By Tayo Oyekanmi
Ogun West overtime has always been a punching bag or better still, a political butcher’s ground in the power tussle among the various competing interests. The region is about to be turned to another Golgotha expedition by no less persons than internal political gladiators. We are made to understand according to Biblical account that Golgotha is a spot interpreted as the place of skull”. It was even a place where the head of Jesus Christ was covered with the crown of thorns. Heart rendering indeed! At a time like this when Ogun West supposed to be in purgatory mood; to purge themselves of all political correctness that has made the land and people lying prostrate, safe for some selected individuals catching- in on the predicament of the people to get themselves better economically and otherwise.
A peep into the historical annals of Ogun West after 44 years existence of the State shows that they are their own worst enemy, with too much divided interest and scrambling for individual political fiefdom, even at the detriment of collective good. Check out 1979 election episode and other subsequent elections afterwards, particularly from 1999. The political gladiators are typical typecast, continually taking the region on the journey to the Golgotha we are in presently. The political elite’s fecundity, the most supine around and short-sightedness is profound and legendary. It’s highly disheartening that what emanates from the political gladiators breeds nothing but mental poverty prevalent in the region today. Regrettably, the resultant effects of this, is the continued impoverishment of the land and people. Just as the fissiparous tendency of the people is becoming glare, no thanks to the activities of the political class.
Unfortunately, no lesson has been learnt overtime as we are at it again with a lot of hocus-pocus now on display. The vicious cycle this time started almost immediately after the 2019 election where Ogun West was given a bloody nose; again, no thanks to the political enemies within. For an election that was held about 15 months ago and the present government just a year in the office, it is quite surprising that Ogun West is now a battle field among internal competing forces even when outside are still silently strategising. The lead has been taken in the politicking of 2023 race. The cutting raiser has been taken 3 years ahead of who gets what in 2023, particularly as it concerns the Senatorial seat. The rabble rousing has been initiated. The polity has already heightened to another fever pitch with all kinds of alignment, realignment and decamping even collapse of structures to the ruling party and government of the day all towards the electioneering of 2023. Only in Ogun West we have all these going on. Check out other senatorial districts to see if they are infected with what is going in Ogun West. Not at all. They know the value of good governance, that’s all they crave for particularly as of the moment. For the power drivens in Ogun West, no thought for the common man on the street. No breathing space or demands for good governance and quality representation. The rat race looks more important. Advocates are already on the prowl. Advocating and proclaiming their principals as the new political alchemist that is all out to cure all that is ailing Ogun West. Political gladiators sorely know how to keep their foot soldiers upbeat. It’s all about selling a mirage of hope of a better tomorrow and a spurious being part of governmental process. Ostensibly, in the recess of their minds, they know the early scrambling going on cannot be said to be altruistic, as such, nothing meaningful might come out of it. It can only take the people deeper into the Golgotha; yet, we pollute ourselves with consequences of our ignorance.
Three principal camps are already involved in this political ding-dongs affair. The partitioning of Ogun West is now in full throttle among them. The fireworks are on in earnest. Salvo is already being exchange. The signals are clear that the sitting Senator Tolu Odebiyi wants the seat retained. The change in focus and direction of Prince Gboyega Isiaka (GNI) has been interpreted for the same senatorial seat as an option of first resort. The sublime moves of Senator Solomon Adeola(Yayi) to make his third in-road to the State and begin to ply his trade from Ogun West is also clear enough even to the deaf and dumb to perceive. Just as his online adherents are already on the prowl proclaiming him as the “man” for 2023. He has also been quoted to have said the present Governor will use 8 years. This was also averred by GNI when he said he won’t be contesting against the Governor in 2023. By implication, the two are having their sights on the Senatorial seat, though rumors of Deputy Governorship are also rife in a particular quarter. Other interested individuals are sorely waiting in the wings probably bidding their time to join the fray openly. But for now the trio of Senator Odebiyi, GNI and Yayi are already on the move to outdo one another to properly project themselves for 2027. They have given up on 2023 Governorship. Is it really the kind of mindset that will take the people out of doldrums? At least we know power is not served A la carte”. Understandably they are all in the same political camp with Governor Dapo Abiodun by the way. Can Dapo Abiodun say no to Yayi with all the ancillary support towards the realization of his ambition in 2019? The Governor has even acknowledged and performed a kind of quid-pro-quo with a very good percentage nominations coming from Yayi camp to the government. What understanding and motivation did GNI had with the Governor before officially moving to the ruling party and government even as it is been alleged in some quarters that he subtly worked for the emergence of the Governor against the yearnings of his people? Senator Odebiyi is the only Senator among the three from the State that was on the same page with the Governor during the electioneering. What will become of that support eventually? Only time will tell.
But today, those who always seek to be at forefront of the collective emancipation of Ogun West do so not to liberate or enlighten us to our finer selves. It is like they do so that we remain servants in need of greater servitude. Those who committed the biggest transgressions against the land are always eager to wear heroic garb. 2019 election and others like it is a pointer to this. We often fail to realize big opportunity or even deliberately squander it for whatever reason. Our merchant politicians are always in the habit of running with the hare and hunting with the hound: We hail from Ogun West, claim to be Ogun West emancipators yet we admire and embrace the political machinery of those who want us subdued forever. Both tendencies cannot have their way. One will always triumph over the other. We are so much in love with the habit of helping the political conquerors sterilize our people to the marrow. We have help them not only to lock, bolt and chain the door against our people ultimate desire but we have done so with such adoring eyes and recalcitrant behavior that even our political conquerors and oppressors hate us for not even attempting to make it harder for their invasion of our consciousness. Haba!. Well, he who cares for his feelings more than his own interests will always assist his enemies in defeating him.
It has now become perennially difficult for our people inner eyes to be on larger trend of events that can translate to the life changing opportunity we earnestly seek. We definitely need elevated perspective to achieve this. But just for how long is this merry-go-round and scrambling going to last? As it look as if Ogun West agenda have become a well package venture investment for quite a lot. Hopefully and one day before long, Ogun West shall overcome and rise from the grip of partitionists and scrabblers.
– Tayo Oyekanmi is a Political Scientist, a trained Human Resources Manager and House Leader, Ipokia 7th Legislative Council.