“Ogbeni Governor has exercised real power
and achieved changes that dwarf the moon.
Propelled by the extraordinary and moving determination of the people of Osun state who craved for change and democratic prosperity, Mr Governor has shown that he is indeed loaded with destiny,possibilities and purpose. For Mr Governor of the state of Osun, the best is yet to come’’. Quoted in Nowinta’s book: OGBENI RAUF AREGBESOLA(In the foot steps of Obafemi Awolowo) page 107.As a very close watcher of the activities of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of the state of Osun, l had long concluded that he will definitely come out triumphant from the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, where Senator Iyiola Omisore had dragged him to shortly after he won the August 9th 2014 Osun State Governorship Election convincingly.
As a veteran human rights and prodemocracy activist, who has written profusely on political accountability and good governance in Nigeria and elsewhere,i was cock sure that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola will rubbish and disgrace Senator Iyiola Omisore, who contested the Osun State Governorship Election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
As a university trained Peace and Conflict Resolution Practitioner, I have read between the lines and was absolutely sure too, that the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will consign the fraudulent prayers of Senator Iyiola Omisore and his dubious
abracadabra supporters to the trash can of history, because i knew Ogbeni Aregbesola, as the undisputed tribune of the people of Osun State was overwhelmingly popular given his stark pragmatic approach to leadership and governance.
As a serial researcher and Executive Director of Nigerian Good Governance Research Centre, where we try to spotlight those Governors or public office holders, who are bringing positive democratic dividends to the greatest number of the masses in their respective states or constituencies,our choice has never been faulted. When we decided to do a political biography on Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola,we knew he deserved it absolutely. Today, we have been vindicated!
In June 2014, during the thick and thin of the Osun State Governorship Election campaigns, i visited Ogbeni Aregbesola in his office in Oshogbo, where he subsequently invited me to attend his campaign programme in Ede. What i saw in Ede perplexed and convinced me beyond reasonable doubt that he was a candidate of the masses of Osun State.
After the visit I did a piece-‘A RIDE WITH AREGBESOLA’, in it I predicted that it would be an upset of the century if Senator Omisore won.
My prediction became a stunning reality as Ogbeni Aregbesola inflicted a devastating and humiliating defeat on Senator Omisore and his PDP desperadoes in Osun state on August 9th 2014.
During the proceedings of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, I became disturbed and angered by the way Omisore and his hirelings were carrying themselves; trying to preempt, distort glaring facts and disturb the orderly sitting. So, I came out with a piece-‘LEAVE AREGBESOLA ALONE’. In that article i declared that no amount of black propaganda, browbeating or wicked malicious political mudslinging against the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun state and Ogbeni Aregbesola will make the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal turn impeachable facts on the ground against Ogbeni, because he indeed won the election without any iota of doubt.
I always wonder why most politicians in Nigeria will always try to get victory through the back door or by hook or crook, even in the face of mountainous evidence against them; that they are not popular in their respective locality or state.
How could an Iyiola Omisore have dreamt of upstaging or dethroning a formidable personality and character like Ogbeni in Osun state! Gone are the days unlimited brazen rigging and reckless manipulation of election results were permitted, when General Olusegun Obasanjo was at the helm of affairs at Aso Rock Presidential Palace in Abuja. Then a guy like Omisore was in prison in connection with the brutal murder of late Chief Bola Ige (former minister of Justice & Attorney General of the Federation); and yet citizen Omisore was declared winner of senatorial election in Osun state?
On one of my recent visit to Osun state, i sampled public opinion, and discovered that since the creation of Osun state, no one political leader had embarked on the kind of gigantic projects spread all over the senatorial districts like Ogbeni Aregbesola.
What does Iyiola Omisore really wants; governorship at all cost even in the face of herculean odds? Few days ago his counsel said they will still appeal the excellent verdict marvelously delivered by Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime, Chairman of the Osun state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
The likes of Senator Omisore should be told to wait for another opportunity to take a shot at the Government House Oshogbo, certainly not when a giant like Ogbeni is still around. Perhaps, General Charles Airhiavbere of the PDP in Edo state should take him on some tutorials why he should abandon his race against time; his wild goose chase, because General Airhiavbere who lost to Comrade Oshiomhole in the 2012 Edo state Governorship Election, tried every thing possible (despite passionate pleas from the revered Bini monarch to drop his case at the tribunal, he stubbornly refused) and still went on to lose disgracefully, because Oshiomhole was the choice of the people.
In her well researched and balanced judgment on Friday 7th, 2015 in Oshogbo, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime declared that the petitioner(Senator Omisore) failed miserably to prove his allegations against Ogbeni Aragbesola in his petitions. She went on to affirmed
that Ogbeni Aregbesola obtained 394,684 votes as duly declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while Iyiola Omisore got 292,74.
Without sentiments attached, the Nigerian Good Governance Research Centre, which yours sincerely is its Executive Director, sees Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as a metaphor for selfless service. That is the single reason he has been able to overshadow and overcome every known tricks and unknown spirited efforts displayed by Senator Omisore, before, during and after the Osun State Gubernatorial Election; and with the recent tug of war during the sitting of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Oshogbo.
As Nigerians we must never forget where the activities of political buccaneers, economic vampires and democratic bandits have placed the Nigerian nation. Therefore, every and any polls at any point in time in the Federal Republic affords every responsible citizen the greatest opportunity to avert another session of catastrophic democratic rule.
I congratulate Ogbeni Aregbesola for his recent triumph at the tribunal. This victory is a lesson to all public office holders to always have it at the back of their minds that politics is nothing but genuine accountability in governance.
All said and done. Ogbeni Aregbesola has captivated the masses of Osun state with his charm, enthusiasm and passion for democratic dividends.
Indeed, Ogbeni Aregbesola is a metaphor for selfless service.
Ogbeni Aregbesola: A Metaphor For Selfless Service
“Ogbeni Governor has exercised real power