HOME TRUTH WITH GOKE BUTIKA
I am still worried about the formula that could have made Osun State to be an example of how not to run a state. While other states of the federation are running towards the goal post with a view to meeting the millennium challenges, the State of the Living Spring appears to be slumbering.
When I was thinking about the factors that promoted vectors in the corridors of power in Osun State, I was forced to look inward in order to argue from the fundamental points of the issue at hand.
During the national debate at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the health of the ailing President Umar Musa Yar’Adua, senators were asked to lend their voices as the representatives of their people; come and see how senators from the northern states were arguing with senses and education.
Some senators from the south also made their points with articulation, but senators from Osun State were not in the chamber, a situation that suggested that the senior lawmakers from Osun State were simply not up to the occasion.
The debate on the President’s failing health was just one of the cases where the failure of the lawmakers from Osun State had been shown glaringly to the world. The implication is that we are paying some impostors who are parading themselves as lawmakers for doing nothing.
I was in Ibadan, Oyo State recently for a function and during the discussion with some of my colleagues from other states, one of them demanded to know why Osun State did not have Senators in the chamber and I responded that my state has three senators in that chamber representing Osun West, East and Central Senatorial districts and the guy laughed.
I knew that I had no point, but I was still struggling to get the picture of my representatives at the National Assembly right from the perspectives of the other fellows from other areas.
So, curiously, I challenged my friend from Oyo State to tell me why he thought his senators were better than mine at the upper chamber and once again the whole gathering burst into laughter and then I knew I had to wriggle out if I did not want to create a picture of a foolish man before my highly exposed and enlightened friends.
In that wise, again, I threw the ball by saying that all senators in the chamber were not there in terms of contributions to debate and analysis of contemporary issues. That logical poser seemed to work as my friend from Oyo State eventually opened his mind and his analysis of the situation struck it well.
He opened his discussion by saying that he did not mean that the so-called senators from Osun State were not present at the chamber each time a sensitive national issue was discussed, but that they are mere bench warmers whose presence is of no value to the senate.
Arguing further, my friend noted that Senator Isiaka Adeleke is best known during the sitting for his seven-step to the heaven cap, saying that the only achievement of the former Osun State governor on the floor of the Senate is his ability to constitute a block to the view of his colleagues.
Painting the picture of Senator Iyiola Omisore, he said that the Ife-born politician should not have been elected as Senator, but selected by the Senate President as a backroom boy, saying that Omisore has no opinion of his own on any issue before the house except what Senator David Mark wants.
He said that his buoy attitude was what fetched him the plum job of the Chairman, Senate Appropriation Committee, saying heaven knows that the Senator knows next to nothing on financial management; noting that an example was the way he bought N160 million caravan for Ooni of Ife, when people of his constituency have no water to drink.
He further made a very salient point, stressing that a smart senator on the Budget committe would have influenced a lot of national presence in terms of projects to his constituency and that would have made him to be very popular amongst his people.
In my reflection, I could not but agree with the fellow. The other time the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan called for the rerun election of Omisore, he had nothing to show for his seven years in the Senate and when the whole of Ife/Ijesa turned against him, he started distributing motorcycles to his party men. Yours sincerely, he could still have lost the election if the opposition had dared the court restraining the lawless Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting the rerun polls.
My friend did not even know that Senator Simeon Oduoye is existing in the senate, he was even asking me why Osun would present only two senators out of three and I reminded him of Oduoye, but truly, he claimed ignorance of his existence.
Such was the picture of the three Senators from Osun State from the outsiders and I believe that Osun State is endowed with people with heads, academics and native intelligence. That is why we have taken over the religious, academic, cultural and economic leadership in the country, but it is a pity that the representatives of the good people of Osun State are being perceived as headless.
If the senators could get such a gloomy picture, we need not discuss the members of the House of Representatives, because those ones are known for stealing ballot boxes at home. Remember one Bade Falade from Ejigbo, who was caught stealing ballot boxes during the last rerun House of Assembly election in Ejigbo State constituency?
I have been covering Osun State House of Assembly for sometimes now and I must confess that there are some of the lawmakers in the House who have courage to speak out on any issue and deserve to move to the National Assembly, but would they (cabal) allow the fine stuff to ever make it to the higher level? The answer is in the air.
One thing I was able to deduce from the whole scenario is that our votes are not counting, if not, how would the likes of Omisore or Adeleke or Oduoye make it to the Senate of the Federal Republic?
The solution lies in our collective will to make things happen in the next general elections. We must ensure that our votes count, but that one too is not going to come easy and so we must remember Captain Trafalgar in London.
It was reported that Captain Trafalgar was given an assignment to capture an Island for his Commander-in-Chief within a limited period of time and in a jiffy, the soldier assembled his men and told them the enormity of the mission and the need to rededicate.
On getting to the island, the captain ordered one of his soldiers to soak the boat that brought them to the Island with gasoline, which was done without hesitation, until he, the captain ordered another soldier to fire the boat. The affected soldier was thinking of home and he was equally thinking that his boss might have gone mad.
Captain Trafalgar knew what he was thinking and he could not afford to lose his head just like the soldier, so he fired the hesitant soldier at close range before firing the boat and the boat caught fire.
Then, Captain Trafalgar made it known to his troops that nobody should think of home until the mission is accomplished, saying that the ship is gone and the fire is one way; that they would either sail together or sink together.
The senators and other lawmakers are our servants and by definition, they ought to be subservient to us, but the current trends have shown us that they have turned the table by default and become our masters. This must be resisted in the next election. We want more of the likes of Senator Olorunnimbe Mamoras and Honourable Abike Dabiris of this world from Osun State.
I rest my case.