By GOKE BUTIKA
As I write, the Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is on his way to United Kingdom with a sole purpose of educating the parliament of the imperialists on how feeding of the elementary school pupils could stimulate economic recovery and push the frontier of agricultural sector, a feat that has never been achieved by any Nigerian leader dead or alive.
This man we are talking about does not parade fleet of degrees, but through self development and the dint of hardwork, he is an institution, and inexhaustible well of knowledge, and the man who sees tomorrow. Hate him, like him, Aregbesola is a living legend, and his intellectual and philosophical approaches to governance is now globally acclaimed.
As an aspirant to the office of the governor, I met Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in his office at his Osogbo campaign office, sometimes in 2006, and the journalist in me provoked a question on how he intended to facilitate economic recovery for state in line with home grown device, and he came up with ‘open heaven’ approach.
Open Heaven! I was confused, and he rolled out the statistics of men of God, who have taken the world by storm of gospel, whose anointing and ministration can bring as much as half a million people to anywhere they are, noting that majority of them are from Osun, a federating unit in Nigeria.
Aregbesola reasoned that Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, a proven man of God is from Ifewara, from Ijesha enclave located in Osun, and if the clergy fondly called Daddy GO by his church members could turn Lagos/Ogun state axis to a city that is larger than some local governments in the country, something of that nature could happen in Osun if the state government could tap from his glory at home.
Still finding the corresponding value of the “Open Heaven” approach, the then Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure of Lagos state went further that Prophet Abiara is from Osun, and he commands large congregation of Christ followers wherever he preaches gospel, and creating a ground for him to spread anointing in the state would be a plus for the traffic of people, and he hails from Ijesha stock like Adeboye.
He spoke about the acceptability of Pastor Mattew Ashinmolowo in the Christendom worldwide, and how he has created a prayer city in United Kingdom, noting that the presence of his church in Lagos is a plus to Lagos economy, and that such a man from Ode Omu, state of Osun could draw traffic of people to the state if there is a ground for the convention of his church in his state.
Pastor Kumuyi is from Osun, and the blind know that his church, Deeper Life is a force to reckon with in the Christian denomination in the country, and his presence in the state could draw close to half of a million Christians from all over the country to Osun. He mentioned Life Oasis, Victory Chapel, and others.
He equally mentioned Prophet Fakeye of ‘Ayo ni o’ Cherubium and Sherafum church, Prophet Obadare of Christ Apostolic Church, and others, and he argued that for the fact that majority of them are from Ijesha, it is logical to situate a prayer city in Ijesha axis for the purpose of drawing the men of God home, with a view to replicating what they have done to develop other cities of the world.
So, when his campaign for governorship election thickened, he made the establishment of Open Heaven an issue, and he articulated it very prominently at a governorship debate organized by the Osun state chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) among other issues.
However, it is surprising now to see the set of cynicists and irritants who first raised hoax that Aregbesola wanted to Islamize Osun, now criticizing the Open Heaven initiative that could turn around the sleeping economy of Ijesa axis to Eldorado. They argued that the thinking was to embezzle funds to be used for the forthcoming election.
Whereas the same set of people had earlier tagged Aregbesola a pagan, a priest of Ogboni confraternity, they even insinuated that he had initiated his first son, Kabiru to the confraternity, and when he declared Hijrah holiday, they said he intended to Islamize the state, and when the traditionalists got their due, they said the man is ‘babaalawo’.
It is quite clear that the former governor of Oyo state, Alao Akala was a failure in all ramifications, a situation that made Abiola Ajimobi’s administration an instant success when he took over the mantle of leadership and began to fix the needful, and one of the guys that managed his government is one Diran Odeyemi, now the spokesman for Mr. Iyiola Omisore, a governorship aspirant of PDP who is at the forefront of antagonizing Aregbesola’s initiatives, to which some have become success story. I pointed to this fact to allow you to connect the nexus of the latter day accountability advocates.
Imagine, if a governorship aspirant cannot decipher a master plan for revenue generation, and unique initiative, what will be his lot if he walks his way to the Government House? He can only see religion, where economy is the issue; he can only see election, where over all interest is a factor, and he can only see locking of the money in a safe, where development is demanded. And that is the man who wants to govern the state. May God deliver Osun and its people from devil and his advocates.