BY KUNLE OYATOMI
Last week, the media reported the British Deputy High Commissioner as saying that the State of Osun is a viable destination for any investor who is looking for a safe place to put his money in Nigeria because, according to him, “the State is peaceful”.
The High Commissioner did not stop at that; he said, “within three years of his administration, what the government of Ogbeni Aregbesola has done in terms of infrastructural development and how the governor has been attracting businesses and industries is IMPRESSIVE, PRAISEWORTHY AND BOASTFUL for FUTURE of the State”, (emphasis mine).
For a country now accustomed to negative stories from mischievous quarters, painting the State of Osun in the most unfavourable light, this statement from Mr. Peter Carter, Britain’s Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria should put the lie to the misinformation and disinformation fed to and promoted by a section of the media.
The truth could not be more clearly stated. What’s going on in the State of Osun in virtually all departments is really and truly “giant strides” in development. However, a vocal minority enamoured of and sated by the miserableness of conditions that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola met, are getting serious and sizeable media attention as they hysterically demand a return to the status quo created by their People Democratic Party (PDP) friends.
These people live in the past and they have practically lost their legitimacy as “promoters of the good” for at each stage of the Aregbesola revolution every step taken by the governor was viciously condemned, his person maligned and the State placed in the dumps by the opposition party and their surrogate. In fact, many respectable citizens who were misled to buy into the false stories coming out of Osun got a sense that a radical Islamists had emerged in Osogbo who must be checkmated.
That was some two years ago. We had worked as hard as we could to change the pathetic image which the PDP and their friends tried disingenuously to create of the State of Osun. As you read this, that strainous effort is not over, because there are people in high and low places who have a preference for lies and continue to buy into the falasies that PDP and their surrogate tell about Osun. They keep the negative stories alive and they swear by their goddess of lies that Aregbesola is destroying Osun.
Some people, awfully limited in their perceptive ability, call that politics; blind, deaf and unenlightened politics perhaps. When you sit back in the fraudulently acquired opulence of your wealth to tell senseless lies about your own state, or you junket media houses with utterly false stories about how the state is being run, all for the purpose of tarnishing the image of the government in power, in the long run you qualify to be described as a terrorist.
You are in the business of mentally terrorizing your community. That is not politics; it is crime!! But the good thing is that these lies and those who take pleasure in propagating them have not succeeded even in fooling ordinary people in the state who see, hear, feel and delight in the incredible level of progress that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aragbesola, continues to make in Osun.
People who know what is happening, whose source of information is not the political illiterates assembled in the opposition party, will tell you that the state is making giant strides. And no less a personality than the British Deputy High Commissioner has said just that. Let the enemies of progress bow their heads in shame. They have eyes to see what is going on in their country but they deny what they see. However, their denial has changed nothing and will stop nothing.
Giant strides in Osun continue. The world is acknowledging it. The people are delighting in it. The streets of our cities tell the story. Business is bubbling. The pace of commercial activities in the last three years has more than doubled. There is no single family in Osun today that is not positively affected by the giant strides which the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola led government is taking. The scare-mongering of the opposition, the lies of their surrogate, and the evil machination of their supporters from distant lands cannot and will not be allowed to stop these giant strides.
Finally, a word of warning and advice: Those who seek to undo these giant strides which the people of Osun cherish should be prepared to face the wrath of the people. In Yorubaland, they should understand what that means. They should think again in their own best interest.
*Mr Oyatomi is the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, All Progressives Congress (APC), State of Osun.