When Aregbesola visited Osun… “Oyetola son of Chief-Imam, I am from the street”

Oranmiyan is a Yoruba legend, who unarguably served in three different Yoruba kingdoms, and was famous for standing on the side of the people who etched his name on the sand of time.

Little wonder that the immediate past Governor of Osun State, now Minister of Interior chose Oranmiyan as his preferred campaign organisation’s name when he was to seek the governorship of the state.

For the eight years that Aregbesola served in Osun State, there was never a dull moment for the people of the state.

He had a different menu for the different strata of society and fits into all types of gathering.

Masses were always eager to attend different public functions as long as Omo Iya Olobi would hold the microphone.

Market women, commercial motorcyclists, commercial drivers, students and elites were always eager to listen to the voice of the Ijesa-born political guru.

A public function, where Aregbesola appears, is like a carnival. There was always an appropriate blend of music, dance and serious talk that pervaded the atmosphere.

Such was the situation on the two different occasions when Ogbeni, as he is fondly called, visited the state recently over two years after he left office.

The first was when he came to Ijebu-Jesa to pick the Ecumenical Episcopal Award of the Ijesa-North Diocese of the Anglican Church.

The sleepy town was awake to activities as Aregbesola’s followers, across different facets, thronged the venue to show their love to the man “described as the Architect of Modern Osun”.

Ijebu-Jesa was locked down as human and vehicular movement was at standstill for hours, while the teeming supporters were chanting “we miss you in the state political space.”

Despite work demand in Abuja as Minister of Interior, his most recent visit to the State when the lawmaker representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Dr. Basiru Ajibola distributed empowerment equipment to his constituents.

The mere mention that Aregbesola would grace the event was greeted with thunderous applaud as more party loyalists and residents thronged the venue to catch a glimpse of Baba Kabiru.

His arrival to the Adenle Grammar School, venue of the event was like a colossus as commercial motorcyclists, traders, youths escorting his motorcade, shouting, ‘Oranmiyan is back’, ‘We are always with you’, ‘and we have missed your sagacity.

A simple empowerment equipment distribution event turned into a carnival with eminent personalities escorting the Minister to the venue.

Aregbesola did not disappoint his followers as he mesmerised them to various musical interlude and like it was when he was Governor, the audience flowed with him dancing to the rhythms.

Before delivering his message, which focused on proper and adequate empowerment against the tokenism-type of empowerment popular among politicians, he took time to clarify certain issues raised by some stakeholders at the venue.

Aregbesola restated that there is no rancour between him and the incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, noting that all efforts are geared to consolidate on the gains of his eight-year rule in the state.

The news of rift, according to the Minister, is a plot by the opposition to divide the All Progressives Congress, APC, saying the party is committed to the continued progress and development of the state.

He also had something to say to those comparing him with Governor Oyetola

He said: “I told the people of Osun that I handed over to a gentle person. Stop comparing me with him. I came from the streets to politics. He is the son of a Chief Imam, we cannot act the same way.

“There is no division in our party, what we must ensure is that our party should not be voted out of government. Let it be clear to all of us that our opponents are working tirelessly. We are in the consolidation period, anything contrary is mere speculation. I, Rauf Aregbesola, am not fighting anybody. I will be coming to this state regularly from now.

“I was here on July 6, 2019, a day after the Supreme Court affirmed our 2018 electoral victory. That was when I appreciated the people for standing by us. I restated that God is with us. It is with that I said we are in the consolidation era. Our people should continue their support. By God’s grace, we would not let you down.”

Part of Osogbo, Osun state’s capital standstill while Aregbesola was leaving the venue. His convoy passed through Pepsi-Cola through Ayetoro to Igbona where residents and traders including children reminisce the glorious days when a Governor does not just pass through the streets of the state capital without giving the people something to cheer about.

Residents thronged the streets to hail Ogbeni with some of them shouting on top of their voices in Yoruba, Aregbesola Sherifat’s husband and Kabiru’s father, we miss you. We miss your swag while others were pleading “do not leave us alone”, Osun will not forget you forever and for any reason.”

The convoy had difficulty navigating through the roads particularly at Ajegunle and Ilesa Garage areas of the state capital as the vehicles had to stop for Aregbesola, whom the Director-General of Oranmiyan Worldwide Comrade Sodiq Olajide described as a man for the masses.

Upon his entry into Ilesa, market men and women, traders, artisans, youths also received him with their outpour of love and solidarity.

“Ogbeni Aregbesola is not just a political juggernaut, he is a phenomenon and Oranmiyan is gradually becoming a movement which will be difficult to uproot in the state political space,” said Olajide.


Adeola Abejide

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