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Thursday, June 13, 2024

A Ride With Aregbesola – By Igbotako Nowinta



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“If anything, his efforts deserve to be applauded, and if Nigeria must develop quickly, men of ability and substance must never shy away from throwing their hats into the political ring just like what Ogbeni Aregbesola has done” – Quoted in Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (In the footsteps of Chief Obafemi Awolowo) Page. 105.


It has been said in several quarters that Ogbeni Rauf  Adesoji Aregbesola is the greatest positive thing that has happened to the people of Osun State, since he was sworn in as the Executive Governor on November 27th, 2010.


This fact above manifested clearly again when I visited the State recently. It has been said correctly too that, no one leader or sitting Governor of the State of Osun has won the hearts of the masses overwhelmingly like Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, since Osun State was created out of Oyo State on August 27th, 1991.


Fact is sacred! When Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola invited me to join his campaign team to Ede, perhaps for me to see things for myself, I was excited to make the trip with him. What I saw as we made our way to Ede and when we got to Ede proper exceedingly warmed my hearts. It warmed my hearts because my more than two years research into the activities of Ogbeni Aregbesola which has manifested into a recent book on him, has turned out to be a worthy and well deserved venture.


What I saw in Ede has equally complimented the fact that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s idealism and fiery temperament has given hope to many who has hastily flocked to his train of political redemption. This man is absolutely sincere with power and what he has done and what he still hopes to do is visible for any one that visits Osun State to X-ray.


Indeed, what I saw on our way to Ede clearly displayed that Ogbeni Aregbesola has attracted the attention of the lowly, the humble and the multitudes that have seen hope in his political proclamations. As we made our way to Ede, school children of all grades ran out of their school compound to shout and cheer Ogbeni; on their faces one could see exceeding joy and satisfaction.

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After all, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is feeding them with hygienic food and clothing them as they go to school every day, using his popular programme of O’MEAL (reserved for pupil of between primary one-four). Women and men of all shades and the elderly people trooped out to dance and sing the praise of Mr. Governor of Osun State and waved the flags and broom of the All Progressive Congress (APC), as the Governor’s convoy drove slowly towards Ede.


As we moved closer to Ede, the entire town suddenly rose up to welcome Ogbeni Aregbesola’s campaign train. I will never forget the experience. People were recklessly cheering, dancing and singing on the streets. What awaited us at the palace of Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal was quite unique. The mood at the palace was indeed emotionally irresistible as the orgy of celebration was total. The crowd that had gathered within the palace listened attentively and enthusiastically as Ogbeni Aregbesola addressed them on why they should return him to power on August 9th 2014.


The mood at the Seventh Day Adventist High School, Ede, venue of the Ogbeni Aregbesola’s re-election campaign rally was ecstatic, as people of all colours, the aged and the young, poor and the rich danced uncontrollably as Governor Aregbesola rode in .The spontaneous emotional outburst that gripped the venue of the campaign rally reached crescendo as Ogbeni Aregbesola made his way to the podium.


When Governor Rauf Aregbesola said  “Our administration has treated the various political districts equally without sentiment…What we have done in less than 40 months, surpassed what they did in seven years both in quantity and quality”, he was saying nothing but the truth.


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I indeed saw completed township roads in Ede and the inhabitants were happy with Ogbeni. It is clear without any shadow of doubt that Ogbeni Aregbesola came and prepared to lead the people of Osun to the glorious next level. 10 kilometer of roads are being constructed in every Local Government Areas of the State of Osun. The crowds in Ede were simply very large. The man is popular!


On Monday July 7th, 2014, a day before the mega rally at Ede, Ogbeni Aregbesola commissioned the Ayegbaju Modern International Market in Oshogbo. I have reliably gathered that a replica of this gigantic market will soon appear in all the senatorial districts of the State. There is something about the Ayegbaju Modern International Market, that I have not seen anywhere in this country before.


The Ayegbaju market, apart from the massive size of land it occupies in Station road Oshogbo, has facilities like Hotels, Medical Centre, Banks, a Mosque, Church, Filling Station, Police Station, and Car Park etc. It will be a miracle of the century if Senator Iyiola Omisore, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Osun 2014 Governorship election wins the race on August 9th 2014? The phase two of the market is presently being constructed.


With what I witnessed on Tuesday July 7th, 2014, in Ede, and what I have seen on the ground in terms of honest pragmatic implementation of formulated policies like OPON IMO (Tablet of knowledge) O’MEAL, O’Schools, O’TOURS, O’AMBULANCE, re-classification of schools, Agba Osun (scheme for the elderly), O’YES (Youth Employment Scheme), O’REAP etc, Ogbeni Aregbesola will clinch the baton of re-election onAugust 9th, 2014, in the State of Osun.


Apart from Ede, the tumultuous crowds that normally trooped out to welcome Ogbeni wherever he goes on a campaign tour, is an indication that the man is the tribune of the silent majority in the state of Osun.



(In The Footsteps Of Obafemi Awolowo)

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