Olawale Rasheed and mess cleansing task, By Ismail Omipidan

I pity Olawale Rasheed. He has a difficult task at hand. They defecate in the public place and just ask him to go and clear it. In an attempt to clear the mess, Mr. Rasheed would descend so low, hurl abusive words and sometimes even curses. When an image maker who has a responsibility to interface between the public and his boss and burnish his image results to amassing enemies for his principal through flak throwing, something is obviously wrong somewhere. 

In the last eight months, he has called not less than 10 journalists working in Osun to either threaten to run them out of town or deal ruthlessly with them. He's fond of bullying reporters who are only doing their job. He called me too on phone about a week ago to abuse me. Apart from one of my friends who heard the conversation live and direct, I reported the matter to another senior colleague of ours. His soothing words that "leadership is not about age," calmed me and prevented me from doing a stinker to Mr. Rasheed.

However, since he has now put it in black and white, I am compelled to respond. I will, however, try to avoid going his way as he has demonstrated lack of skill and courtesy in his attempt to hit at me. This is why I pity Mr. Olawale Rasheed for his mess cleansing task. 

His claim that I suffer depression is laughable. Mr Rasheed, you know me, and you know that description does not fit me. If indeed you appreciate your self worth and value your education, you certainly would not have tolerated the conditions you are being subjected to just to remain around the Ede power brokers.

Let me make it clear that I deliberately refused to add Mallam to his name because it was a recent invention. Besides, his antecedents do not in any way qualify him to be addressed as such in the first instance.

Before I respond to other issues he raised in his poorly written piece, let me commend him for coming out for the first time to address my person. In the past, it was through some Sahel Standard kind of reports. That said, I make bold to say that he had no answers to the issues I raised in my piece concerning the nonsense the administration did in Iree Poly where an eminently-qualified person was shoved aside to pave the way for an Ede person as Acting Rector. I challenge Mr. Rasheed to publish the criteria for appointment of a Rector and point out those items that qualify Mr. Kehinde Alabi as Acting Rector other than being from Ede. 

Did Kehinde Alabi contest for the deputy rectorship? How many votes did he garner in the election? Was the said petition against the erstwhile Rector, Dr Odetayo, submitted before or after the June election conducted at the institution? When was the allegation investigated to have arrived at the decision to sack the Rector? If the narrative that all the top management staff of the Polytechnic were involved in corruption as claimed by Mr. Rasheed is correct, how come only the Rector was singled out for suspension? It is their style. They tell a lie, and shamelessly tell several other lies that don't add up to cover that one lie. It's a pity!

On his claim that the governor appointed persons from Osogbo and Ila, please hear me out: The Senator he referred to is from Ila no doubt. But the same Senator has a strong link with Ede Country home of the power brokers. That is one. Two, the two commissioners from Ila have blood relations with the Senator. Three and finally, one of those appointed from Osogbo is the wife of the older brother of his principal. Isn't that 'edenisation'? By implication, it is possible to infer that if the Senator has no link with the governor's country home, Ede, he might not have gotten the ticket in the first instance.

Of the permanent secretaries that were appointed, seven are from Ede and all of them were assigned strategic ministries like works, Finance and the likes. As if that is not enough, the son of his principal's older brother who has no experience and who spent about 10 years to obtain a degree was appointed Chairman of the state's Local Government Service Commission. Mr. Rasheed, I advise you to stay on the lane of decency. If you go the other lane, you will thoroughly get smeared in an irredeemable manner. We know ourselves in this pen and paper job.

In order not to bore the reading public with too long a story, I will point out some lies even in the piece Rasheed just authored. Before now, what they told us was that they had completed the Ikirun road up to Kwara boundary. But in his latest piece, he said they are preparing for the next phase to carry it up to Kwara boundary. Even the Ikirun part of road is yet to be completed. The number of road projects going on in Ede, including the dualisation of Ede town from Akoda which was not in the budget, are huge compared to skeletal work going on in other parts of the State.

With limited resources, the Oyetola government made noticeable efforts to stabilise the Osun economy. The type of resources at your disposal today was never available to our administration. In spite of that, we did our best. We never abandoned any project. The borehole you dug at N14m per unit, remember you promised to give us details in June. I am sure your calendar is reading May. The borehole you referred to is not located in front of my family house but our ward. The governor also has one in his ward. The one in my ward even as at today is not functioning though. I don't know if that of the governor is functioning. But if by your claim, there is no borehole in the governor's ward, then, it means he is not as responsible as you have painted him to be in your piece.

On the appointment of the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Agency under our administration, go and do your findings well. As at the time she was appointed, she was qualified. As a matter fact, if my principal was to behave like yours, the appointment would have been made immediately we assumed office. But His Excellency, Adegboyega Oyetola, allowed due process to play out and those who were ahead of her occupied the position before it came to her turn. In the last eight months, you guys have just been going round same circle with little or nothing to show for the huge allocations you have received. All the projects, from digital economy to fibre optics, are just mere rhetoric. No tangible results to show.

For the umpteenth time, my Principal was never rejected at the polls. As a matter of fact, we did not lose that election. We lost the vote count, no doubt. But the court decided otherwise and we have since moved on.

Osun is our collective patrimony. We will, therefore, not fold our  alms and allow you destroy the state. Which bar of governance has been raised under you? You promised to cut down cost of governance but you have appointed 44 Special Advisers, 25 commissioners and several others still coming. Since November last year, you have not told us how much you generate as IGR. We pointed out to you how these monies were being diverted into private pockets. We provided you account details and identity of the member of your Revenue committee who was involved. Have you told Osun people the outcome of the investigation?

I am desirous of seeing Osun grow and  develop like Lagos. But I knew from day one that a Senator Ademola Adeleke-led administration would lower the standard. Recall that shortly after his declaration as the governor-elect, he inaugurated his transition committee. One of the 18 Terms of Reference of the committee is to propose actionable agenda for the new administration in the first 100 days, one year and subsequent years. From there, I knew his government was not prepared for governance. I said so in my encounter with the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji, on a current affairs programme on radio the next day.

Eight months after, I appear to have been vindicated. First, they have not been able to clear the arrears of salaries they promised to clear within six months, contrary to their claim in the media that they have cleared the 30-month arrears. Logically, a government that came in without an idea of what it wants to do will continue to falter and lie to the public to cover for its ineptitude and dubious tendencies, as getting empirical evidences to back up their dubious and fraudulent claims will continue to remain a daunting task for them. Apart from ‘dance craft’, the administration appears to have nothing to offer. If anything, the last eight months have further exposed the administration as one lacking in character, content and capacity.

Omipidan, a journalist and Public Affairs Analyst writes from Ile Olorisa Compound, Eyindi Ila Orangun.

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