By Razaq Bamidele
When the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the Osun West senatorial by-election on July 8, not a few admirers of the leader of the party, Governor Abdur-Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola felt sad and demoralised. They might have thought in their inner mind that the game was over for the party in the state, especially for next year’s crucial governorship election.
But, with that impression, one might be compelled to say without fear of contradiction that some people have not studied Aregbesola’s antecedents as a rugged political warrior and human rights dogged fighter. To those who are conversant with how the Ilesa born democrat operates, they will know that the scenario playing out in the state currently is a temporary interlude that will fade away sooner than it came.
To political observers, the lull in Aregbesola’s battalion now could be likened to a proverbial ram that retreats when the battle is hot. So, to an average Yoruba person, underrating such a retreating ram would be at the peril of its opponent.
With this background, the impression that APC and Aregbesola are down and out in the state politics must be coming from people who are politically naïve.
Aregbesola has proven in the past to be a cat with more than nine lives. If he could survive the famous Oroki Day shootings, it is believed that he can survive any tough situation. One can ask from those who wrote off the diminutive Omo Iya Olobi after over three years legal battle with the former governor to regain his mandate, how they were brutally wounded because of their complacency in handling the petite political dynamite. They ended up with bloodied noses and swollen faces.
Well, they could not be blamed. Who would not ask Aregbesola to go back to his party’s secretariat to obtain another declaration form for 2011 governorship race that was just a few months away in 2010? The vocal politician of the progressive camp, who introduced real entertainment into electioneering waited until his traducers were fast asleep before he removed the mattresses from their feet making them waking up to find themselves on the bare floor.
Though, what happened on July 8 admittedly, was a bit of setback, one must remember that only God is infallible. No man is perfect. Yoruba will say, if one has not fallen, he would not learn how to rearrange the scattered belongings. No doubt APC had slipped, staggered and kissed the canvass, but if anybody entertains that as the end of the game, such a person must be swimming in an ocean of illusion.
The Aregbesola that some people know would tell whoever cares to listen that, his ram that retreated has not ran away. Rather, it has gone back to the drawing board to re-strategize and by the time he comes back to strike, woe betides any political sheep that would dare to wait for its fury.