Rauf comes across as a
textbook case of too little, too
late, the personification of a
black male out of touch with
fertility and agility.
It took too long to
acknowledge the seriousness
of conscience death in a man
elected to be the conscience
of a people, an under-reaction
given the excessive use of force
against the unarmed minds.
Then he inflamed the situation
by imposing his foolery in
public arenas.
I have attempted to refrain
from public comments on the
failure that Aregbesola is until
yesterday when I had to edit a
news script of an activity of his
at Iragbiji the day before. If he
was quoted and I didn’t have
to watch and cast what he said,
it probably would have passed
like many others.
He did say that the striking
doctors in the state should let
him be after all they didn’t
elect him and that he would
give them transport fare and
even one month hotel bill to go
to other states and find job if it
will just take them away from
What a governor (that cant
pay wages say such thing?)
I don’t envy a governor
in this situation. Who even
would? But shouldn’t decorum
has prevailed?
If you act too fast, you’re
overriding local intelligence
and you run the risk of
triggering a counter-response.
If you wait too long, things get
out of control. That’s where
Osun is headed.
Unfortunately, Rauf keeps
getting it wrong coming and
going, letting too much time
pass before he showed his face
if he has any, triggering angry
retorts from residents that as a
Democrat he only cared about
them on Election Day, then
super-imposing a curfew, an
economic one only to withdraw
it when again he needs some
praise singing.
It’s been a mess all around,
this I very well know. Nobody
has yet figured out a way of
bringing peace and prosperity
to the streets of Osun and
simultaneously addressing
the concerns of people who
are showing up in peaceful
protest. The opportunistic
looting of Rauf is best termed
a violent criminal element and
has created dilemmas for the
confused citizenry and put
civil activists (most of whom
in Osun are come and raid and
not comrades) on the defensive,
complicating the story line
from all sides.
Still, it’s hard to escape the
conclusion that a more artful
and sensitive handling of this
situation at the beginning
could have averted a lot of this
That’s where the opposition
shoulders some blame for
failing to step in early and
effectively. Rauf’s apparent
inability to read the agrarians’
community in his state is
puzzling, as the people are
such an important part of
the Democratic coalition. He
doesn’t seem to have a feel
for that community in a way
that a lot of other Southern
Democratic governors do have.
Before Rauf was elected
governor in 2010, he served
terms as Lagos State’s
commissioner for works,
winning plaudits for a reform
agenda on cleaning up the
streets, reinstating campaign
contribution limits, making
road and bridges, and creating
a new Lagos. Since his election
as governor of Osun, in 2010,
he’s been loudly promoting
himself as a “ No commonsense
moderate,” elected
repeatedly (twice) in a red
state as someone who could
put Osun in the Democratic
column as, say, a true Awoist.
The dream is over. Now, Rauf
is just trying to get through
the night. From being barely
visible in the early days of the
crisis in 2014, blaming it
on Jonathan and the PDP, he
is now turning up on every talk
show that will have him and
say Osun is in a special state as
if we got there by an accident
except him as the biggest error
Osun ever made. It may be too
late, but he seems finally
to understand the burden of
communication that he carries,
that he owes it to the citizens
in Osun, and elsewhere, to be
clear about what’s ahead. The
wheels of the criminal system
move slowly.
The grievances in Osun State
are deep and long-standing,
and there has to be a strategy
for the short term, reinstating
calm, and the longer term,
making sure the people are
I can’t claim to remember
everything clearly but I can say
we never had it so bad haven
lived here nearly two scores
in years. I remember being
at one point in a conference
room with the governor and he
beats his chest to say as if like a
god, awa la Ni Osun (we own
Osun). That a man can as such
arrogate himself shows how
things were.
Rauf has simply lost sight of
what’s important. The lazerlike
focus that catapulted him
to the top has disappeared and
he has become distracted by
the trappings of leadership,
such as wealth and notoriety.
Ayo Ologun writes from
Osogbo. He is a broadcast
journalist and a social

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