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Educated Aregbesola: The Newest Oxymoron By Adeyeye Olorunfemi

January 3, 2017

There is no second-guessing that the policies of this ailing governor are anti-education, from the proliferation of Unity Schools to the non-payment of education workers’ salaries.

At about 2:45 am, I woke up after a very sound round of discussion with my friend to read the most shocking headline of the year 2016.

Vanguard News delivered this shock to me in the crudest form, not minding my present psychological state, but trust me, I have a very good shock absorber as a young African with seven lives. 

There are 3 figures of speech that pose difficulty in usage for classic writers and readers. They are the Paraprosdokians, Antithesis and Oxymoron. These three represent a contrasting influence in any text or statement when used. They are classified second in the quadripartita ratio - the classification made by classical rhetoricians. All thanks to the news headline, it made me remember all I have read in the past on the use of figures of speech.  The news of Ogbeni Aregbesola receiving an award as Best Governor in Education left me unhinged, as it took me a lot of time to pick the mildest of the titles that came to my head as the title for the rejoinder. I still find it very surprising why the award organizers have just decided to put up all logistics and preparation into organizing a disgrace for this demagogue at the end of the year even at the bite of a “recession.” This shows the height of hatred they have for him and how fast they want to crash his demeanor of populism. I am always ready to assist in such a patriotic act.

Do they not know that he is the Governor of Osun State, the State of the Living Spring that was more like the Arab Spring in 2016? There was a harvest of protests in Osun; students, workers, and even toddlers protested against the high-handedness of Aregbesola’s administration. 

There is no second-guessing that the policies of this ailing governor are anti-education, from the proliferation of Unity Schools to the non-payment of education workers’ salaries. Even with the bailout funds, Aregbesola was not bailed out. As I write, LAUTECH lecturers have not been paid, and students have been home baby-sitting for 7 months with no hope of resuming soon. Yet the African Education Monitor Magazine honored Aregbesola with the Best Governor in Education award. What a direct antithesis!  What are they monitoring, their purse or education? This further amplifies the irrationality of my people when money beclouds reasoning. 

Let me tap the Governor out of his chronic amnesia.

Was it not in Osun State where students wore different clothes to school for days?

The Christians wore choir regalia, Muslims wore their masjids and hijabs, while the traditionalists were in their full armour  of god due to Aregbeism-a state of being confused.

It was in your state where students of the College of Education protested your administration and were tear gassed; where LAUTECH students were shot at during a protest.

If the educational welfare were commendable, in fact average, would they have protested? The organizers have only awarded you for your direct antithesis.

Workers were not paid for months due to your mismanagement and theft of funds.

Fela had you in mind when he said a thief with gun steals a token while a thief with biro steals billions. 

I won’t be surprised if by investigation, a news outfit has it that you feigned to be the Governor of Lagos State or Akwa Ibom State to get the award. It is very possible considering your antecedent (past records of being a crook). It would only add to your portfolio of thievery.  Sincerely, it is more possible for a leopard to change its spots than an Aregbe to change. You are a close custodian of the dark legacy of Tinubu, who also is the Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, so stop shouting “Awo Legacy.” Awolowo engineered free and quality education. You and your egbons are engineering poverty, chronic capitalism and poor education with pocket-tearing fees. It is a pity that 3 APC elder statesmen cannot manage a single university. The late Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) would never forgive those of you who rode the horse of activism to become rough politicians for selfish interests - megalomaniacs. 

It is very disheartening that we celebrate thieves in this clime of ours. We would not give our daughters’ hands in marriage to a man who stole a goat, but we would, in pomp and pageantry, give our daughters to men who stole naira. The goat seems to be different from the Naira. If you want to be a thief, be a big thief - that’s the gospel we preach.

Irrespective of how denigrating our values have become, some of us who are agents of societal consciousness won’t be configured to the system. We will continue to conscientize the decayed public on values and reorientation in all possible ways. We will never be discouraged by the state’s media propagandists. We will never celebrate a thief, rogue and dream-killer.

On this note:

LAUTECH students say you are the worst Governor in Education for the year 2016;

Ilesa students say you are a dream-killer;

All secondary school students in Osun State say you are a religious confusionist;

All workers in Osun State say you are a bad manager;

And I say calling you an educated governor is the newest oxymoron.