By Otunba T.J Abass
The 2019 political calendar is already out, and with it, the commencement of another electoral journey. Expectedly, the months following will witness a hype in political activities -candidates jostling for positions, political parties realigning their positions and seeking an advantage as they try to grab the attention of the unsuspecting electorates.
The political parties have unveiled their manifestos of wide-ranging programmes, touching on almost all aspects of electorates’ life, from educational reforms to jobs’ creation; youth and women empowerment to skills acquisition, and even lots of dollars to throw around, everything almost on the upbeat. But in Epe division, the atmosphere is different.
There, there is this feeling of loss and sense of injustice: what looked like a second term sure bet for son of the soil, Akinwunmi Ambode – with endorsements here and there, in appreciation of the tremendous job he has done in the last 3 years – just turned into an illusion, a mere pipe dream.
While some politicians across the state are basking in the euphoria of surviving the volcano that swept compatriots off the second term stable, the mood in the entire Epe is one of agony, a sharp reminder of the tragic episode of 2015 when the community lost 6 illustrious sons engaged in monitoring the Presidential election in a single swoop.
It would not be prodigal to assert that these illustrious sons of Epe, and obvious heroes of democracy are, obviously not smiling in their graves knowing that they just labored in vain, especially if recent antecedents, capped by the Ambode quagmire, are anything to go by.What a price to pay for the sustenance of democracy?
May I, at this point, affirm that the major motivation for this write-up is my realisation that as a stakeholder, I owe my community a duty to lend a voice on any matter that touches on continued survival, albeit progress of that kingdom.It is never necessitated by any thought of personal gain.
As a matter of fact, my business interest suffered a major financial setback under Akinwunmi Ambode’s Administration and I had never approached him for financial succor of any kind.
The most disturbing aspect of the whole drama
is the deafening silence in the community over an
obvious injustice. The entirety of the community,
including its political class, the clergy and the Epe
Royalty are carrying on as if nothing happened
As a matter of fact,I only visited with him once and that was in 2015(social gathering) Notwithstanding, It is not about me but about my state and my community a community I believe I owe unflinching allegiance to. It is for the above reasons that the agonising over the loss of a second term bid is yet to be healed and I doubt if I or the community will ever recover from this quagmire.
And in fact, how better we, as a community would fare going forward, would be determined by what actions and inactions we take henceforth. The politicians have moved on, trying to make the most of a peculiarly daunting political dawn, but truth is that they have, by so doing, left behind, a grieving community.
The average Epe son or daughter, is left wondering, why and how things degenerated, to the point of costing an entire community its cherished dividends of democracy, incentives that have for so long, eluded it. Epe Division has lost woefully.
The most disturbing aspect of the whole drama is the deafening silence in the community over an obvious injustice. The entirety of the community, including its political class, the clergy and the Epe Royalty are carrying on as if nothing happened; what absurdity, with callous indifference!
Granted that attempts were made by our Royal Fathers to intervene without success; although, there have been some brilliant write-ups and allusion here and there, these combined, pale into insignificance against the weight of injustice meted out to the Epe people.
I had expected not just strident outcries, but coordinated and sustained agitations from the community commensurate in weight and dimension to the injustice that it just suffered, agitations that would include a work plan forward.
I had expected a concert of opinions, and an aggregation of viewpoints, from the informed Epe class, from the foot soldiers, the artisans, the nobility, albeit the Royal fathers as much as the clergy men, an aggregation oiled by the knowing that a wrong done to one, is injustice served to all.
The total silence that have prevailed; the cavalier attitude from the members of the community does not seem to reckon that this matter is not just about Ambode but about our community as a whole, the entire socio-political fabric of the Epe kingdom.
Our people fail to realize that Ambode is just one puzzle of an entire equation. And that with his travails, the chances of our community slipping back to the era of darkness, an era of total neglect, an era when there were no meaningful developmental projects ,an era of zero growth is a near possibility.
The agitation and the outcry would probably not have made any difference since the ruling class were set and determined not to give Akinwunmi Ambode a second chance but it would have put on record that the people of Epe were on the right side of history, fighting to pave a better and secured future for their generations unborn. Can we all imagine what could have happened in Epe Division with another four years of Akinwunmi Ambode? I guess, we will never know.
-To be concluded