By Mallam Olawale Rasheed
When a writer described a popular performing state Governor as a clown, what claim has such a person to complain about abusive words? In enlightened discourse, it is morally right to respect our leaders irrespective of political affiliations. When Ismail persisted in his abusive write ups against the person of the Governor, it is right and apt to respond in kind.
Having said that, I must posit here that I am never a hired hand engaged after an election victory to join the government. Unlike some media workers who were engaged as press secretary after an election victory, I have been a political player in Osun State since the early days of the defunct Social Democratic Party. In 1999 , I was the director of Media and Publicity for the PDP Governorship Campaign. In 2018, I managed the media structure , ditto for 2022 guber polls. If there is any mess we are cleaning , it is the misgovernance and maladministration inherited from the Oyetola period.
The members of the public will remember the struggles the present administration passed through before assumption of office. Even after winning election on July 16, there was a concerted push to truncate the will of the people. Through God and mass support, Governor Adeleke assumed office on November 28th, 2022.
Operating in an hostile environment , the administration launched out on a restoration agenda , interfacing with all strata of the society including the media. We are today planning a correspondent chapel building in Osun and we have never invoked the cyber crime prohibition and prevention act against any journalist in the state.
We have avoided open exchange with Ismail for a long time because of several reasons until he crossed the boundary of decency. We defeated Ismail’s boss and so we believed he was not worthy of our engagement because of the urgent task of restoring the dignity and integrity of the state.
We have however chosen to now regularly and frontally tackle him simply because he persists in deploying undiluted falsehood as a tool of communications. In my response to him, I listed how fair and equitable Governor Adeleke has been to all parts of the state. I listed appointments and projects across the state. I have several calls commending that clarifications.
In his usual failed approach, he half-wittedly admitted Ila Orangun indeed enjoyed massive patronage from the present administration-two commissioners, Senator, House of Representatives, Advisers, citing alleged relationship with Ede. He was silent on the Ila General Hospital, another reflection of half truths that failed his principal during elections.
As members of the same political family, is Ismail tagging it a crime being close to the Adeleke family? Is the greenhorn politician avering that the Governor should appoint his enemies into office?
Why is he changing the goal post? First he said all key appointees are from Ede. When we proved to him that Ede is disadvantaged in the scheme.of things, he belatedly changed it to people with links to Ede. Is that not disingenuous?
Let me press it further. We have both established that big positions and projects abound across the towns including Iwo, my place and Ila Orangun , Omipidan’s place. Now are we saying Ede has no right to have her fair share of appointments? Is it a crime to have their son as a Governor?
During your infamous hold on Osun, your boss appointed four Council Managers from only Iragbiji (a town within Boripe Local Government). Your boss granted only Iragbiji born Civil Servants conversion to Officers’ cadre.
Governor Adeleke is not like your principal. He gave other towns their fair share. If an Ede man is completing the Osogbo circular road that your administration abandoned for four years and also completed Osogbo-ikirun road, what is wrong in him acting on Akoda road? Why must Ede be denied her own allocations?
Even the borehole with video functioning in his family house he finds it difficult to admit. The 332 boreholes executed under direct labour below three million naira he shamelessly tagged as N14 million.
If Ismail is faulting the digital economy drive of the Adeleke governorship, let ask him if Osun has the following under his boss: a state tech innovation policy, a state ICT policy, a start up domestication plan and ongoing fibre optic project which is visible to the blind across the state
If he argues we have no plan, let’s ask him how we have reformed the public service with vibrant permanent secretaries rather than the coordinating directors of the Oyetola era. We.debunked his lies that the Governor pledged to clear salary debt within six months. Rather he had issued a template for gradual.payment which he is pursuing religiously.
On revenue and expenditure, Ismail can at least accept that the Adelekes are quite well off and are not parasites on government bailout before assumption of office.
We must put on records that Ismail’s constant lies during the campaign was one of the reasons responsible for the loss of Mr Oyetola during the polls. His not too elegant misrepresentation of facts deepened Osun people’s hatred for the APC during the state and National.Assembly elections.
At a time , when most Nigerians are commending Governor Adeleke for superlative performance , my brother was still clinging to his failed narrative of being rigged out of the guber polls. If you were rigged out at July 16 guber polls , were you also rigged out at the State and National Assembly elections?
On the Iree Poly matter, our submission is made and the relevant authorities are.dealing with the issue. One fact is clear, the opposition has failed in its bid to use administrative action on Iree as a springboard for activism. Both ASUP and student bodies have realised the politicisation of the matter by politicians of yesterday.
One last thing, we know each other in the media as you affirmed. I served as Abuja Bureau Chief, Group Politics Editor, Special Assistants to two separate ministers and Director of a policy centre before taking up this job as spokesperson to Governor Adeleke. If you have anything evil about my service records, please open it up.
For now, Osun people are happy with their Governor. Your camp was rejected at the polls three times this year alone. Today, your party is deeply factionalised in Osun.
Change your tactics brother. You were appointed a press secreatry after Mr Governor Oyetola assumed office , after my brother Adeniyi left on his own volition. You failed to deliver your man because of faulty strategy. Now that you are in opposition, change your approach. It is not late.
And take note of this. A great teacher of propaganda once noted that effectiveness lies in having elements of truths in an overall falsehood. In Ismail’s case, his output in Osun politics failed that test, hence his leading his boss to failure at several strategic points.
● Mallam Olawale Rasheed is the Special.Adviser /Spokesperson to the Osun state Governor.