Few days ago, I received a short Yoruba comedy video on social media network titled “PROBLEM WA” meaning “OUR PROBLEM”.
The video depict a family man that out of marital status impregnated a girl and the girl’s family had to bring her to the matrimonial home of the man… (starring popular Muyiwa Mr. Londoner). It was a comical relieve but deep in meaning and typical of what’s presently playing out in the political arena in Oyo State.
At present, nobody knows where the pendulum of Oyo State gubernatorial position will swing to come 2019. What are the odds in favour or against each political parties and each candidates? Will the governor be able to succeed in appointing his successor? Will his party produce the next governor or the state government will fall into the waiting hands of any of the opposition parties? How are the candidates in each political parties faring? What are the strategies that will play out for a successor to Governor Abiola Ajimobi to emerge? Who are the gatekeepers in Oyo State of present? Who determines where the governor will come from? Is it going to be usual winners take all stand of Ibadan or they will allow other zones to produce next governor? All these questions needed urgent answers.
Let me approach these intricacies from political parties point of view. I will be concerned majorly with what Okeogun Area stands to gain, the reason why I venture into agitation for power shift in the state in the last three and a half years.
Reason for agitation for an Okeogun man as next governor.
It is a generic knowledge that political power has been in the hands of our Ibadan brothers in the last 35years! Gov Omololu Olunloyo, (1983) Gov Kolapo Ishola,(1992/93) Gov Lamidi Adeshina, (1999/2003) Gov Rashidi Ladoja, (2003/2007). Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu represented by Gov. Alao Akala (2007/2011) and Gov Abiola Ajimobi 2011 till date).
The other reason, apart from Ibadan voting population has been political sophistication. Politics in Ibadan has become hereditary and a typical Ibadan man sees himself as potential governor of the state. It’s a winner takes all approach. Politics is synonymous with business. No matter how much or with whatever God blesses a typical Ibadan man with, he will still aspires to be governor of the state. I am just being factual and blunt with my analysis. After all, my paternal grandmother is from Ibadan. This posture, this attitude, this stand have been working for our Ibadan brothers but not anymore. Enough is enough. Power must shift to other zones!
At present, major opposition parties have based their calculations on the same approach of giving their gubernatorial tickets to Ibadan and sourcing for a deputy from Okeogun. This approach will not work again. The handwriting can clearly be seen on the wall. Never again will Okeogun region conceeds to take deputy governor slot again. I challenge whichever party that has zoned or appointed their gubernatorial candidate from Ibadan to also get their deputies within Ibadan too. We are tired of second fiddle position. It must sink into our knowledge that no zone, will come cap in hand to beg any zone for governorship ticket. It is our collective heritage and right to rule the state and it must circulate.
A brief appraisal of popular political parties in the present Oyo State (APC, PDP, ADC, ACCORD and ADP) and their preferred or likely gubernatorial candidates has shown that they are still living in past of “winner’s take all” position.
The very first day that the PDP elected an Okeogun person as their state party chairman, everybody knows that it was a plot to shut Okeogun out of gubernatorial post. With the look of things, an Ibadan man will pick their gubernatorial ticket. For this reason too and also for our stand (Okeogun Lokan), his deputy may not come from Okeogun! PDP should forget any votes from our region.
For ADC, with “credible alternative ” slogan, has majority of Okeogun people as party men. The party’s ticket may also likely heading to Ibadan. If this is done or if it comes to reality, I assure you that the party is not going to make any impact in Okeogun and Oyo State comes 2019.
Accord Party has been going around with a gubernatorial candidate of Ibadan extraction. Much of the activities of the party is not being felt in Okeogun area. The possibility of making impact or fielding Okeogun man is zero.
More importantly, the only party that has at least, two prominent Okeogun sons as part of her gubernatorial hopefuls is the ruling party APC. Unfortunately, the internal wrangling in the party has forced some of their followers to sit on the fence looking at where the pendulum will swing to. This is the connection with comedy video PROBLEM WA I made mention at the beginning of this post. Getting a credible and acceptable successor has been and it’s still the only problem facing by Governor Abiola Ajimobi. (Problem tie, meaning Ajimobi’s problem).
Governor Ajimobi’s problem of getting a saleable successor has turned out to become “problem gbogbo wa” meaning everybody’s problem. It is our problem to see that the present security system that has brought peace to the state is sustained. It’s our problem to see that whoever succeed the governor will continue to build on the legacy of the governor. It’s our problem to see that power does not get to a successor who has a sole aim of revenge, not a successor who will come to divide the state.
The governor has based his criteria in getting a successor on qualifications, international exposure, comportment, maturity, and above all “loyal and honest “. With these parameters, the party and her governor has been able to assemble an array of brilliant minds majority from Ibadan and just two or three from other zones – Hon. Isaac Omodewu, Barr Adebayo Shittu and Senator Fatai Buhari (Oyo North Senatorial District). The ball is now in the court of the gatekeepers in the state.
Prominent among the gatekeepers is Governor Abiola Ajimobi. Is he going to bow to “pressure from home” and present another Ibadan man to take over from him for another 8years to complete 43years of Ibadan as governor of the state? God forbid! Is he going to present an Ogbomosho man whose brother has been governor before? Is he going to build on his “KOSELERI” legacy by presenting an Okeogun person as the next governor? Yes. That is my position and my advice to our amiable governor and other gatekeepers to look into. Let us have a taste of change in Oyo State. Let power rotates, let developments rotates, let sense of belonging. equality and togetherness foster in Oyo State.
With the array of candidates so far assembled by the governor and his party, I agreed totally that all of them are capable to govern the state but don’t let it be winner’s take all. Let it be “Oye to kan ara Iwo, a kan ara Ede”.
If Governor Abiola Ajimobi is able to stand for justice, equality and fairness and support an Okeogun man to succeed him, his name will be written in gold.
Esv. Ismail Adewoyin is the Convener, Okeogun Project Forum