(OPINION) Basiru: The Inconsequential Political Fly, by Sarafa Ibrahim

While I was surfing the internet earlier today, I came across an article published on OperaNews, and I burst into laughter after reading it. It was funny because the article, which I believe the writer can never be from Osun, tried to wrap an image that does not exist for the demagogue National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ajibola Basiru, as far as the politics of this state is concerned.

Well, I don’t know the kind of impression that Basiru may have struck with people outside Osun state, but it smack delusionary to assume he’s any critical in the politics of the state that he could be ‘Tormentor-In-Chief’ of Governor Ademola Adeleke. No serious APC member in Osun state as of today will entertain such puerile thought, because it is by every parameter a ridiculous joke.

Anyone who watched Basiru’s entry into Osun politics through former Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s benevolence will have no trouble understanding what is at play here. Basiru, in his characteristic manner, may be trying to play a fast one of unsuspecting leadership of his party by creating a wrong sense of his capabilities.

In the build-up to the 2022 governorship election, he wore a similar posture, arrogantly exaggerating his influence to ensure the return of former Governor Gboyega Oyetola. At that time, he was a serving Senator (although he secured the position through heavy rigging in collusion with INEC) and by the end of the election, not only did Oyetola lose reelection, but Basiru lost heavily in the central senatorial district despite being the serving Senator.

This heavy defeat was repeated in his own election only eight months after as the electorate rejected his bid to return to the red chamber overwhelmingly. So, it makes no sense for anyone to even contemplate the thought, not to talk of putting it in writing, that such a person as Basiru will cause any worry for a performing Governor Adeleke.

Except for rabble-rousing, which is apparently his operational mode lately, in order to retain the remnant of the deeply factionalized Osun APC, Basiru is not capable of anything because the people don’t take him seriously at all. And the reason for this is in Basiru’s arrogant nature and disastrous output in the public office he has held so far.

As the Attorney-General for Osun state, Basiru supervised, or perhaps motivated, some of the worst legal conundrums that still hurt the state to this moment. One of such is the thoroughly discredited ‘State of Osun’ as against the constitutionally known Osun state, triggering unnecessary confusion and in some cases, causing the people of the state some losses. A few days ago, an Industrial Court in Ibadan went hard on the needless controversy that Basiru’s time as Attorney-General necessitated, adding to the list of legal pronouncements that have the decision under Basiru to the dustbin of history.

And as a Senator, he was woeful, not just in the effective representative of the interests of constituents in the Senate, but also in the image-making role entrusted to him by his colleagues. Throughout his four years in the Senate, Basiru struggled hard to point out any meaningful contribution he added to the central senatorial district, informing the wise decision of the electorate to show him the way out.

So, it can only be a dry joke for anyone to assume Basiru poses any challenge to Governor Adeleke. He doesn’t and cannot, because Osun people are smart enough to compare the horrible past that the likes of Basiru represent, and the refreshing present and promising future that Governor Adeleke emboldens.

Even Basiru knows well the truth of his influence among the Osun people, the reason why he’s always vague and empty in many of his rhetorics. He knows well the damages that his party had wrought on Osun state while it held sway, and why he always avoids talking about it as a justification for his vainglorious assertion of APC returning to power in the state by 2026.

Basiru entertains the illusion that the federal government under President Bola Tinubu will rig APC back to power in 2026 as it would be impossible to beat a performing Governor Adeleke. And that is yet another mistake, which I’m sure he will soon find out when the Osun people resoundingly renew the mandate of Governor Adeleke on account of his impressive performance in office.

While Basiru or those he’s manipulating with false impressions about his influence and stand in Osun wallow in self-deceit, Governor Adeleke will be busy working so hard to improve the lives of the people and expand the prospects of the state. This is because, unlike Basiru who has a different idea of how to assume authority in a democracy, Governor Adeleke exercises firm fate in the power of the people to determine leadership. Basiru can enjoy the illusion of the borrowed office he currently occupies, but he should know that borrow-borrow no dey last.

  • Sarafa Ibrahim is a Special Assistant to the Osun State Governor and writes from Iwo, Osun State

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