During my formative years in Akure,the name of the then Paramount ruler of Akure kingdom Late Oba Atayese Adebobajo Adesida IV was synonymous to perpetuity. The throne itself as the custom of Yoruba dictates, except on a very grievous sacrilege that may call for dethronement, the occupant is expected to die on the throne. But even at that, for younger ones like me, I never envisaged that the name of another person will be tied to that royal stool. It has been Oba Adebobajo for ages, and that i thought it will be forever. It has become our rehearsing rhyme in primary school, whenever our teacher asks ” Who is the Deji of Akure?”, the chorus has always been “Oba Atayese Adebobajo Adesida IV”, until sometime in October 1999, when the king joined his ancestors.
For a child born around year 2005 in Osun state, the name Rauf Aregbesola too is no doubt a name that seemingly defies transition, especially for those born in the year 2010, Aregbesola must have been an every day name they can never forget. But today, that rhetoric is set to change. It will now take teachers little efforts to change the chorus answer and lecture our younger minds that Aregbesola is no more the state governor. This is indeed, the end of an era in Osun.
From “Eko Tinubu”, to ” Eko Fashola and “Eko Ambode”, Lagosians always relish these words at the slightest opportunity to either reject a notion or dismiss an issue. You will hear, ” Ko Jo rara l’eko Ambode meaning it can’t happen in this Lagos where Ambode is governor. Just as ” The symbol” stated in his valedictory speech, his political journey in Osun did not start in 2010, but in 2005. So for the sake of argument, it has been Osun-Aregbesola for over a decade and three years. For these years Aregbesa held sway to the delight of many and chagrin of many. It is indeed the end of an era.
On the 9th of July 2014, one of the campaign days for the re-election of Rauf Aregbesola, I had for the first time, a close up look at the man “Oranmiyan”. Stepping out in his usual white short Agbada regalia and cap to match, the Nelson Mandela freedom park campaign venue booze with frenzy just as Baba Kabiru stepped out to distribute buses for drivers and also seek their support for his second term ambition. On that day, YES, I fell in love with him, but not without my reservations.
The eight year rule of ” Aregbe” in Osun state will no doubt be measured from so many angles and perspectives. While some will see him as a hero that should be deified, some others may not. But it is incontrovertible that Aregbesola changed the face of Osun state as a whole politically and economically.
It is indeed the end of an era in Osun state or the state of Osun, Aregbesola traversed the length and breath of Osun as a colossus, his physical projects will no doubt speak for him much after his exit from office, just as many will raise the issue of debt profile to high heavens as one of Aregbesola’s scorecard afterwards. But it is indeed the end of an era.
Aregbesola! The delight of journalists, always on guard and prepared to fire from all cylinders. He is always quick to lecture journalists who may not know their onions. “Let me help you with your question”, Aregbesola will quip”
Never will I forget that “Ogbeni till day break” and that moment when Opeyemi Olawale, the then Adaba FM correspondent in Osun fired her question. Can I forget in a jiffy, the drama that ensued between Ogbeni and Oluwole Ige, the Osun state correspondent for The Tribune Newspaper during the commissioning of workers’ drive in Osogbo? With no iota of doubt, the change of baton in the governance of Osun state as it is happening today indeed marks the end of an era.
Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aremu Aregbesola Omo Iya Olobi, the political giant himself, retiring to private life is what you have been preparing for. At every forum where you have the opportunity, you never forget to tell all present about your countdown to this day. Yes, it is now time for reflection. Struggles led, successes recorded, mistakes made while in office.
As you take your time to review this past eight years while the affairs of the state now becomes the responsibility of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Let me quickly ask, will you miss the Jumat service and those fanfare that followed? The eid prayers and the road show that accompanied them? Do you think those former governors and politicians who believed sixteen was greater than 19 will forgive you after exposing them with your recording especially now that you are joining them in the league of former governors? What will you even miss about the people of Osun? I am pretty sure, Osun will miss those dancing steps and those long reverberating laughs.
Except if the new governor decides to maintain your tradition, Osun will miss the long lists of those to be recognised at every event. Osun will surely miss your comradic burst on issues embellished with a distinct tone that can only be that of Aregbe. For the good ,the bad and the ugly of your stay in office,love him or hate, it is apparent that you’ve had your name imprinted in the sands of time, for it is indeed the end of an era in Osun state.
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