The Yoruba cultural heritage is extremely rich; the diversity and ingenuity of the language spoken, our sumptuous delicacies and cuisine, the panegyrics of each families, archaeologically transformed tradition, the intellectual residual knowledge spreading our sovereignty across the African continent to the Caribbean’s, Asia, European countries and many part of the North American speaking people. Research and discoveries have proven that the evolution of modern science in pharmaceutical exploration have its root in the beneficial classification of plants in Yoruba.
How best do you explain that Beans can be transformed into 13 edible consumables, the economic wealth attached to the palm tree remains the exclusive preserve of our ancestors. Botanical nature of the bitter leaf is superb: over 100 ailments can be cured by it. Take a closer look at the vegetables; the leafy component of Dagunro (Alternanthera nodiflora) is another awesome testimony of mankind; highly versatile, colourful, mullti-purpose in therapeutic value and sharp tooth edges and pointed tips from where it derives the name thorny hogweed, do you know, the older the Dagunro plant is, the more mysteriously potent and effective it becomes. You dare not out of your insatiable desire eat Dagunro, the same way you have swallowed other vegetables
Figuratively speaking, the physical size of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola may not be too appealing and convincing as his fragility and unassuming simplicity connote such but his potential for greatness, native intelligence, and patriotic zeal for excellence, deep insight and thorough research in terms and search for knowledge is second to none. He is a natural embodiment of talents; his eyes are always gazed on his set goals without any form of distraction, a workaholic being who doesn’t settle for earthly gratification of sorts. He is overtly and covertly prepared for the governance of the state of Osun, one of the very reasons why his magical touch on any aspect of his key cardinal programmes contained in the 6 integral action plans for the electorates is always epoch-making and extra ordinary, the talk of the nation. You cannot compare Dagunro with any other plant.
His sound prowess and analytical understanding of Osun political firmament and statistical components is apt, he displayed it in 2007 skillfully against the incumbent with strategic technical configurations in a keenly contested election but political nonentities and his transducers claimed he made it through the court, he whipped them in the 2011 general election to prove his potency: 38 – 0 (He singlehandedly delivered the 26 members House of Assembly, 9 Federal House of Representatives and 3 Senatorial district, barely 5months after he became governor), they concluded that it must be a political fluke of sorts, after all he did not stand election but they have failed even till date to fault or unravel why Osun remains the only state in Nigeria where Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the presidential candidate of the defunct ACN floored the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, that again was the genesis of another strife between Ogbeni and the PDP government of GEJ. Once again, you cannot eat Dagunro just like any other vegetable.
Essentially, 2014 gubernatorial elections were decisively strategic for Ogbeni. It was an avenue to put to test his sacrifice for developmental productivities, the consolidation of his political wand cum popularity in the state of Osun against all the known and unknown forces of evil political machineries. It was another strict and dire battle of APC who recently lost the Ekiti polls in a decimated approach towards stamping out the PDP – GEJ led federal government. It was a litmus test to infer the political future of APC, so nothing was spared in the arsenal of Jonathan ranging from the financial inducement of voters, orchestrated media attack and public condemnation of Aregbesola, the proliferation of the royal institution and a cross section of the labour movement and over militarization with armed security personnel of the entire election. It was a war taken too far by the PDP. Yet, as calm as ever, having transverse the nooks and crannies of the 30 local governments, the realization of the presence of massive infrastructural projects completed or ongoing; the movement of ideology and impartation of a revolutionized liberation for the Yoruba nation to remain in the front burner of progressive politics and a visibly sign-post signaling a prosperous Osun for a brighter tomorrow, Aregbesola won convincingly and an indelible emblem of Dagunro resurfaced. Dagunro like no other plants is not imitable.
Retrospectively, moving inches close to his 7year impact-driven and unusual style of participatory governance, no matter the conjectures or unproven thesis in political naivety, judging by the plenteous accusation by a section of the selective propagandist print-mills sponsored by the dying and uncoordinated opposition in the state of Osun, Aregbesola remains loved and acceptable on the confines of general template of accessibility. In a reassuring technique of empirical evidence to ascertain this close observation, his friends and associates as part of efforts to celebrate the Diamond appearance of a living legend put together a healthy fitness programmed tagged “Walk to Live for Aregbesola@60”, the voluntary followership and involvement of participants was outstanding, the reception was overwhelming massive and the outpouring of encomium, prayers and accolades by Osogbo spectators/residents of the 8.95Km walk was instructively monumental. This love is transmissibly radiating, owing to the beautification synopsis on the landscape of Osogbo to really attain a befitting capital which has made it more environmentally friendly, economically viable and culturally appealing. The social contract in key intervention areas and unquantifiable infrastructural deficit rejuvenation for the entire populace which is standing firm in every town of Osun is the unlocking secret of the unaltered affinity between the governor and his people. The Dagunro systematics.
The mushroom and myopic tendencies of his unrepentant detractors that Aregbesola belief and visit to Cuba is a fall-out on the hypnotization on his well-wishers and followers on the precept of Aworo (Charm used in pulling crowd) whenever he visit any part of Osun is intellectually faulty. Maybe they have forgotten the impact of giant strides in massive road rehabilitation and construction which is unprecedented in the annals of Osun: the local, state and federal roads were given facelift, interconnectivity and durability to re-shapen and boost economic activities for a government in close 1,000km within 6years. The structural design and internal components for conducive atmosphere to ease learning in all the newly built 70 elementary, middle and high schools have received applause by all the major key educational stakeholders within the country; the complete overhauling and refurbishment of another 1500 classrooms is also commendable, the rural electrification and roads project has touched a lot of community within the coverage of Osun.
It is noteworthy to mention the diversification mechanism of the Aregbesola agricultural revolution which is the bedrock upon which the O-Meal feeding programmed is predicated, it is the O – REAP and O – BOPS creativities that is stabilizing the farmers purse through their produce, creating employment opportunities for cooks/caterers and promoting healthy living for our pupils, thereby reducing the consequential scarce resources to medical bills on account of malnutrition. The Bola Ige Mechatronics Institute, Esa Oke is another sight to behold, is one of Africa’s best mechatronics school, with none of its kind in Nigeria or sub-Saharan Africa for that matter, 50 of the 85 stranded UNIOSUN medical students on full scholarship to Ukraine to complete their medical studies will graduate in a matter of weeks. The Osun school feeding programme which puts 250,000 plates daily of nutritious meal on the tables of elementary school pupils and the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) which has graduated over 40,000 people in 6years are few of the initiatives of dogged Aregbesola on the templates of the federal government of Nigeria as mechanism for social change.
No doubt, Aregbesola meticulously walked a path of economic buoyancy by taking loans, though tough decisions to implement ideal visions and sustainable realities that will forever be cherished by Osun people against the backdrop of his colleagues whose states are heavily indebted yet nothing significant in Osun magnitude or dimension can be traced to their credit. His projects scattered all over the three senatorial districts are visible and open for assessment and public scrutiny. The medium to collapse Osun into stagnancy and backwardness by disgruntled political opportunists have no place in documentation as the liberator and architect of modern state of Osun has propelled it into prominence and brighter tomorrow. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola philosophy stretches from the South West to the central government of Nigeria. Ki eku ile ko gbo ko so fun to’ko (let the house rats inform those in the bush) that Our Dagunro remains as potent, effective and valuable as ever. A national phenomenon is 60. Happy birthday Mr. Governor.
Engineer Oluremi OMOWAIYE writes from Osogbo