Apagunpote Olayimika: Osun Speakership Race – Between the White and the Dark Horse - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News

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Thursday, May 16

Apagunpote Olayimika: Osun Speakership Race – Between the White and the Dark Horse




Distinguished readers, if there is anything I wish for Osun state, it is change of government. Continuity is an enemy of accountability and transparency. State of Osun is the most unlucky principal state in the council of states with opaque finances in Nigeria taking the lead role after Lagos, Rivers and Imo states because the state is not only characterised with abandoned projects, modulated salary scheme, negligence of tertiary institutions and sorry state of hospitals but also living on undefined debts.

As the state battles with economy, insecurity, negligence of state institutions and infrastructural decay, this moment remains the most difficult and challenging for any responsible state assembly. The legislative arm of government needs to act in two ways, giving support when necessary and serving as watchdog to the executive arm as the state can not afford the luxury of another rubber stamp legislator as the head of its parliament in this perilous time.

The state assembly is composed of 26 honorable members. 23 honorables are members of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) while 3 honorables are members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). There is no significant push PDP can make in this struggle to the topseat of the state assembly; hence, the contest is intraparty and recent political plays have shown that the contest is between the dark horse and white horse. Only miracle that turns water to wine could avert another rubber stamp speaker in Osun state assembly.

The sudden appearance of the white horse on the field of contest is still a surprise to many people who were aware that the dark horse had been penned down as the leader of the “house of horses”. The dark horse reposed his confidence in humans, left the shores of the state and trusting the existing agreement. In the absence of the dark horse, the white horse displayed his strength, won the conscience of some horses and the race of one suddenly becomes two. The style of politics of political parties in Nigeria can be likened to the ways of the Devil. Both lack assurance and whoever that repose confidence in them is just a day dreamer.

The white horse is young, strong and healthy but comes from a politically malnourished area that has been relegated to lower offices. The dark horse is old and relatively strong but comes from a politically nourished area. The dark horse comes from the zone of the former governor of the state, current minister of health and a top official of the state government while the white horse comes from the zone where if finally emerged, he would become the overall leader of the zone and “house of horses”.

The white horse knows that he is a political orphan and that is why he is resting on the shoulder of powers that refuse to leave the state. The white horse also knows that there would be change of political arrangement as the battle for ministerial role continues while the dark horse relies on the existing agreement where he was penned down as the speaker of the house. If possible that the politically malnourished area would be compensated and he might be the beneficiary of the compensation.

Both horses represent different forces and powers of the state. One represents force that is finding his feet and power grip while the other represents force that wants to remain the landlord of the state. One force is in possession of wealth and resources while the other force is in possession of loyalists.

The race of a horse has become the race of two horses. The former horse has doubled his speed while the latter horse has continued working towards his pursuit. Both horses have started moving around and a particular horse is forming an unholy relationship with the minority if the party fails to declare him as the candidate of the party.

The sad narrative is none of these horses would emerge as the mouthpiece of the house of horses and would not become “rubber stamp”. Finances of the state would still be opaque, the state would still be dominated with praise singers and heavy projects with inflated prices would still pass through the house easily.

The leadership of the Osun State House of Assembly would only witness change in persons in office as a refreshed rubber stamp legislator who have a lot of loopholes to cover would replace the old and weak one. Inspite of all, whichever horse emerges as the speaker of the House of Horses, I congratulate the people of Osun state.

Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo is an opinion writer and resides in Osogbo, state capital of Osun