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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi: I AM the STATE!

The encounter, a few days ago, between the Governor of Oyo State and students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) accurately and unfortunately validates the points I made in this piece I wrote in June 2016: http://saharareporters.com/…/emperor-ajimobi-and-mujahid-ar….
For those who may not have seen the full video of his exchanges with the students, just understand that LAUTECH, co-owned by the Oyo and Osun state governments, has been shut down for the past eight (8!) months, and the students went to protest (show their displeasure) to Ajimobi. They were not blocking traffic and neither were they destroying any property. They were just chanting their "aluta" songs. To his credit, Ajimobi, according to him, heard about the protest and hurriedly left a meeting he was chairing to address the students.

But some of the students would not have any of his usually bullish I-am-Ajimobi-the-Governor-so-you-must-respect-me attitude. They interrupted him several times with their insulting songs. This caused the ultra-arrogant governor to taunt the students and egg them on to foment trouble and threaten them with consequences. He dismissed them as non-students and demanded an apology from them just like he did from those secondary school students who went on rampage the other time for, among other things, the non-payment of salaries of their teachers. Remember that on that occasion too, he shut the schools for several weeks until he got his apology.
In the full video of the LAUTECH encounter, Ajimobi can be seen addressing a calmed-down group of students, explaining to them that he had called Aregbesola (the Governor of Osun State), and that both of them had agreed to put up N250 million each to solve the LAUTECH problems and open the school before the end of the month.

Now, why did it take agitations by students (teenagers and early 20s) for grownups like Ajimobi and Aregbe to do the right thing in the first instance? How can any parent...any adult...be satisfied with shutting down a school...any school, let alone a tertiary institution...for one week, let alone 8 months? Who is irresponsible - the students or the governors? Who owes apologies - the students of the governors?

In the video, Ajimobi lectured the students about "engagement" instead of demonstration. Engagement? Ajimobi obviously learned nothing about Nigerian students activism. Does he think Nigerian students are like those of the State University, Buffalo, New York, where he studied? Even in the U.S., students demonstrate all the time. In 2014 alone, students of UCLA in California demonstrated many times, blocking streets and all. How can somebody as supposedly enlightened as Ajimobi chide students for expressing their grievances peacefully? And in a democracy too! Where was this man during the "Ali Must Go" era? Where was he during the late Segun Okeowo's NUNS? Where was he during the robust NANS era? These were largely military eras and Nigerian students were not cowed. So, who is the bloody civilian, the spoilt, privileged child of a wealthy man who will now stand on an elective pedestal to speak so condescendingly to students?

And this obsession with asking for apologies just kills me. This guy thinks by merely doing his job, he is doing favors for the people of Oyo State. 

I know he is done with elective politicking in Oyo State. But if he was not, he would never win a Senatorial seat in Oyo State ever again. The depth of the disdain in which people held him (before Buhari became APC flag bearer) and in which they now hold him just assures that. He knows he would have never won reelection had it not been for the Buhari bandwagon.

So, here is my challenge to all of us who think we are enlightened and are offended by this bushman mentality: We need to get our hands and feet into politics. There are many more Ajimobis holding nocturnal meetings all over Nigeria right now, angling for one position or another. They will get it. And it will be to your detriment. 

Get involved or shut the hell up!

.Copied from: Biodun Ishola Ladepo on Facebook.
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