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June 22, 2024
State News

Critiquing Olusola Oke, Ondo guber election and the issues at stake |

Elections, when in season, come with various exciting offerings. The season delivers riveting actions, and distractions too. Elections seldom come with menacing incidences, but even that, for politicians, is normal. When an election is around the corner, as the case is with Ondo State, South West, Nigeria, one watches shades of drama and hears incredible narratives, mostly weird and comic. This slant, among other wonted political tendencies, makes the season so engaging.
During the season, aspirants are liable to public crit, unsparingly. In describing the peculiarity of the season, a chatterer said it is meant to check all shapes of buttocks, either big or brief. Hence, all persons who have their hats in the ring should anticipate bouts of bashing.
Ordinarily, the season is supposed to be fun. Aspirers should innocuously canvass votes while conveying distinct selling points, or rather provide possible solutions to contemporary challenges of the state, but, usually, the acts are to the contrary.

It is often the case that aspirants would ignore these scared boundaries, and, instead, elect to sponsor biles against other aspirants so that they can circumscribe their chances. In so doing, the circle (of bickering) becomes more vicious. That being so, the season therefore becomes a fertile one for mischief. Worse still, puerile impressions are often elevated to the rank of substance; and, at other times, profound issues are mischievously veiled.
Even now, Ondo is at it. The wannabees have rolled up the sleeves in fierce struggle to outdo one another in the fierce battle of baits. It’s all politics, they would say. The tempo daily increases or decreases at the rate of salvos supplied in form of facts, fiction, pseudo facts, or even outright falsities. And the trend lasts for as long as the electioneering, its lifeline. While it lasts, the players and their pleaders count layers of lashes depending on the severity of the tune.
More often than not, the flimsy and frivolous debates distract the people with relative ease, particularly, the unwary. Whereas, for Ondo State, the issues at stake are of greater consequences than the risible recriminations. Meanwhile, as the state watches the drama and marches toward the ballots, what many would hardly say is the fact that Ondo state presently faces certain ominous realities. The stark realities include imminent and scary socioeconomic collapse where care is not taken.
No doubt, the creepy realities of the moment are the direct implications of successive maladministration and, of course, the indirect consequences of the choices of leaders we made, through the ballot, in previous years. The precipice we now find ourselves arose from the regretted years of inertia. We now have in our bare hands a grisly situation that should compel us to busy ourselves more with deliberating on and devising workable strategies for retrieving Ondo State from the doldrums.
It should be noted, however, that, in pulling the state back from the cliff; in thinking out what magic the state needs to reverse it the trend and plant on the part of path of earnest progress, getting right the leadership question is key. This, as a matter of fact, is more pressing than engaging in needless upbraid. Intentional efforts should be made to choose competence above alibis so that the state can make a new leap. It’s also for electors to make conscious efforts to critique the roll of aspirants and weigh each strictly on the strength of mental and emotional wherewithal.
Presently, aspirants are talking to citizens and notes are being taken. Among those doing the talk is Chief Alexander Olusola Oke, SAN, the Ilowo-Ugbo born tall talent from Ilaje local government area of the State. There is a tone of difference and sobriety in Oke’s messages that sets him apart as someone to be taken seriously. For him, there is a sense of shame in the fact that Ondo trudges under economic straits in spite of its abundant human and natural endowments.
Oke believes that Ondo has no business being poor, given its blessed status and that serious leadership can change the tide. He plans to run a government that would open up opportunities and maximize the sundry resources, which, in turn, would generate employment, reduce criminality, broaden income and save the state from imminent collapse. Oke speaks as one who understands the new direction that Ondo deserves; like a leader armed with requisite vision, direction and a sense of commitment that are critical for this time.
As he goes about giving the people his hearty message, he gets from detractors his own bruises in form verbal attacks. The fact that he has serially contested, campaigned and knows the routes to the remotest villages in the state does not read strength, popularity and experience to his attackers. His towering legislative and executive experience that should count for him as a leader who would readily revive and not learn on the job does not come to his opposers as substance.
His critics would rather fault him for being polygamous. Others call for his head for marrying Ilaje woman before Igbo woman, or why the first wife holds a doctoral degree and the second does not. Yet, he takes in strides the bruises and prioritises the near future that befits and can benefit the highest number of persons if we put our minds more to competence than flimsy narratives.
Whatever happens, going forward, another gubernatorial election is underway for Ondo State, thankfully. The date, November 16, 2024, offers a new chance forg Ondo State to give itself a new leadership that is driven by merit in order to retrieve it from near regression. The choices are for the citizens of the state to make. What is impeachable, however, is the fact that whatever choice the citizens make would ultimately define the direction of the state for another season.

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