OPINION: Osun and Ismail Omipidan

By James Bamgbose

In “The Diane Kalen-Sakra, Save Your City: How Toxic Culture Kills Community & What to Do About It,” good governance is depicted as the art of putting wise thought into prudent action, advancing the well-being of those governed. This reflection mirrors the current situation in Osun State since Governor Ademola Adeleke took office last year. Where I’m going is not far, but where I will branch is much.

“When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, ‘There is lifting up,’ and he shall save the humble person.” This excerpt is from the Book of Job in the Bible, illustrating differing experiences despite a shared state or circumstance. One sees “casting down” while the other sees “lifting up.”

This statement mirrors Osun State’s situation. Osun people now enjoy the democracy dividends they were denied for about 12 years, yet some pessimists, in the name of politics, suggest otherwise. They ought to remember they are first human before being members of a political group; empathy matters.

My big brother, the former CPS of the rejected Oyetola administration, Mr. Ismail Omipidan, was once smart, brilliant, vibrant, and held a reputable, integral stance. However, as the Yoruba adage goes, “Ona ofun, ona orun ni,” he has taken this adage to heart, even at the expense of his decades-long profile.

His only mistake was serving under a rudderless administration. By association, he’s become an advocate of delusion and fallacy regarding Osun’s development. My regard for him shifted after the July 16, 2022, Osun Gubernatorial Election when he coined the phrase “My Principal did not lose the election, he only lost the vote count.”

Subsequent articles by him indicate a lingering disbelief in his principal’s rejection, colouring his biased opinions. He once advocated that Senator Natasha Akpoto of Kogi Central Senatorial District should support an Ebira candidate not minding her party candidate. In one of the groups the piece was sent to, someone posed a question to him about the last General Election asking if he voted for his kinsman (Ajagunla) as against his party candidate (SRJ), only if Boda would respond today.

Some find Osun’s situation odd because they’ve forgotten what good governance entails. They treated people inhumanely when they had the chance to govern, hence why individuals like Mr Ismail Omipidan perceive mismanagement in Osun. Comparing the state now to a year ago makes those criticizing its management seem uninformed.

Good governance means effective, responsible management of resources, institutions, and processes within a society, embracing transparency, accountability, the rule of law, participation, and inclusiveness. It ensures fair resource distribution, upholds human rights, fosters growth, and builds public trust.

Addressing my brother, based on this definition, can he claim Osun State isn’t experiencing good governance? His perspective might differ due to his distant writing location and reliance on hearsay in WhatsApp groups.

Let me correct Egbon with the words of Harlan Ellison which says, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” Let Boda be told that there is a need for proper consultation before making policies and decisions for any government that is focused on the delivery of good governance.

This might be strange to him because the administration he served with employed people without any budgetary provision for them, Idan Move from the “Encyclopedia of Finance”. Mr Omipidan’s sudden concern about the welfare of the workers in Osun is highly hypocritical. Mr. Omipidan who served under the administration that silenced the workers amid inhumane policies has suddenly become the advocate for them.

Let My Brother be informed that the workers are strongly behind the Senator Ademola Adeleke-led administration and the civil servants can now air opinions without fear or intimidation. Also, since Egbon has turned Abuja to his new home after their 4 years in governance, is he not aware that the Federal Government owes the FG workers their October palliative? Maybe he does not know because they did not send it to their WhatsApp group. Focus more on promoting your principal if things are still fine between you two.

My advice to my brother, Ismail Omipidan, aligns with a lesson learned from my good brother, Ayotunde Rasheed: “SILENCE.” Speaking when necessary, avoiding ignorance’s tune. Silence is golden, especially in cases of uninformed thoughts.

James Bamgbose writes from Osogbo, Osun State, and can be reached via bamgbosejames9@gmail.com.

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