| By Tajudeen Kareem |
HE is deep in the theory, practice and philosophy of the Islamic religion. Now I can bet that he would be laughing at the antics of his detractors or those who choose to play politics with the plan of the Creator. His attitude, I dare assume, is premised on the words of Allah in the Holy Quran, Surah 3,189: And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things.
So, if I may ask: Who is afraid of Barrister Adulraheem Adebayo Shittu, the minister-nominee from Oyo State? No matter their grievances, one million petitioners cannot stop him from becoming a Minister. And to quote my late god-father, Alhaji Arisekola Alao, one billion petitions cannot stop whomsoever Almighty Allah wants to make a King.
In all their grievances and petitions, no one has said that Shittu is not qualified. They cannot accuse him of being a fraudulent person, an incompetent lawyer, a womanizer or drunkard. All they have said is that he does not belong to the mainstream of the All Progressives Congress, APC. And that he is not the choice of the powers-that-are in Oyo State.
Laughable as their allegations may be, the story of Shittu should be a point of reference to many, whose political antecedents are muddled in political prostitution and inconsistency; a reproach some of his detractors may not get away from till their last breath.
From all indications, way back from his foray into politics when he was elected as a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in 1979, Shittu, a man who had been commissioner in the state with records of performance trailing his stewardship, cannot now at this point be vilified as half-hearted party man. Whatever misgivings anyone may have, Barrister Shittu is one politician with conscience, strength of character and a man of principle.
Adebayo Shittu sought to be governor of Oyo State in 2011 on the platform of the now defunct Congress for Progressive Change, one of the parties that fused into the current APC, which by the grace of God is now the governing party in the country.
As one of those parties in the trenches to wrest power from the Peoples Democratic Party, the ministerial nominee from Oyo State, on the counsel of his principal, and now the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, jettisoned his personal ambition to pursue the overall goal of the new party in the build up to the last general election by throwing his weight behind the APC-led government of Governor Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi.
Himself not being a political neophyte, his people in Oke Ogun, which is the second largest division in Oyo State, after Ibadan, voted overwhelmingly for the success of his party, the APC; both at the presidential and governorship polls.
How then can the intrigues of haters be dispatched to the refuse bin?
If the mantra of change is anchored on recovery of the nation’s values and abolition of corruption and its tendencies, and also to shift from the injustice of the past and establish an equitable order, then, Barr. Shittu stands eminently qualified for the new assignment ahead of him.
Rather than attacking his nomination, one would expect that the leadership of the APC in Oyo State, and indeed all other stakeholders in the political affairs of the state, should applaud the choice of President Buhari in seeing through the spectrum of the state to bring up a committed party man for the slot in the mold of Barrister Shittu.
The Oke-Ogun Division of Oyo State has complained of marginalization at different times, being one of the zones that had been denied the opportunity to produce a minister since the commencement of this democratic chain.
They have voiced out their displeasure on how political posts often eluded them and with pleas that the imbalanced be redressed.
The late Alhaji Adekunle Aruna Elewi, from Oyo Division, served as Minister between 1999 and 2003. Thereafter, Prof. Tahoed Adedoja and Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide have served as Ministers. They are both of Ibadan extraction. The choice of an Oke-Ogun man this time by President Buhari should be situated in the right perspective. Firstly, his selection by the President should be seen as a reward for political consistency and loyalty to the vision of his principal.
In this clime, and examples abound everywhere, that only few politicians have that loyalty and patience to stand with their principals through the thick and thin of the difficult past and uncertain political future as Barrister Shittu. His elevation should be a unifying factor for the people of Oyo State and be embraced as one justice done the once politically marginalized people of the Oyo north district.
In his choice, the scope of governance has been widened in the state. Hopefully, this will assuage the seeming disparity and neglect suffered by the Oke-Ogun people in the scheme of federal appointments.
— Oct 19, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT