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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Tinubu-Oke Alliance: The Long Journey of Ondo from the Land of Egypt to the Wilderness

A concerned indigene of Ondo State has decried the spate of horse-trading, political alignment and re-alignment in the build-up of today's gubernatorial election which has been described as the battle of 'political godfathers'.

For those familiar with the plight of the Israelites in the hands of King Pharaoh of Egypt as narrated in the book of Exodus Chapter 1-12 in the Holy Bible, a vivid study could assist in painting the bleak future of Ondo State considering the current political climate precipitated by today (November 26) keen race to the Alagbaka Government House.

With an increased debt profile of over N150 billion (according to Abayomi Adesanya, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ondo) and insolvency of the Sunshine State after an audacious rape and abuse of the state's treasury by Governor Olusegun Mimiko and his ilk, Ondo State will not survive another successive corrupt system. In the event of another ill-luck of a kleptomaniac government, the six months salaries owed state civil servants could be extended to a year or more thereby making street-begging attractive to the highly-esteemed workers who have multiple mouths to feed.

In full consideration of the open secret that a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is heavily funding the gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Chief Olusola Oke, its certain that the oil-rich state could be politically transformed into a private business scheme narcissistically run by one Godfather just like Lagos State in the past 17 years.

There is nothing more heart-rending than a recent report on ThisDay Newspaper about the alleged "sharing formula" of state resources pre-planned by Tinubu and consented to by Oke in desperation to be governor. Positions of Commissioners for Finance, Works, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Health and headship of the Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue, Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Chairmanship of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) and others six caretaker committee chairmanship positions, that is two per senatorial district as well as four special advisers were ceded to Tinubu to facilitate a possible prompt recovery of his political investments with extra-ordinary turnover.

It’s even more worrisome that the governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola who has brazenly reduced the South-western state to a point of pathetic liquidation is also a good friend of Oke. Ogbeni Rauf who proudly owes his state civil servants for 3 months (with level 8 workers upward collecting half salaries since July 2015 till August 2016) is boldly using slush funds to finance Oke as he learns the trade of political business from his principal - Tinubu. Ogbeni Rauf 'redefined' governance through a gross mismanagement of state resources that Osun now receives the lowest allocation from Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) – N305 million in November, 2016 due to over-borrowing and suspected hyper-looting.

The Ondo gubernatorial race has left Ondo with two delicate choices of moving from Egypt to the wilderness of perpetual drought, famine, pestilence, diseases and eventual death or an experience of political breakthrough through a conscious exercise of their franchise.

The rumour that the governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, a stooge of Tinubu wired a mind-boggling sum of N10 billion to Oke and his foot soldiers to prosecute his electioneering campaign worsens an already deteriorating situation. These funds are not for charity purposes. They are not provided by nice but shrewd people who want to double or if possible triple their ill-gotten wealth at any given opportunity. It’s a straight loan from the devil with the people of Ondo being used as the collateral security. It’s a desperate, retrogressive and rudderless move that mortgages the future of generations yet unborn. These political jobbers are insatiable; they will never have enough until the state is milked dry to the bones and the bone marrows sucked out.

Since Oke isn't worth the funds in terms of direct repayment, the weight is levied on the state treasury. Developmental funds will be judiciously used to develop private pockets while the masses are fed with stories of the failure of the past administration.

In reference to the headline, the life of the Israelites in Egypt was not as horrible and tortuous as it was in the wilderness. At least there was food, water, menial jobs as well as roofs over their heads under King Pharaoh. The wilderness provided the extreme opposite in a turbulent and cursed journey of 40 years through wrong decisions of murmuring against God and it’s hoped this evil fate doesn't befall Ondo.

Reverting to the issue at hand, by the time Tinubu and Aregbesola position their ragtag army to serve as conduit pipes for returns on their investments, the land of abundance called Ondo could replicate the biblical wilderness of torment and horror.

In saner climes, the political system should be formidably fortified to ward off opportunists and political harlots like Oke who apart from having a tainted stint in public service shamelessly switch sides frequently like a pendulum. Oke under normal circumstances should not be on the campaign field soliciting for votes but be confined in the interrogation room of one of the anti-graft agencies explaining the fictitious project of N155 million for which he fleeced Ondo State. Oke smartly created a non-existent community which he called 'Uboeparito Community' coupled with another case of forgery to siphon money from the commonwealth.

This reportedly led to the failure of Oke to return as the Ondo State representative on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) when he couldn't scale the hurdle of security clearance by the Directorate of State Security, DSS in the year 2005. In fact, the DSS made its stand bold in a documented security report issued on the 31st of January, 2005.

Findings also confirm that Oke's campaign team members were apprehended by security operatives in the Okitipupa area of Ondo with arms and ammunition at a security checkpoint in an act that is anathema to the tenets of democracy and the spirit of sportsmanship. One fears the fate of Ondo youths under the administration of Oke was they will be equipped as political thugs rather than scholars with futuristic insights.

It will stupefy Ondo people that Tinubu was apparently supporting two gubernatorial aspirants under the banner of the APC in a desperate bid to produce to the next governor of the state. According to reliable reports, Tinubu's heart was with Olusegun Abraham while his wife Senator Oluremi Tinubu stood with Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice, her colleague at the senate while Aregbesola had subterranean plans about Oke.

According to the Sunshine Chronicle, to smoothen Borrofice's ride to clinching the ticket, Tinubu seconded his trusted media aide, Idowu Ajanaku to coordinate Borrofice's media activities leading to the Ondo APC primaries. Ajanaku failed due to Tinubu's pronounced support for Abraham which was exposed by another governorship aspirant, Tunji Abayomi, SAN. After Borrofice lost, Ajanaku returned to his job in the office of the Lagos State Governor. Borrofice and Abraham have been technically abandoned after refusing to support the Oke project which has surprisingly employed the services of the verbose, Ekiti State governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose.

This new political re-alignment is evident in the recent public and secret meetings of Fayose and Aregbesola who also share a history of long-term friendship despite belonging to opposing political groups.

With the above premises, one is left with no other choice than to conclude vividly that a vote for Oke is a vote in support of the outright sale of Ondo State to indigenous colonial masters who view governance from a cavalier business perception screen.

Kunle Adigun writes from the Okitipupa area of Ondo State.

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