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Osun: Beyond court verdict

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By Isaac Olusesi

Justice is a good doctor and nurse, rolled into one. It applies the balm to the wound to lessen the pain. It does more than that. Of course, yes! Justice can make one’s yesterday’s vice today’s virtue. See what the Supreme Court verdict on the State of Osun governorship election legal tango has done to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s familiarly irrational underpinnings to the ever continuous plots to throw the state into violence.   The party fell in line with the judgement. Strange! Courtesy of what justice does. But the  Osun PDP, in similar circumstances of controversial governorship election in the past, characteristically chose to be its own prosecutor and jury and took laws into their hands: the party deployed brute force and drew machetes from the scabbard, a crime so awesome that it warped the mind of the people of Osun. That’s the meaning of justice to PDP, unsaturated with any higher sense of justice.

To PDP, going to court was a waste of time; indeed, an act in futility.Today, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP governorship candidate in the September, 2018 election, has changed all that. He knew that neither himself nor his challenger, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of All Progressives Congress (APC) committed crime personally, and no one was convicted or convictabl for having acted out the Hammurabi and Moses-eye-for-eye justice. Rather, Adeleke and Oyetola logged heads over election brawl on the key to the government house, Osogbo, the state capital.

One said, he officially had the custody of the house at Oke-fia and the right to gain entry for occupation and the other stated that he officially got the key and had the right to the place.

The problem thus was one “right” refused to yield to the other “right”. And in place of Dane guns and flaming machetes, courts stepped in the middle for adjudication in the electoral trade dispute. The case was heard at the apex court en route the lower tribunal and appellate court; and the final verdict, determined by law for ”Equal and Exact Justice” in Thomas Jefferson’s parlance, affirmed the election of Oyetola as Osun governor. The impartial arbiter gave justice to the party that deserved it without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. That’s why justice is represented by a lady, standing scale-balanced and blindfolded in absolute surrender to or reverence for equity and exactness; blinded to Adeleke, blinded to Oyetola and blinded to all other considerations that could have impeded the exercise of the sacred duty of serving the two parties in the governorship election case.And beyond the court verdict?  Adeleke’s reaction, Friday July 5, 2019 to the Supreme Court judgement that settled the legal sequences in favour of Oyetola, did not swim against the current. Pronto! He smiled cherubic and did a goodwill message. “As a democrat and law-abiding citizen, I accept the ruling. I wish Governor Gboyega Oyetola well in the governance of Osun,” Adeleke said, having had himself stripped of his PDP’s predatory penchant for violence, with devilish impunity; and got transformed into a laboratory of wholesome thoughts, with insightful leap into electoral tomorrow – a clear stitched cut from his party’s yesterday dark atavism. Through such liberal altitude of mind, Adeleke has become the PDP attitude changer and its guardian angel in the state.

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Any deceit, dishonest behavior here? I am afraid! The PDP, with or without Adeleke might tomorrow degenerate from its today’s virtue, the goodwill message in terms, into any sudden irrational eruption of the party’s old irritating nuisance, misdirected aggression, dislocation of social life, reversal of societal gains at the tyranny of its compelling will for spontaneous reaction generation in public domain. Yes! The familiar twist to it after the July 5, verdict is that PDP has characteristically receded to its revenge propensity, including the ridiculous among the sublime and hoisting full mast the harried and desperate gamble of the opposition. The gusty roar of Adeleke now in the public domain days after the Supreme Court verdict, making himself a prisoner of his much-vaunted goodwill message and behaving like a nagging housewife whining about the apex court verdict that became Adeleke’s Achilles and his PDP’s Waterloo, with his party’s terror-utterances and actions capable of arresting law and order in the state. Adeleke must yet be commended on his goodwill message; he must pretentiously be weary, unhappy inside himself, a sad and mournful personality, dripping wet behind his ears, still over the court verdict, and he’s in the battle gear ostensibly in a hurry to erupt his party’s bad-mannered, fetid, the weird, the bizarre and the mercurial characters into punctuating the serenity of Osun weeks after the verdict.

And while PDP lost out transparently, Oyetola bestrode Osun, with his popularity ascended to stratospheric height; he waxed stronger and lively, but he did not for a second chide the opposition PDP, and the scenario put to rest the opposition doubt about the purity of his election as governor of Osun. Meanwhile, let Oyetola watch out for the noise-makers in the corridors of power, the hangers-on, too glad to be noticed, too anxious to sing praises to “lundricate” – apologies to Chief Zebrudaya – the actions of government, but with implications for requisite attention on the core governance and delivery of democracy dividends to the people of the state. The Osun votes for Oyetola remain the best expression of the power and responsibility entrusted to him by Osun people. His government will enthrone robust continuity of social protection and social investment programmes and he will complete all the inherited projects inclusive of Ilesa water projects and roads under construction across the state.  And state workers will not be denied of their entitlements including payment of salary arrears and full salary, no   modulation of salary which even ended in June 2018; and no worker will be laid off, retrenched.

The Osun Economic Summit in the pipeline, will boost production, commerce, youth employment and internally generated revenue, substantial enough that will reduce the state dependence on allocation from Abuja, accommodate the frail but critically needful aspirations of the elderly and permit comprehensive  advancement of Osun women participation in political processes and access to elective and appointive positions in decision making and public life, and generally, get the standard of living improved In the endeavour, his government will make haste slowly, consciously striking paradigmatic stable balance between gradual change and sudden change in Osun development drive. Paradoxically, in all political economies globally, a government that moves slowly could be hated for indecent sluggishness and the one that moves fast, with dispatch, could be hated for indecent haste.

Oyetola has a way out of the fix; his belief in Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful keeps his feet within the bounds of successful commitment to make Osun greater.

Olusesi is an Assistant Director, Directorate of Publicity, Research & Strategy, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State

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