The fear of Ibikunle Amosun

BY BIMBO BALOGUN

Recently, social media has been overflowing with a plethora of fake news reports about the former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. A couple of these contrived news items may slip into the mainstream media.

Ordinarily, this budding campaign of calumny and character assassination would have been ignored but for the fact that a lie told repeatedly without being challenged may at one point or the other be assumed by the unwary to be the truth.

Those behind the malevolent attacks are doing so in order to heat up the polity ahead of the 2023 general elections. We must not fall for their antics.

The general public is, therefore, put on notice to be wary of unfounded rumours, wild allegations and mischievous imputations against the person of Senator Amosun.

The former governor will not be distracted by the vindictive concoctions, barefaced mendacities and unconscionable lies spread against his person by these aggrieved elements.

Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu does not require a copious introduction as the former minister of Communications of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He is from Oyo State. His tenure as minister ended in 2019. Before becoming minister, he had earlier served as a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, becoming the youngest member at age 26, to take the office.

That is not all. He has aspired, twice, as governor of Oyo State, first, on the platform of the Conference for Progressive Change and, very recently, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Shittu had said in 2019 that he was shocked when his name was not included in President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list.

He said although he did not expect that he would not be reappointed, as a Muslim, he took it as his fate.

A proper digest of his recent attack on Senator Ibikunle Amosun smacks of bare-faced opportunism, pathological fear and hatred.

“If any politician wants to attack Amosun, one does not expect that to come from any dirty, filthy hypocrite who could trade their life and integrity for paltry political gains”

Shittu’s circumlocution in the Arise TV programme is a devious innuendo to disparage, spread lies and feed the public with misinformation about Senator Amosun who is much loved by his people.

In his intemperance, Shittu rolled out his artillery and mortar fire (his stock in trade) against Senator Amosun. In doing this, he uncritically and in puerile fashion, ventured into extrapolations and rationalisations in contempt of his professional calling and political affiliation.

He called on the National Working Committee of the APC to sanction Senator Amosun for anti-party activities. He also said that Senator Amosun should bury his head in shame for claiming that the 2019 governorship election was rigged with him as the sitting governor.

Understandably, there is no better specimen for a whining loser than a disgruntled politician and a desperado.

Shittu who vowed to work (and did) against the APC’s governorship candidate in Oyo State in 2019, Adebayo Adelabu, is accusing someone else of anti-party activities.

Adelabu eventually lost the election and Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party carried the day.

While party leaders were pleading with Shittu to sheath his sword and work for the APC, he vehemently ruled out the possibility of heeding to the call by the reconciliation committee on him to bury the hatchet in the interest of the party.

For the interest of those who might have forgotten, the Adams Oshiomhole-led national working committee of the APC had on the eve of the 2019 governorship primaries disqualified Shittu on the ground that he did not participate in the mandatory National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

Shittu, who approached the court to seek justice on the matter, insisted that his position did not amount to indulging in anti-party activities.

According to him “Before you talk of reconciliation you must first talk of restitution. If you violate someone’s rights or you seize someone’s property and you are found out, instead of you delivering what you had stolen you are now talking of reconciliation.

“As for me I don’t recognize the candidate of APC, I am in court and I am sure that I would triumph over those who were not as intelligent in foisting a candidate on the party.

“With all sense of humility I have passed the stage where any party would threaten me. I am in court and if the party is sure that it has a better basis for what they have done, let us go and meet in court. You don’t start threatening someone who feels unfairly treated thinking you can get me out of the justice system.”

Shittu had expressed optimism that he would triumph over the antics of his adversaries and that it was unfortunate that Adelabu was nominated by the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the governorship candidate of the party barely two months after joining the party.

What an irony of life.

In a decent society, Shittu would have recused himself from commenting on the affairs of the politics of Ogun State.

Unfortunately, we live in a society of “anything goes” where decency has taken flight.

Shittu must remember that intellectual brigandage and uncharitable statements may achieve initial ephemeral ends, but they cause more self-damage to the individual who wields them.

If any politician wants to attack Amosun, one does not expect that to come from any dirty, filthy hypocrite who could trade their life and integrity for paltry political gains.

Not attack from politicians who have lost control of their homes and battling with battered images. Not from politicians living in perpetual fear of political suicide and social oblivion. Not from serial betrayers and active Judas.

While Shittu is free to enjoy the latitude of his mischief, the public must not be underserved. They deserve better than what Shittu has fed them with.

People have the duty to put the records straight and that is why one bothers, at all, to respond to his worthless treatise.

More so, because Shittu still pretends to be a relevant member of the APC with his recent appointment as the Director General of the Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance, he deserves to be put where he belongs.

Balogun, a public affairs commentator writes from Igbeba, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

CAVEAT: Views and opinions expressed here are those of the writers and are not in any way those of The Point Newspaper – Editor