After being in limbo for nearly two years, Senator Christopher Iyiola Omisore was recently resurrected. In an interview he granted, the politician mounted his serial denial that he knew nothing about the assassination of Uncle Bola Ige.
Chief Bola Ige a Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice under President Olusegun Obasanjo was gruesomely murdered at his Ibadan residence on December 23, 2001. We shall come back to that later.
In the interview, Iyiola Omisore denigrated Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration and leveled baseless and unfounded charges against the performing icon of the State of Osun. The impeached Deputy Governor revealed what has been rumored in many quarters that he is nurturing a gubernatorial ambition to unseat the Action Congress of Nigeria governor. As a free citizen, Iyiola Omisore is at liberty to pursue political office, even to the highest level – since the courts have said so – not minding the perception of the general public about his person. After all, that is the beauty of deliberative democracy. It is about equity and the cleanness of one’s hands!
Iyiola Omisore said he hopes to have a manifesto for his governorship ambition next year. “My manifesto will be people-oriented”, he said. “It will enhance the status of our people and create wealth. There will be free education for the people and we shall pay attention to the health sector. It’s not about empty sloganeering.” The content of Omisore’s would-be manifesto is not fundamentally different from the hollow one the PDP offered in its eight years rule in the State of Osun. Omisore was also a Senator under the government for eight years.
Osun citizens have come off the predatory rule of the PDP. They know the difference between day and night, the difference between light and darkness, the difference between dark tunnel and the one with blossoming light, the difference between performing governance and a perverse one, the difference between creative governance and a comatose government. The comments of Dr. Segun Ojo who resides in Osogbo further buttress the inanities of the PDP administration. Ojo stated that, “if there is any past Osun people did not want to remember in the 22 years of her existence or since the days of Western Region, it is the perilous seven and a half wasted years the PDP saddled the state with profanity and unquantifiable ruination”.
Anyone who follows the six points integral action plan of the state government under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, including education, agriculture, infrastructural revamp and others would know that Iyiola Omisore is merely crying wolf where none exists. Apart from the free education policy of Rauf Aregbesola administration from primary to secondary education as well as bursary paid to students in higher institutions who are indigenes of the State of Osun across the federation, his government spends a whopping sum of N3 billion annually on O’meal feeding programme for pupils in elementary schools.
The O’meal programme is a demonstration of Aregbesola’s resolve towards ensuring that every child has access to the most basic education irrespective of accident or circumstances of birth with conducive learning environment and food rich in high protein which guarantee rapid physical and mental development of every child without which learning in the formative years of the child will be impaired. This ideal is borne out of the fact that without solid basic education Nigeria cannot make up for the deficit leadership crisis plaguing it by the day. It is only with this type of planned and patriotic educational system that we can bring the mind into form, entrench intellectual culture, awake our value system, reason well in all matters and reach out towards truth without manipulation and corruption.
On the bases of creative thinking and understanding of the uniqueness of an underdeveloped economy, the Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration has rightly embraced agriculture. This right step taken by the administration has helped to soak up the large army of unemployed. It has not only laid the bases for a resolution of the food crisis but has raised the people’s consciousness on the place to the survival of the people. Unfortunately the PDP is not thinking in this direction. Rather, petro-dollars have made the PDP at all levels of government to neglect agriculture. The consequences are that we are not only importing food to feed ourselves, but are importing fertilizers that have impoverished the land that is naturally fertile. This import syndrome sustains sharp practices and corruption upon which the PDP leadership feed fat on. Through O-YES, O-REAP, O-CLEAR and others, the ACN-led government in the State of Osun has employed over 30,000 youths for fish farming, cattle rearing, bird farming and the like. These are enough evidence that the State of Osun can work and it is working.
But all Iyiola Omisore can hear in the state is “plans, plans, plans and proposals, proposals, proposals”, even though he later contradicted himself in the same interview by saying that construction works are going on in the state at a slow pace! He questioned the rationale behind the building of mega schools in Osun, saying “Osun is not Victoria Island or Ikoyi.”
This shows the type of minds that drive the PDP if characters like Iyiola Omisore who enjoy seeing the children of the poor seating with stones in buildings whose roof is ridden with gaping holes in supposed classrooms. To understand Omisore’s thinking, we can recall the ease with which he was drafted from prison custody to the exalted Senate seat by former president Olusegun Obasanjo and the PDP while he was being prosecuted over the cruel murder of Uncle Bola Ige. That is the point I was making earlier, which Professor Wole Soyinka titled “Dancing on Bola Ige’s grave”. Omisore’s primitive notion of contestation for power, which led to the molestation and removal of the cap of the late Bola Ige in the palace of the Ooni of Ife, is truly implicating. That act of desperation was a nefarious one contrary to the tenets of democracy and civilized conduct. A man who is historically disposed to violence cannot validly lay claim to power. This is why the group called “De Rauf” is insistent that, with the people of Osun, the likes of Omisore and the PDP would find no place in future elections. Director – General of the group, Comrade Amitolu Shittu, in an address made available to newsmen in Osogbo reiterated what all other political groups have said: “The socio-political and economic transformation going on in the state must not be disrupted” regretting that “the immediate past government in the state was a calamity”, just as he was of the conviction that “the State of Osun is too socially, culturally and politically significant to fall again into the hands of political failures”.
The groups’ stance will certainly burnish the electoral victory of the ACN in the coming election. Luckily enough the ACN won all the National and State Assembly elections held in the state, including the presidential in 2011 in which Omisore was a PDP candidate.
The questions we must ask are as follows: Shall we continue to oil the wheels of our political tormentors in the hope that they might turn a new leaf someday? Shall we continue to entrust the collective patrimony of the people in the hands of miscreants and thugs? Shall we allow them to renew themselves in the abundance of our previous grief? Shall we allow them to extinguish the vitality of our stoic resolve for purposeful and positive change? These and many more questions are begging for answer. I have difficulties contemplating it or wrapping my mind around the possibility of someone like Christopher Iyiola Omisore becoming the governor of the “Land of Virtue”.
* Eyiola is a social crusader based in Osogbo