends of the APC led government at the federal level. When I discussed it with my PDP friends, they simply averred that it is a further confirmation that poverty is on the rise in the country under the Buhari led administration. According to them, people have become so poor they can’t afford to buy onions, tomatoes and pepper if the prices weren’t decreased to affordable prices by the sellers.

This experience comes to fore as I write to you this February edition of my open letter. I have been hailed by the APC family in the state after my initial open letter (January edition) for fearlessly demanding that Ondo state has no business being broke and laying the blame at the feet of those at the helms of her leadership in the last seven years. Likewise, I have been regarded with considerable contempt by the PDP for using harsh words without restraint on the incumbent. Perhaps most importantly, some have called to enlighten me on the incapableness of state governments to explore and exploit her natural resources for the sole benefit of her indigenes due to our skewed federal system of government in Nigeria. I always welcome criticism and corrections. The only thing I can promise is that I shall never betray our collective cause with my pen. This month, I shall examine a worthy candidate in the bevy of many as the race to occupy the governor’s office in Alagbaka come October 2016 hots up. My searchlight is on the Governor’s party-PDP. But first, a coup d’oeil of the Ondo state APC.

I have seen many candidates from the opposition party in Ondo state jostling for the gubernatorial ticket in the forthcoming Governorship election . At the last count, they numbered fourteen or more. I won’t bore you with their names. There’re strong indications to suspect that the aspirants  in the party-APC have an inexplicable confidence in defeating the incumbent Governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko. And so, they come in drove to vie for the party’s ticket. In their wisdom, that is about what it practically takes to become the next Governor of the Sunshine state.

 The Buhari tsunami of the last presidential election is fresh in the memory. The masses wanted a desperate change and in an unprecedented recklessness, people voted en mass for the then opposition party, at all level. The backlash of this brazen audacity is that we did not only end up sending the occupier of Aso rock of that year away, and deservedly so if I may add, but we also unwittingly sent  many unworthy opportunists masquerading as instant saviours into elective offices. The daily buffonery that offers comic relief in both hallowed Chambers of our National Assemblies is a convincing proof. The other day, one of them suggested the rearing of cats to combat lassa fever!

It is discernable for any averagely savvy observer that the bulk of professional politicians and businessmen in the opposition party’s guber race are mere schemers relying on the Buhari Tsunami of the previous national election. Unfortunately,  the efficacy of such wave has been vilipended in the last two governorship elections held in Kogi and Bayelsa state respectively. While the ruling party won Kogi, in an unfashionable manner I dare add, Bayelsa’s victory went to the PDP. This is telling. The tsunami no longer guarantees a walk over. The quest by the electorates to elect a tested and trusted candidate  is fiercer than ever! To underscore the inconsequentiality of the Buhari Tsunami, a recent online poll shows that 50 percent of those who voted for the Buhari/Osibanjo ticket in April 2015 are unsure of casting their vote for the same ticket again. I know the percentage would be higher if opinions were sampled on other APC victorious candidates, especially in the hallowed chambers. Disappointment has abated demystification. The masses are less trustful. I mean, what has “changed” if the amount budgeted for Aso Rock hospital is more than what is allocated for the four University Teaching Hospitals in the country combined. What has changed if Education gets less allocation than the previous administration? Lawmakers still want brand new cars running to billions of nairas in a global economic meltdown. Is this life?

A yoruba proverb says you may have carnal knowledge of a lady by deceit once but a second time only signifies her consent . In plainer words, it will take more than a continuous wavering hope in Buhari or a sheer disdainful pessimism in a PDP incumbent to vote for candidates contesting under the federal ruling party anymore.

 Back to Ondo state. As a public commentator and a student leader, I have had several causes to be critical of the PDP led administration of Ondo state under the doubtlessly savvy Dr Olusegun Mimiko. It is nothing beyond patriotism. No government is perfect. The onus perpetually lies on the governed to demand for good leadership. Yet if there’s something the Governor’s political party is getting right as we approach another opportunity to elect someone to govern the state for the next four years, it has to be the quality of men been thrown in the fray to aspire for the Alagbaka office. So far, man to man, the people on the opposite side are no match. It is just the plain truth the party and her sympathisers might cavil. Yes they have aspirants with experience and character. But the ones with experience have no character and the ones with character have no experience. It is one sorry tale or the other. The party herself lacks a veritable structure. It is like deja vu. Some group of people seeking power just for the sake of it.

This is Ondo state. A land peopled with arguably the most sophisticated assemblage of people in the country. In the hierarchy of our sophistry ranks a man I have seen in the PDP gubernatorial hopeful. A man who has been in the saddle of governance in the last seven years with an amazing nil record of scandal. A barrister of law with uncommon refinement. Impeccable integrity is his hallmark. His experience having been in governance at the state level for years is his advantage. His youthfulness is an allure,  like a bonus. He is a professional in politics like I have always advocated for, and not a professional politician. I am talking about no other person but Barrister Eyitayo Jegede SAN the present Attorney-General of Ondo state. It will require a whole letter on its own to capture the kind of competitve robustness Eyitayo brings into the governorship race. I shall have plenty of time for that later.

 Ondo state youths, until the people on the other side gets their act together, we can not afford the luxury of throwing the baby with the bath. It will amount to folly. Until March when I address us again via this same medium,  I want us to put the name Eyitayo Jegede in our left hand.

Adedayo OlaOluwa Fisayo (Ogbeni La) is the NANS Zone D PRO and Image Maker.

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