APC lost the elec­tion to APC, con­tends Kunle Owolabi

THISDAY - - COMMENT - Owolabi wrote from Osogbo, Osun State

THISDAY News­pa­per’s ed­i­to­rial of Fri­day, July 17, 2017 was a care­fully and skill­fully writ­ten piece. The ed­i­to­rial dug deeply into how the last Osun West Senatorial by­e­elec­tion was con­ducted, lost and won. Com­men­da­tion should go to news­pa­per for elect­ing to tell the truth about the is­sue at stake as well as its thor­ough ap­praisal of the elec­tion; and con­struc­tive crit­i­cism of the prin­ci­pal ac­tors in the elec­toral con­test. With its ob­jec­tiv­ity and near-per­fect read­ing of the per­for­mance of the Gov­er­nor, Rauf Aregbesola; the suc­cesses of his pro­grammes and poli­cies ‘boosted by fis­cal pru­dence;’ and the even­tual fi­nan­cial cri­sis aris­ing from the ‘slump in oil prices and dwin­dling bailout from Abuja,” the ed­i­to­rial glad­dens the heart as the pos­i­tive com­ments and in­sight­ful ap­praisal of the gov­er­nor’s poli­cies and pro­grammes would in­form a lot of peo­ple who are cur­rently be­ing bam­boo­zled by a sec­tion of the me­dia with fix­ated minds on the true state of is­sues in the State of Osun.

While it can­not be de­nied that THISDAY ges­ture will serve as tonic to Aregbesola’s ad­min­is­tra­tion in or­der to con­sol­i­date on his peo­ple-ori­ented pro­grammes it em­barked on as his ad­min­is­tra­tion winds down grad­u­ally, there are few grey ar­eas in the ed­i­to­rial, which ought to be put in proper per­spec­tive. Promi­nent among them is the no­tion that Ade­mola Adeleke left the party be­cause of ma­nip­u­la­tion at the pri­mary elec­tion.

One, Ade­mola did not par­tic­i­pate in the pri­mary as he de­camped to the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) not more than six hours to the real pri­mary. Though the pri­mary elec­tion was ad­judged to be free and fair, the be­lief in some quar­ters is that he left be­cause of the ar­ray of sup­port base for his op­po­si­tion be­fore the pri­mary elec­tion.

Two, Ade­mola po­si­tioned him­self to be the sole can­di­date of the APC with the col­lab­o­ra­tion of some party top ech­e­lon in Abuja, cou­pled with the as­sis­tance of some rene­gades within the Osun APC. When this failed, he left the party.

Third, it was even the mag­na­nim­ity of the party and the good­will of his late brother that paved the way for him to express his de­sire to con­test on the plat­form of the party with­out any an­tag­o­nism. The sim­ple truth is that, Ade­mola was never a card-car­ry­ing mem­ber in the real sense of be­ing a party man. Only his brother sought to be­long to the party after he was hu­mil­i­ated out of PDP. So the no­tion that the younger Adeleke de­camped from APC is a con­tra­dic­tion for he never be­longed to the party in the first place. Thus, the al­le­ga­tion that they de­nied him the ticket of the party was base­less al­to­gether.

THISDAY also sit­u­ated the fi­nan­cial cri­sis be­dev­illing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and all the states of the fed­er­a­tion very well, es­pe­cially, on the fact that states are now strug­gling to ful­fil their monthly statu­tory bills right. And Osun is welloff in terms of salary pay­ment than most other states of the fed­er­a­tion.

With the mod­u­lated salary struc­ture adopted by the state in the face of the cri­sis, it can be said that the state does not owe any salary ex­cept that of July, which the state is set to pay.

Un­der this ar­range­ment, civil ser­vants on Grade Lev­els One to Seven in the state have been get­ting their full salaries paid monthly while Grade Lev­els Eight to 10 have been tak­ing home 75 per cent of their monthly salaries; and Grade Lev­els 13 to 17, half of their to­tal monthly pay pack­age.

All th­ese three cat­e­gories have col­lected their salaries up to June 2017. So, the mis­in­for­ma­tion in some quar­ters that the state owes back­log of salaries is far from the truth.

This is where the me­dia also can help. It is sad that a sec­tion of the me­dia is cur­rently aid­ing the spread of ru­mours, de­lib­er­ately spon­sored to ma­lign the gov­ern­ment and Gov­er­nor Rauf Aregbesola so as to por­tray him as be­ing cal­lous and un­re­spon­sive to the yearn­ings of work­ers.

Let it be known that when the econ­omy of the state was buoy­ant, salaries were not only paid as and when due, full salaries were also paid as ‘13th month’ to the work­ers. It is how­ever un­for­tu­nate that Aregbesola’s tra­duc­ers seem to have for­got­ten all his good deeds so soon. Not even his com­mit­ment to re­store the sta­tus quo ante bel­lum once the fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the state im­proves.

To in­sist there­fore that the mod­u­lated salary struc­ture de­mor­alised the work­ers to the ex­tent of con­tribut­ing to the loss of the bye-elec­tion is to­tally un­true.

It is enough to just say that APC lost the elec­tion to APC!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.