OlumideLawal writes that with the growing influence of key characters in Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party remains a formidable platform
What happened at the ancient city of Ede, the hot-bed of Osun politics, on September 20, 2012 has gone a long way to proving, without any iota of doubt, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is indeed alive and well embraced by the electorate of the town, where many an eminent person, including Senator IsiakaAdeleke, the first executive governor of Osun State till call the shot.
It was September 20, 2012 at Ede and the day marked a turning point for the PDP since the 2011 general election fiasco. Party faithful in their thousands, spontaneously trooped out to make a point, that their darling party remains the beloved of the grassroots people. Clad in uniform ankara print, with mufflers and fez caps done in PDP colours, the sight was a beauty to behold.
As early as 7a.m, the people had massed at both the Ede South and North secretariats of the PDP at Mosebolatan and Total respectively, to partake in what eventually turned out a mega rally- the type that has not been witnessed in recent times. Give it to the PDP faithful; they conducted themselves in orderly manner- very maturely, so much that the policemen deployed to oversee the event were virtually on holiday.
At both secretariats of the party, gaily-dressed party men and women danced to the songs of Ojola– a Fuji act, as they waited eagerly for the arrival of ‘Serubawon’, the effervescent and irrepressible Senator IsiakaAdeleke, a man of all season. It was an occasion for Senator Adeleke to prove cynics wrong and exerted his influence in the control of the PDP machinery, both in Edeland and beyond.
At the dot of 10 that morning, Adeleke arrived in a convoy of cars to a tumultuous welcome from the ecstatic members and “hell” was literally let loose. He was full of ‘infectious’ smile and appreciation to the cheering crowd. From Mosebolatan PDP Ede South Secretariat, Adeleke, led by the never-say-die Elder Sunday AkanfeAtidade, a former executive chairman of Ede South Local Government Area, drove through the six-kilometre stretch of the Babangida Way, which is the heart of the town, down to TOTAL, into the waiting hands of Ede North PDP members, with a former Speaker of the state assembly, Hon. Adejare Bello, at the helm of affairs. Now you may ask, what really was at stake?
The Osun State Chairman of PDP, AlhajiGaniyu Ola-Oluwa and his exco members, had been invited to Ede to witnesses the fact Adeleke has never lost grip of the control of the party as some mischievous people would want the Osun State Exco of PDP to believe.
In the course of the movement through the Babangida Way, residents irrespective of party affiliations, came out to be part of the fun, chanting and shouting, “Serubawon, Serubawon; Isiaka is our man”. Vehicular movement was at a standstill.
PDP slogans, even from unexpected quarters rent the air. Ede was agog for Adeleke and PDP. Pessimism went to sleep. Optimism reigned instead. Love and affection for Adeleke took over the atmosphere. It was reminiscent of January 2, 1992, when Adeleke rode triumphantly into Ede after he was sworn in as the first executive governor of Osun State and Ede became a ‘Mecca’ of a sort.
The arrival of the Osun State Exco of PDP heralded the events to follow. Adeleke, at this point, insisted that all party leaders and supporters should come out of their cars and trek the whole routes mapped out for the rally, which is the political carnival of 2012 in Osun State. Quickly, the walk-of-joy started from TOTAL down to Oja-Timi to Polytechnic Road, passing through IsiakaAdeleke ancestral home at Bode axis, bursting out at Ojularede Avenue and emerged at Agip area and back to Mosebolatan, where the carnival climaxed.
Addresses were delivered by party leaders, with encomiums showered on Adeleke as a quintessential leader of the party in Ede, and of course, a politician they look up to for a cohesive PDP in Osun State. This expectation may have been informed by his performance during the 2011 presidential poll, where he recorded more than 75% of votes for President Goodluck Jonathan from his two local government areas, despite the show of strength by the ACN, not to deliver Osun to the President.
Given this, there is the belief that Adeleke deserves some kind of recognition from the Federal Government as the party gears up the gubernatorial election in Osun in 2014. But Adeleke’s body language to such postulation is unimportant; he believes in party supremacy and the will of God.
Already, there are indications that the people are regretting not re-electing Adeleke to the Senate because of the stark reality that now stares them in the faces. Comments from bystanders that lined the routes of the rally suggest that the people still desire Adeleke.
Adeleke who claims to bears no grudge or ill feelings, said he had extended an olive branch to all and sundry to work with him and the PDP and make Ede, nay Osun, an Eldorado. He urged them to bear the next two years with philosophical calmness as there is light at the end of the tunnel, noting that PDP fully prepared to wrest power from the present government in the state.
Prominent PDP leaders have also given it to Adeleke that he has the political wherewithal to turn the fortunes of PDP around. The state Chairman of PDP, Ola-Oluwa, advised other party bigwigs to emulate Adeleke, who is always among his People as against making Lagos or Abuja his permanent abodes. He pointed out, that a PDP government in Osun would not ‘import’ non-indigenes to come and rule them and adding also that Osun’s money would remain in Osun, and Osun would cease to being the 58th L.C.D.A in Lagos.
From what happened at the Ede Rally, the political equation is clear as far as Ede is concerned. And for Adeleke, it was a goal scored in grand style after the result of 2011 general election, when the electorate wanted a change, just for change sake. Ede and indeed, Osun electorate are now wiser and ready to shake off the yokes of the present political happenstance in the state of the living spring.