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The end of Amala politics in Oyo




THE resounding victory of the incumbent Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, at the 2015 governorship elections; has not only broken the fabled second term jinx, but has truly sounded the death knell for the much-touted and celebrated Amala politics (politics of stomach infrastructure) in the state.

For Oyo State, it is a new dawn, a fresh era that is waving a vigorous bye to the politics of lies, mudslinging, rumour, distortion of facts, character assassination and the promotion of charlatanism. They have all been washed away by the Ajimobi tidal wave.

The people of Oyo State voted for the continuity of the change they have experienced and enjoyed since May 2011. In voting overwhelmingly for Senator Ajimobi for an unprecedented second term, the people spoke equivocally that they deserve more than six yards of Ankara, two wraps of Amala (yam flour meal) and scores of lies.

As a more viable alternative, they desire the sustenance of peace, economic growth, social and infrastructural development as represented by the current governor.

In one accord, the people chorused a resounding no to a return to the days of yore characterized by violence, thuggery, maladministration, profligacy and impunity… the days of Amala politics.

They have therefore, wholeheartedly embraced the politics of visionary leadership, methodical governance and courageous policy implementation.

What therefore, needs to be celebrated is not the novelty of the second term mandate of Ajimobi, but the more significant victory of intellectualism over pedestrianism.

Indeed, the celebration is that of the triumph of Intellectual Politics over Amala Politics given the antecedents in Oyo State.

Ajimobi’s second term victory is the people’s affirmation of their newfound preference for a leader with a vision, driven by his sincerity of purpose and possessing the courage to swim against the tide while focusing on the common good of the land – a massive vote for reason over emotions.

Given a spiritual colouration, Ajimobi’s second term mandate can be painted as Oyo State undergoing deliverance from the bondage and yoke of mediocrity.

The state’s mass choir is singing a fresh hymn from a new hymn book in a church where the Old Testament has given way to the New Testament, led by a modern day preacher. Pointedly speaking, Ajimobi has shifted the state’s political paradigm.

The import of this is that the people have acknowledged the fact that they appreciate the popular saying, “No Pain No Gain”. They can see the promise land and are willing to break eggs to make the developmental omelet.

This monumental resolve is aptly demonstrated with the direction of votes in the just concluded governorship elections.

At the presidential polls, Oyo State contributed the highest margin in the Southwest to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s victory. At the National Assembly elections, APC won the three available senatorial seats in the state.

Coming from no seat at all, there can be no further evidence of a people’s strong desire for continuity. Add the capture of 12 out of the available 14 seats in the House of Representatives by the party in the state and you will have little doubt about the direction in which the people want the ship of the state to sail.

To erase doubts, the state assembly and governorship elections nailed the coffin of Amala politics with a simple majority of 18 out of the 32 seats.

In the governorship elections, the Oyo State orchestra sang a beautiful dirge for Amala politics with sonorous voices in four out of the five zones backed by wins in 22 of the 33 Local Government Areas. What a bold statement indeed by the people.

Now that majority of the people of Oyo State are celebrating the demise of Amala politics, let nobody mourn the political phenomenon, for its end is the beginning of a new school of politics – the Ajimobi School of Politics.

Let all stakeholders in politics and governance in Oyo State wake up to the reality of the birth of developmental politics, wake up to visionary governance, to missionary policies to the era of intellectualism in governance.

The Ajumose progressive train is on the move around Oyo State, if you are not on board, join at the next station, no ticket needed, just a mind shift.
•Arulogun is Special Adviser (Public Affairs) to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State

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