Editor's note: Public affairs commentator, Mr. Lanre Akeju, writes on the editorial contents of the Osun Defender newspaper, alleging that most of it are influenced by the minister of interior and former governor of Osun state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
The choice of my title is deliberate and here are some of the justifications: Editorial opinions and contents to a large extent represent the strong and unambiguous voice of any newspaper and by extension that of the promoters and patrons of such newspaper. Therefore, the fact that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, a former Osun governor, is the sole promoter and patron of Osun Defender, the title of my piece is justified.
He may not have directly written most of the contents. He, however, cannot deny knowledge of same, especially when the contents and intent are topical and political.
Nigerians have always known that some so-called religious Nigerians-turned-politicians are hypocrites. What most Nigerians did not know is that their hypocrisy in politics would be elevated to a ridiculous level, the way it is being displayed today by Aregbesola and his co-travellers.
Although there are several instances that lay credence to the above assertion, nothing exposes the Osun Defender and Aregbesola’s hypocrisy like its public display of anger each time the Osun government under the leadership of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola makes any gain.
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The people of Osun never wanted a single uniform for schools and all that is associated with it. Aregbesola did it with fiat. Oyetola listened to the people. He reviewed it. He was applauded. Aregbesola and Osun Defender came up with an almost two-page editorial to justify their own position.
Again, the people clamoured for the scrapping of the unpopular parliamentary system of government at the local government level, especially because events in the three years of that practice have clearly shown that no cost has been saved as being envisaged, contrary to the claim by Aregbesola and his co-travelers.
But rather than commend the state government, Aregbesola’s Osun Defender, in its editorial at the time castigated Oyetola. But if the popular axiom that he, who must come to equity must come with clean hands is anything to go by, then, Aregbesola and his co-travellers are the least qualified to lecture anyone let alone Oyetola, who has since returned the party to the people as against what was obtainable under Aregbesola, on democratic tenets.
But if one may ask, if indeed it is about democracy and if good governance is the target, where was Osun Defender when their patron dubiously put in place a caretaker committee for over five years? By Osun Defender's admission, an election was conducted in 2018. So, what happened between 2010 and 2018 when their patron held sway? Was it not this same Aregbesola that ran Osun like a sole administrator, refusing to appoint commissioners to form the State Executive Council for almost an eternity?
Again, only last week, his supporters were said to have attacked the party secretariat. By yesterday, his paper which usually comes out on a Friday, hurriedly put together their lies yesterday and presented them as editorial contents. Yet, no single picture to show they were the ones attacked, unlike the picture that accompanied their lies after the ward congress.
I really do not know why Oyetola's media handlers are shying away from drawing the battle line when it is obvious these guys do not mean well for the governor and the government.
As a bonafide Osun man, I will always support any move geared towards making Osun better than Aregbesola left it.
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