State of Osun is a nomenclature that accompanied the intangible reformation and identity repositioning that opened the reign of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the governor, but the opposition remains adamant, arguing that they would not recognize the reform. So, for them, the old is present, Osun state is their choice.
In the package of the intangible, we have state anthem, flag and beautiful crest adopted from old Western region superintended by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but the opposition flares up, faulting the cowries in the flag, accusing the governor of being fetish and argued that the crest was designed for secession, and the implied meaning of the cowries which symbolize medium of exchange before colonial rule, and the strength and service which depict the meaning of crest are ignored.
Aregbesola was made by the chieftains of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a mortal enemy of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, because in their thinking, the fall of the governor in the next election would be to their own advantage. But what they could not fathom was the energy he put into his tangible work; Aregbesola dazed everyone with numbers of roads he rolled out, the number of schools he set to construct became unprecedented; the soft loan he set up for small businesses dropped the jaw; the ambulance service he inaugurated was quite innovative, and the zeal to bring the aesthetic to Osogbo, the state capital was unbelievable to an extent that the then PDP governorship candidate, basking on the strength of federal might ordered thugs and security operatives from Abuja to make it impossible for the state to pull down its offensive structure in Ogo Oluwa. The aim was to disfigure the renewal of the state capital along that axis.
When the 2014 governorship election approached, Jonathan presidency brought in money in tones of different currencies, its security operatives including army became army of occupation. There was a palpable fear in the state, unknown to them that Aregbesola had conquered the mind of the electorate. On the day of election, people trooped out in legions to exercise their civic duty, and they became unstoppable, upon the intimidation of all sorts. At the end, Aregbesola triumphed.
While I chose to reflect on the history is that Aregbesola is not strange to fight, and his fighting spirit is firm and intimidating as long as is convinced in a cause. I learnt that he fought hard in Lagos while he led Asiwaju Bola Tinubu's campaign for governor and won. So, he is used to fighting external forces, luck has always been smiling at him. The only war I have not heard him fight is enemies within, but relying on J. S Mill's universal causation, Aregbesola may win the war too, and my reasons are explained below:
In the first place, the enemies within his party which Fatai Diekola and Lasun Yusuff represent now appear to have the face of betrayers in the perception of the people, for both of them were considered to have been made who they are by Aregbesola's resolve. Lasun may not have become the Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives if Aregbesola had succumbed to the forces of opposition against his candidature in the last election within the party; while Diekola's fate would have been in sorry state should Aregbesola ignore his health concern. We may argue that God has perfected the fate of all men, and that man will be where he is destined to be no matter what, but the role of destiny helpers must also be acknowledged. And perception matters.
Besides, those who are fighting Aregbesola within have not found a way of conquering the mindset of the people, who have in majority agreed that the Ijesa born politician has done the unthinkable. Unfortunately for them, money or any other forms of inducement cannot change the mindset for now. And mindset of the people matters.
Also, the enemies within are in dearth of foot soldiers, and this is because Aregbesola seems to have, in line with Yoruba maxim, because of war of attrition, courts 800 friends; for if 400 turn his mortal enemies, 400 would remain his loyal friends. He has not presented a picture of a leader who cheats his people with his austere figure, and none of his projects is stale. However, Diekola's once upon foot soldiers have an axe to grind with him, alleging that when he was in the good book of the governor, and was smiling to the bank everyday; he only helped himself and his children; while the allegation against Lasun is his strong character. Devil is in the detail.
Is Aregbesola an Ajele (district officer from foreign land)? I do not think so, because the Ijesa, particularly Irogbo community in Ilesa has never denied him or his father, Sheik Ali Aregbesola, and his mother, Iya Olobi is very prominent among her people from the community. Though, he lived and earned his political relevance in Lagos just like almost everyone has a family member in Lagos too. Besides, Lagos is a Yoruba state and should be seen as our collective heritage not as den of enemies.
My concern now is that Aregbesola should not trust those who are fighting his enemies on his behalf, because they are fighting for spaces in his heart with a view to occupying yet to be filled political posts; others are only doing it for "the enemies of my enemy are my friends". I am of opinion that the governor should return to his magic box, bring out his charming spirit to reconcile with the enemies within; and mobilize them for the big task ahead, which is the preservation of his legacy, because those who are shouting kill me! Decimate them! would turn 360 tomorrow when Aregbesola is no longer in power to say uncomplimentary things about him. The way and manner Akande was deserted by the very people who fueled crisis between him and his estranged deputy, Iyiola Omisore was very instructive. If you want to dispute me, convince me that Peter Babalola who has picked gauntlet against Diekola at senatorial meeting is not the same man, the then Olagunsoye Oyinlola's Chief of Staff, who forcefully removed chair meant for Aregbesola at 2006 Oroki Day in Osogbo, where he allegedly instructed thugs to kill him should he wait further at the program. Meanwhile, Diekola and Lasun should know that this is a no win battle for them as well.