By Adebayo Rasheed Mabayoje
Let us take the scenario to be a large garden of our world which is put in the trust of ‘Mr X’.
As the clock winds down on his incumbency, some of ‘THEM’ mouth irritations. They make such noises as: “He is not cutting the grasses well”; “We have fantastic mower to keep the lawns”.
Amongst them are those who, earlier, had sharper cutlasses and equipment to do the job when the garden was kept in their care. But they failed; and are shameless about it. Even new ones from within also join them in the gibberish discourse.
During their reign, they cut our grasses wet, thus resulting in an uneven cut. They lack the common knowledge that wet clippings can clog the mower; and that dumping clumps of grass on our lawn will smother the grass and result in brown spots, thereby destroying our garden!
Yes, truly, they are lawn-cutters. They had all the opportunities to buy great cutlasses and mowers. But they couldn’t keep our garden!
They couldn’t come close to being a gardener, aparently because they don’t have the knowledge of how to keep a garden. They were never a gardener. That is why they struggle today for relevance, as they have been forgotten. There is no memory to house a cutter as there is for a gardener.
The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
The above analogy is a dog-whistle, my crafted-wink meant for the deep. In my native language- Yòrùbá- it is called Ìlù-àgídìgbo, that is ‘the àgídìgbo beat’. For you to make the right dance-steps, you must have the right knowledge to decode the beat.
Now let me break it down for us to take the right ‘dance-steps’ that would lead us to the appreciation of the foregoing.
We have more than 254,000 elementary pupils within grade 1-4 in Osun public elementary schools who enjoy mid-day meals served them daily under the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme. The initiative, which has been adopted by governments, state and federal, has been running since 2012 under Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
The main gist here is that in another 10 to 15 years, the kids would have become young adults in tertiary schools. And in about two decades from now they would have become adults and properly place the character of the man that was behind the free meals they enjoyed in school during their childhood.
When Awolowo was initiating the legacies that people continue to remember him for today, beneficiaries then were of litle consciousness of the essences, simply becase they were just growing up. The young beneficiaries of then are the quite old people today who in various discourses often invoke Awolowo’s great vision.
The importance of the above is that regardless of the mindset of cynics and haters of Aregbesola, the over 250,000 happy Osun children who eat egg, chicken, beaf, beans, bread, rice, cocoyam, yam-pourage, vegetable soup, melon soup, banana, orange, tangerine, pawpaw, etc as contents of the weekly menu they are served will remember that somebody came during their time and put nutritious food on their tables.
They will reverberate the true narrative: ‘A particular man ensured that our share of money entrusted in his care were made available to us in terms of the nutritious food we ate daily as pupils’.
No matter how Aregbesola haters, both from within and without, toil to distort true narratives of Aregbesola’s legacies, history that is being constructed in these 254,000 future parents can never be told falsely. They will tell their children and probably their children’s children about O-meals under Ògbéni Aregbesola.
Èyin l’ókù k’ée múra…
*Mabayoje lives in Oshogbo