Omisore'Omnibus Trouble, By Goke Butika
'good morning owo'

'good afternoon owo'
'good evening owo'
'owo come look after me'
'the son of Omisore~~'

The above genre was waxed for Christopher Iyiola Omisore, the once impeached deputy governor of Osun state, the man who won his "senatorial election" from prison, and the erstwhile almighty chairman of Senate Appropriation Committee and two time governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by King Sunny Ade who graced his chieftaincy ceremony in Osogbo in the mid 90s.

It was during the regime of military junta headed by the late goggled maximum dictator, Sani Abacha. Omisore was hangling to become a governorship candidate of one of the political parties established by Abacha called United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) then. At that material time, old politicians who were known with their brand political names had been banned from contesting any political offices by the military. So, Omisore was among the new breeds thrown up by the system.

His emergence on the political consciousness of Osun State was exciting, because he was seen as a young man loaded with cash known as war chest in the political parlance, and his flamboyant life attracted the youth with corrupted ideology of the 90s, and Omisore set to rule the state until Abacha, the strong leader who had languished activists and political actors of opposing views in perpetual detention, including yours sincerely, died like terribly sick chicken in 1998.

So, by the time Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalam took over and declared open a democratic space, his body language suggested that he meant business; politicians went to work and formed new parties to take power, and when the slain Chief Bola Ige and co formed Alliance for Democracy (AD), Omisore read the handwriting on the wall, and pitched his tent with the new fold with a view to realizing his ambition.

In the permutation to the candidacy of the party, Omisore was picked as the deputy governor to Chief Bisi Akande who was the pioneer chairman of the party in the state, and in fairness to him, Omisore brought his youthful appeal and wealth to the table, while Chief Akande brought only load of experience in governance. It ought to be a perfect combination, but the ambition differed and irreconcilable differences set in.

Akande once ran into a troubled water of industrial dispute, and the way the crisis was handled made the government unpopular, and Omisore could not stand the danger the unpopular opinions constituted to his ambition. So, he chose to betray the trust that bound him and his boss in order to gain from the crisis. The battle shifted to the state House of Assembly, and he obviously financed the impeachment exercise against Akande. Unfortunately for him, the impeachment was thwarted by the pro-Akande lawmakers amidst violence, and the table turned against the deputy governor Omisore.

Nobody envied Speaker Mojeed Alabi's job then, the very brilliant academic cum politician had to navigate between the turbulence of political red sea, and a devil spoiling for war. In the process, Bola Ige who came to express his disgust about the supposed rude of Omisore to his boss was molested by some thugs said to be loyal to Omisore  at the palace of Ooni of Ife, to an extent of being rescued by Ooni Okunade Sijuwade, and few days after, he was brutally slain at his Ibadan home.

At no distant time, a strong supporter of Omisore in the impeachment saga at the state parliament, Odunayo Olagbaju was also brutally killed, and Osun became a tension zone. Eventually, Omisore was impeached but Akande was not returned as second term governor in 2003. Perhaps, the pain of impeachment was deep in Omisore's mind that he vowed to become the governor by all means. And give it to him, he has been struggling to achieve his aim since.

The 2014 governorship election in Osun gave Omisore away as a politician with different worldview, he won the ticket of his party, (PDP) with ease, after he had reportedly subjected his perceived archival, Isiaka Adeleke, the first governor of the state to a threat to life and succeeded in easing him out of the party. To show his strength, he went to the presidency to take a walk with the then President Goodluck Jonathan who had pathological hatred for Rauf Aregbesola, the reigning governor, for denying him victory in 2011 general election in the state, and when the photo finish with the president went viral, Omisore boasted that he had become a governor already.

He had the federal might behind him, he was advanced with dollar dominated campaign machinery, he blared siren like a governor, he walked around with full military and police complement, and he threatened thunder against the sitting governor, to an extent that some political pundits had conceded victory to him, but Aregbesola was a different specie. He roared with political venom and hurriedly adopted a nickname "Dagunro" the poisonous plant that could not be consumed by anyone irrespective of his diabolical power.

Aregbesola moved to town and found shield in the fanatical support of the people who were determined to go to war with federal powers should there be an attempt to rig the election in favour of Omisore. Truth to plan, stern looking soldiers were deployed, masked DSS officials were deployed, and compromised policemen were deployed with sole aim of rigging the election in favour of the Ife born politician, but Daguro led by the front and peoples' eyes became red on the D-day, the election was held and the massive plan of the last chance fell, as the compromised security operatives were made helpless. The violence quietened.

However, the general election that saw to the ouster of Jonathan from Aso Rock appeared to be the demystification of Omisore, he lost the pecks of the centre, he was routed in the State, and he lost the great Ooni who had sympathy for him. And he walks around now like a political orphan. Hmmmm. What a law of gravity!

Today, Omiore is a fugitive, as he has been declared by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) wanted for N700 million fraud. Now, he wants his fundamental human rights established, and he wants the rights activists to take his case up. What a diminishing return! The instructive lesson from this politician is that everyone should be conscious of consequence of his or her action, for every step in life is a space in history.

My take is that I would not want Omisore to be persecuted for his political belief, but it would be to his best interest to surrender himself to the EFCC and clear his name, so that the fraud case would not be added to his perceived conspiracy in Bola Ige's murder. I love his zeal and drive to get his goal, but I hate his disposition to violence, nothing personal.

Butikakuro is an intercontinental journalist.


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