Sitting in the limbo like a bird without wings, haven accepted my new fate as an inmate and acculturating myself with the new abode and life in the living grave which ordinarily is known as the prison. The OC (officer in charge) came running saying I have some important visitors. I wasn’t impressed because I wasn’t expecting anyone anyway and the truth isthat I was tired of all these visiting because most people only come with sush sober sympathy that is no more needed.
I reluctantly stood up to meet the visitors, this was 2005, alas the visitors were not the regular ones neither have I met them before . The visitors were led by Elder Adebiyi Adelowo, think you remember him now. He was later to become the party chairman of the progressive party. He brought a message from a man called Aregbesola who then was the commissioner for works in Lagos and was told have interest in contesting for governor under the action congress party.
Honestly I was not interested because of his Lagos background, I was expecting some known persons to be in the contest and for a man whose fate lies with destiny as dictated by God, I care less.
However, Elder Adelowo brought out some new notes (money), it was N1000 notes and that will be the first time I would be seeing that currency. This is the attitude of the man called Rauf Aregbesola, a philanthropist, an humanist to the bone .
He lays precedence in whatever he does. Yorubas will say ‘ oruko nro omo’ that is ‘ the attitude of a son is reflective of his name’.
He took the name Oranmiyan, you remember the first Oranmiyan, the great conqueror and empire builder from Ile Ife and that is what Aregbesola is. His journey to the state house was loaded with tribulation and challenges as he put his life at risk for the emancipation of the defeated progressive . A messiah has come and after prolonged court case he became the governor of Osun
He took the title of Ogbeni, that is ordinary Mr rather than His excellency that is used by other governors equating himself with the ordinary man on the street. His attitude towards life and governance is unprecedented and all is policies are new in the game of government.
First he gave Osun state a new identity through the introduction of Osun item and pledges. A flag, a banner , and logo follow and Osun state was renamed State of Osun.
Honestly I was never his fan through out his administration but I have great respect for him.
The ‘0’ yes, ‘0’ meal, ‘0’ tram ‘0’ ambulance ‘0’ traffic, ‘0’ school, etc gave Osun a new face in developmental strategies. For instance, the ‘0’ yes which engage 10000 youth over a specific period of time gave the youth an opportunity to earn some living and get exposure in another area of life, the ‘0’ school gave birth to gigantic building through out Osun cities ,that change the entire landscape of Osun cities, moreso poor man’s children can learn in conducive environments. What about the security outfit called the ‘0’ robot that protect life and property of the residents of Osun
The ‘0 tram and ‘0’ traffic manages commuter behavior and vehicle usage. ‘0’ reap gave financial support to farmers to operate, so is the loan given to small and medium scale enterprises. ‘ 0’ ambulance take care of emergencies. At a time Ogbeni was paying 13 month salaries to workers so that end of the year could be blissful. There is no way I can capture all in this article but what I thought is not possible in Osun became possible with the emergence of double lane roads in high density areas, the 10 km roads construction throughout Osun state Local governments apart from the state roads constructed, the bridges and flyover to mention but a few
Now as Minister for interior by God’s grace, the prison which is suppose to be a punitive enclave was renamed the correctional center. Meaning that inmate will now be reoriented and engage in skill work so that they will be useful to themselves and still be acceptable again in the society. Life in prison is another story for another time but let’s surmise that its a place where a living person is as good as dead, not dying physically but where your lifestyle and personality is dead. An inmate is just a mere number that can be erased anytime. You see what I mean by the new innovation, In truth, I miss Ogbeni so much . As a former party chairman of Ife east LG, I use to enjoy the campaigns that is lead by Ogbeni with the lyrics, proverbial songs,dancing and merrymaking and most importantly the broom revolution.
Any right thinking person will not attempt to erase Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s legacy. Ones again IBA (RESPECT) to the last progressive leader we still have. Only God knows when we shall have another unless he is ready to take the task again. I hereby express my congratulations to Ogeni for being named the best Minister for 2022
Ogundele Kayode(KK) writes from Ife
IBA (RESPECT) Tribute to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, By Ogundele Kayode KK