The Oasis Reporters
January 28, 2019
The APC presidential Campaign rally was full of gaiety, music and dance, but it was without soul. To kick-start the singing was governor Abiola Ajimobi who sang lustfully in Yoruba melodious tunes before Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also took the bandstand and finally, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu equally showed his capability in Yoruba melody.
All the while, President Muhammadu Buhari stood with a permanent smile on his lips, neither swaying to the dance steps as sign that the baba has got no rhythm. He can’t dance a lick.
In contrast, I was privileged to watch Chief Obafemi Awolowo campaign at Oba Market in Benin City, 1979. He showed his disdain for musical clownishness by Benin musicians. He spoke into the microphone, ordering them to stop. “ Let me talk. When I finish and go, you can continue with your singing”, and everyone laughed. Chief Awolowo then carefully laid out his cardinal programs with all air of seriousness. He got the votes of the then Bendel State.
The sons of Awolowo’s disciples do more of dancing at campaigns these days with plenty of rhetoric and yet, very little or nothing on ground to show..
President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday, in his brief speech at the campaign ground, Mapo Hall, Ibadan assured the South-west that the reconstruction of Lagos-Ibadan expressway and Lagos- Ibadan rail projects would be completed before the end of this year. The new standard gauge rail line would be a signature tune “for more dividends of democracy for the region.”
The rail line would take workers to Lagos in the morning and bring them back in the evening. People clapped, despite the fact that the tax Ibadan workers in Lagos would pay would invariably go to Lagos, leaving Oyo state in the same parlous state with the inability to pay civil servants salaries because their wealth would go elsewhere.
There was nothing about developing the Oyo state economy to grow wealth in the state, like Peter Obi developed Anambra infrastructure to attract industry within the South Eastern state, which enabled Peter Obi to leave 75 billion Naira cash for the successor administration. Governor Ajimobi would leave mountains of debts for generations yet unborn to pay, including outstanding salaries.
The rally was attended by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, among others.
At the rally, Buhari said the completion of the two projects would boost the economy of not only the region, but the country as a whole.
He noted that the more reason the Minister for Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and his Works, Power and Housing counterpart, Mr. Raji Fashola, “are working hard is to ensure that the two projects are completed before the end of this year.”
Before lauding the people for standing in the scorching sun and for sacrificing their time to welcome him while soliciting the support of the people of the region for all the candidates of the party in the forthcoming elections, he promised to provide electricity, but ironically, much of Ibadan had no electricity for three days. YouTube channels helped many Oyo state citizens to watch what transpired on that day after finding means to charge their phones.
President Muhammadu Buhari has not been able to provide electricity for not only Ibadan and the South West in more than three years and eight months, yet he is asking for another four years to do that.
Meanwhile, Aliko Dangote built a 90 MW power plant for the Ewekoro Cement factory he purchased a few years ago in the South West, within three months.
Pundits are querying why there is no improvement in power projects throughout his tenure besides blaming the past administration for fritting away what the APC calls oil money that the PDP administration earned.
Is APC government not earning money too? They ask.
In his speech, Osinbajo urged people of the region to vote for candidates of the party in the forthcoming elections, insisting that the country cannot afford to go back to the days of those who ran the country aground.
According to him, the market women are the owners of government. The N-Power, the food vendors, great Nigerian youths are the owners of this government. We must not go back to the old days. On February 16, vote for Buhari. On March 2, vote for Bayo Adelabu. All of us in Ibadan should show them that we are the owners of the votes.
On his part, the APC National Leader, Tinubu, also urged the people of the zone to guard their PVCs so as to vote massively for the party.
He said, “On the day of election, vote and don’t just vote and sit down. I will not mention their names, of they are interested in politics let them go and prostrate. You will not be put to shame. Your PVCs will not be lost. You will vote on that day and you will vote for our party”.
Despite the grand conviviality that attended the rally, Ibadan civil servants still appear miserable without their salaries, owed for months and they still wonder if it would be right to vote for an under performing administration that is wooing them more with music and dance, rather than their salaries in their pockets.