Published on April 27th, 2011 | by Olumide1
Alao is Disallowed!
In 2007, I felt like a victim of rape. I had been so optimistic that my candidate, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, would win the elections. Everyone seemed to share my opinion. And at the polling centres, they voted for their hearts. In my parents’ polling unit, the Senator had an astronomical lead and it was mirrored like that in most places. We were all so sure… until the miracle happened. At the ‘midnight hour’ when ‘men were asleep’and the representatives of the underworld had snatched enough ballot boxes and manipulated enough sheets, we heard a result. It wasn’t the one we expected. It was the result of the ‘thief in the night’.
Oyo State has a history of being grossly unfortunate with governors. For a state whose capital is the former capital of the Western Region, Oyo has been languishing in massive stagnation and underdevelopment. Once upon a time, Oyo housed Africa’s tallest building, Cocoa House. Now (decades later), Cocoa House (which is still the tallest building in Oyo and nowhere close to being the tallest in Africa) is just barely above the level of being classified as ‘delapidated’. NTA Ibadan was the first television station in Africa. Now, it is an embarrassment to journalism (no insults intended to the workers). The newer ones in the state are not better. There is BCOS which is the governors official campaign channel… Once, we had super structures like Cultural Centre being exclusive to Oyo. Now, other than Cultural Centre, we have nothing while others have everything.
I think you can get the gist. It’s almost as if someone pressed the ‘pause’ button on the development of Oyo State and there has been no meaningful development in years, maybe even decades. We can give the credits for such pacesetting stagnation to governors (like the one that is being chased out now), godfathers like the legendary ‘Alaafin of Molete’, the Basorun Gaa who would come on TV to accuse a governor of not sharing enough of the state allocation with him! Oh, no one could complain: the guy was a god! He controlled the thugs, otherwise known as the National Union of Road Transport Workers (I am not trying to infer that all the members of the Union were thugs).
This last governor has been particularly embarrassing. With a penchant for bleaching creams and a vast database of poses for billboard photographs (many of which littered the state), we have been treated to yet another four years of celebrating mediocrity. We have been holding lavish ceremonies to thank his ‘Excellency’, who thought it wise to renovate a mere hall like Mapo Hall (with hundreds of millions of Naira). We have celebrated ‘free education’ (which has become another expression for ‘an excuse to breed children who know nothing and cheat to get ahead’). We have been forced to watch as chieftaincy titles were awarded for thinking like 19th century people.
So you can imagine how glad I am that our votes got to count this time. I am not sure I’m a huge fan of Mr President but I can say for sure that I will always appreciate him for this. Admittedly, free and fair elections are supposed to be a norm and not a priveledge. But we’ve been denied so many times that we can not but shout loud hallelujahs and have massive thanksgiving dinners. For us, it’s a shot at hope. The hope that maybe Oyo would begin to develop like Lagos as been doing. The hope that our children would go to schools and not distraction centres. The hope that our roads would be roads and not coffins in disguise. The hope that business will boom and peace will reign. The hope that area boys would be reduced and the learned would be celebrated. The hope that workers would not have to beg for their salaries or prostitute themselves through flattery to service the ego of a man who fancies himself as God.
And maybe finally, we would not have to be so embarrassed that our governor is rumored to be a dismissed policeman and self-serving backstabber. Maybe we are delivered from bleaching governors for good.
Maybe there would be development at last.