I am not happy. It didn’t start today. I noticed that after the 2011 general elections in Oyo State. I was actively involved in the campaign, especially on the social media. We attacked politicians who are considered to be on the other side. We called them unprintable names. Soon, winners and losers emerged. And it later dawned on me; that these people are FRIENDS. They are just using political parties to achieve their aims.
Not long ago, I think last week, I wrote on facebook the numerous active users of the platform. No doubt, my town- Oyo, has the largest most politically active social media enthusiasts in the state but we are not using it for development. Few days after, I saw my people, both old and young, attacking each other, using harsh words. I almost cried.
But it has been on for long. We have always allowed ourselves to be divided. Some people don’t have thick skin for criticisms. These are people who have criticised those before them but don’t want to be criticised. And we are always there for them, as willing tools. Criticism, anywhere, is good. If it is real, it allows you to adjust yourself.
There are many things begging for attention in our dearest town that we can address. But politicians will continue to exploit us, since we are all divided and ready to play cards. Constructively, have we bothered to ask what Hon (Prince) Adeyemi Akeem has done to surpass his predecessor- Hon. Mudasiru Kameel Akinlabi as House of Representatives’ member? Have we asked how Barr. Muideen Olagunju has fared better than his predecessor? What of Hon. Olugbenga Oyekola and my late Oga- Hon. Ganiyu Waliu? And Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu and Sen. Ayoade Adeseun? Rather, we are selective in our criticisms. We like criticising some while some are sacred cows. That is not good.
Apart from the above, have we concentrated efforts on how to get Governor Abiola Ajimobi know that the road projects in the town are almost abandoned? Don’t you think we can make it trend that the current administration has neglected us in the town as the proposed Atiba FM station and the Silo in Aawe are far from seeing the light of the day. It is like we have been forgotten in the town. Let’s use what we have to get what we need.
More worrisome is the fact that this happens whenever election is approaching. These people are friends. They will never see themselves and not greet. And we are know that Honourables Adeyemi and Olagunju were classmates, at Olivet Baptist High School. We are not unaware that Hon. Olagunju and his predecessor, Sen. Sunmonu, who is now a senator, are cousins.
Only yesterday, I read with total attention a piece written 3 years ago by a kinsman- Siyanbola Kunmi, who is popularly known as Omo Iya Kunmi. Hear him: “I am humbly extending a hand of fellowship to all warring parties, official holders and or organizations. I implore us all to sheath our swords and embrace ourselves for the development of our town.
He went further: “I am apologizing to all those whose toes I have I have stepped on due ideological and political differences. Let’s all come together again Regardless of our differences, we can still be one!
“Hmm… And each time I read through posts, majorly political, especially those written by my brothers and sisters from Oyo town, I always get disheartened and disappointed.
“A close examination of popular contributors/’Facebook’ activists, one will definitely notice that except for the very few others, Oyo town youths are not only vibrant online but they are resourceful, loyal to whomever they support and gifted! We don’t just talk anyhow. We talk sense pass others!
“Unfortunately, outsiders realize this before we do and that’s why they exploit us. We now attack ourselves like dogs! An Oyo man puts up a post, they send another Oyo man to attack him. Hehehe… Lobatan. Yanpanyanrin bere!
“Where is the future of Oyo then if we keep attacking ourselves at the benefit of outsiders? Where is the hope of our future? Must the ‘cheapcakes’ they give us decide our fates?
“I am not a saint, I have flopped in the past and I am extending the olive branch to my brothers and sisters whom I have ‘attacked’ in the past, regardless of our political affiliations,” he submitted.
Let’s remember that what goes around comes around. Weeks ago, somebody here posited that he won’t support the aspiration of another person. Last week, the person’s preferred choice for 2019 assembly election was bashed. The person felt somehow. The person is yet to overcome it. If you have an aspirant, try to promote him or her. Don’t attack his perceived enemy(ies). Sell your aspirant or candidates. While I am not saying it is bad to belong to a political bloc or praise anybody you want, ensure that you don’t attack anybody on behalf of another person. If it is a personal attack, it is good. You’ll happy that you satisfy your conscience.
In fact, there are better things you can do with your data than doing the bidding of one person that cannot better your life. To the glory of God, I have made quality friends here. The relationship has blossomed that it has been beneficial to me. I have exploited the oppotunity. I have been to place my certificate alone woudnt have taken me. I have made money from here.
PEN-TA-GUN, Sikiru Akinola’s opinion on political events in Oyo State, is published every Monday. He can be reached via email@example.com.