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{Op-Ed}: CPS Ajakaye: The Burden of History By Abdulfatai Dare Magobon

5 min read

The release from Malam Rafiu Ajakaye, the chief press secretary (CPS) to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, bother essentially on what he considered dereliction of development in his native home, Alabe. What he claimed to have triggered such thought in him, and hence his write-up, was an ‘O suwa’ cap he saw on the ground, while a funeral prayer was ongoing. He therefore took to the social media and began throwing verbal assaults, claiming that the ‘O suwa’ brand of movement is just an imitation of their own ‘O toge’ scam slogan.

The penetration of the O suwa slogan into his Alabe country home no doubt jolted him for good reason. To fathom that even with him as a current CPS to a sitting governor, the emblem of dissatisfaction with his master and his style of rule could be so widely scattered in his own home Alabe, is a fact too bitter to swallow. But, needn’t him even think that the single’O suwa’ cap that caught his attention may have been deliberately and purposefully stationed by his dissatisfied Alabe Kinsmen, to symbolically tell it to his face that he and his master are irritants in their blood? Good and bad for him at the same time: Good, because he got the people’s message. Bad, that he interpreted it wrongly. However, we should thank Ajakaye for letting us know how deep down the hinterland the ‘O suwa’ gospel has penetrated.

Although Mallam Rafiu drew the wrong inferences, he nonetheless displayed a thirst for information and knowledge. He truly and innocently desires to know what has been developmentally happening to his people, whilst he had been away prior to his opportunistic appointment.Yes, the CPS does not know, and there is no harm in not knowing. The elders in Yoruba land would say :” T’omode o ba mowe , ti ko mó owe, a j’awe owe si otun, a ja ti owe si osi, a fi han.” So, we need to satiate the CPS hunger for knowledge as far as what was in place courtesy of the Saraki’s dynasty during his boyhood and up to 2019 when he took up CPShip of Governor AbdulRahman I’m sure that perhaps if our man has not been away from home for too long in search of greener pasture, or if he had consulted with those who should know among the elders, he would have been taken memory lane on how the Saraki dynasty has been facilitating development in Alabe and it’s neighboring communities, regarding infrastructure and human capital to start with, I’m not too sure if it’s to the knowledge of Ajakanye that a Basic Health Centre was put in place in Alabe, about two decades ago, except and unless it has been ran aground. That health facility was Dr. Olusola Saraki’s way of bringing medicare nearer to the great people of Alabe, in the days of NPN, when Saraki-installed Governor Adamu Attah appointed Mr. John Lawal as the health commissioner. This is as far back as the 80s. Perhaps more of such infrastructure facilities would have been to the lot of Alabe if the then General and now President Buhari had not murdered democratic rule in cold blood in 1984, thus ushering I another prolonged military rule that spanned a decade and half.

So, if developmental efforts had stopped crippling into Alabe and other communities in the state thenceforth, should we blame the Saraki dynasty for it?
However, again when the transition to civil rule programs of General Babangida kicked, it was to Alabe community that the late elder Saraki zoned the chairmanship of Ifelodun Local Government, hence the emergence of Architect Olukayode Abogunrin as the council chairman on the platform of the then government-formed Social Democratic Party. Mr Ajakaye may wish to find out more on how much or less his brother Abogunrin used in his office to attract to his Alabe community in form of development apart from the boreholes that is to my own knowledge. That was in the 90s.
As if that was not enough, the PDP government did not leave Alabe to itself. From Oke Onigbin to Alabe (Ajakaye’s town), is a distance of 44 kilometers. Of this road length, the PDP did not just graded but tarred 26 kilometers, representing approximately sixty percent (60%) of that stretch of road before it was sent packing through the O toge sam. It is just the remaining 18 kilometers that the current APC government has been grappling to tar for almost 4 years now.
Let Mallam Rafiu take my good counsel to plead, lobby and even gratificate (if need be) for the completion of the project before February 28, otherwise this only tangible long lasting legacy he could show for his servitude would suffer the same likelihood of abandonment that is looming large on other road projects like the Yebumot-Adeta-Alfa yahyah-oloje road and the Tanke flyover, based on the snail speed and unprofessional handling of the contractors.

On human capital development, the Bukola Saraki administration through the then head of service and later Secretary to the State Government, (SSG) Alhaji Adelodun Saliman facilitated employments into the mainstream civil service for no fewer than a dozen Alabe people. This is apart from those who benefited from teaching appointments.

On a final note, let it be noted that I waited this long to publish this write up in my exercise of wise caution. I saw wisdom in subjecting the piece to thorough scrutiny by a learned ‘friend’ so as not to cross the Mallam Rafiu-run red line in one’s exercise of freedom of expression. The travails of the Akogun 2 should be more than instructive to a non-kinsman to Ajakaye as me. For i learnt the Akoguns hail from an axis in close proximity to that of the Chief himself, yet he haulled them into the gulag. In fact, am getting more and more convinced that it will take up to May 29, the time when CPS Ajakaye’s phones stop ringing (to borrow from Reuben Abati) before he will stop wielding the vainglorious big sticks, and one needs caution to prevent such from being applied to him, for if crocodile eats her own eggs, what will she not do to the flesh of a frog?

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