By Wale Adebisi
Osun is the state created in 1991 by the military government of maximum military ruler Gen. Babangida. It is the central home of the Yorubas with a rich central values and heritage. Osun has population of about two million people, then which by now is being evaluated to 4.5 million populations.
The state is blessed with arable land that is suitable for agricultural purposes and strategically located within the southwestern state.
Despite this, the state remained the most poorly managed and poorly developed in the country. Bad governance, corruption and lack of respect for the rights of the citizen brought suffering and so much pain, the majority of the people live extremely in poverty while those in government carried on as if everything is fine.
In April 16th, 2005, Rauf Aregbesola came on the redemption mission of change through his Oranmiyan movement. The mass movement after coined a powerful Yoruba historical legend who was known as a warrior, a statesman and a nation builder. This movement was a colourful declaration which attracted many prominent and critical mass of the people in the state. Similarly, there were supports and eagerness from the Osun citizens outside the state to be identified with the Oranmiyan movement.
The directionless incumbent government in power was not happy about this fast spreading of a new politically motivated movement which was fast eroding their popularity and also exposes their ineptitudeness. Therefore, they engaged in many acts of suppression between 2005 and 2007 which at some point almost killed Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at Oroki Day celebration by some notorious state sponsored thugs.
The ironical scenario was that Rauf was declared wanted by the police in which the real trouble makers who were rained bullets on him were untouched.
Ogbeni did not submit to these threats, humiliation and intimidation by these enemies of progress as the official flagbearer of the AC party, he is well focused and programatic in campaign approach with his six point agenda 1. Banish poverty, 2. Banish hunger, 3. Banish unemployment, 4. Restore healthy Living, 5. Promote functional education, 6. Enhance communal peace and progress.
On Saturday 11th of April, 2007 the much awaited election took place and the result of the election at 2:00pm that day indicated that Rauf was cruising home to victory with the highest number of votes in seventeen local government areas though with only three local governments counted. This development led to the ruling class of the PDP to embark on massive rigging of the elections through ballot snatching and stuffing to favor their party to win the election.
Surprisingly, the Resident Electoral Commissioner declared General Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the People’s Democratic Party the winner. This daylight electoral robbery of the people’s mandate enraged the electorate, particularly the youth who in their thousand trooped to the street to protest this ignoble announcement and clear manipulation of the election result.
Rauf and the Action Congress gathered a team of experience lawyers to fight for the stolen mandate and regained it. With courage, and faith in God, the mandate was got back after a tough and most longest court trials in the political history of Nigeria. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was pronounced the Governor-elect of the state of Osun at the court of Appeal in Ibadan.
The lesson drawn from this experience is that Rauf is a man ordained by God’s destiny to always come out victorious no matter the tribulations or trials.
On Friday, November 27, 2010, the state capital, major towns and villages were thrown into a mood of jubilation and happiness! Rauf was inaugurated as Governor of the State of Osun. He was armed with his pact with the good people of the State which was encapsulated in the Green Book with the agenda of a new society and a new people. An hero is a visionary leader who can see beyond what is in the present and envisioned a better future.
The eight year governorship tenure of Ogbeni in Osun heralded tremendous positive and radical changes in every areas of the state, he was in the mind of the people and much talked about among his pears in the country. The political sagacity and oratory prowess of Ogbeni earned him the Southwest coordinator for the Buhari campaign organization in 2015.
He used his populist mobilization skills to win the whole Southwest for Buhari to become the president of Nigeria in 2015.
Having had a track record of hard work, honesty, transparency and faith in God, he became the Interior Minister for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019. The position where he has proved his mettle again, by bringing in some creativities, innovations and organizational skills into his ministry administration.
Today, we have all witnessed the radical and the tremendous changes in the state capital, Osogbo from a glorify village to a full fledged state capital. Every facets of life was transformed in the state, be it economy, human capital development, infrastructures, diverse innovations, youth development and empowerment, cultural and traditional consciousness, education and health, most importantly of these is harmonious peaceful co existence of the people of the state and complete security of lives and property through a technological innovation of sound security network system, Agriculture was not left out on this development and Osun become the commercial hubs of the region of south western Nigeria.
Finally, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is kind, religious with fear of God Almighty, humane and a rare gift from God to the service of mankind.
Comrade Wale Adebisi is the Director, Comrade Olaoni Center for Social Research
Osogbo, Osun State