By Ojo Oyewamide
Opposition political parties in Ondo state think they can ride the horse of falsehood to the Alagbaka Government House. They see lies as a crucial weapon of power acquisition. Every lie they tell presupposes that the people of the state are fools. But the people are not fools. They can see through the lies.
The Ondo opposition liars are poor offsprings of Joseph Goebbels. They are pitiable caricatures of the most unabashed and crude propagandist in history. Goebbels was the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. He shamelessly elevated untruth in public communication.
Goebbels’ boss, Adolf Hitler, who was one of the most ruthless leaders ever in the world, considered lies as a potent instrument of propaganda. He saw nothing morally wrong in deploying falsehood to achieve his objectives.
“I will provide a propagandistic casus belli. Its credibility doesn’t matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth,” Hitler reportedly told his generals on August 22, 1939. These shameless pieces of humanity always sought victory at the expense of truth while they lived and ruled their people.
Today, the descendants of Goebbels in Ondo are desperate to have an opportunity to run the affairs of the state. To achieve their desire, they think they must tell lies, all kinds of lies, against the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, his family and his government. They always attempt to use falsehood to create an illusion of truth.
The gubernatorial election in the state is fast approaching. So, this is their season of lies. Their agents of falsehood are everywhere spewing all kinds of untruth. Penultimate week, they came out with a wicked story. The story said Governor Akeredolu had announced his government’s intention to owe workers’ salaries in the coming months. It was a lie, the kind that emitted putrid smells.
Two days after, they rolled out another shameless lie. The lie was that the Akeredolu government was planning to reduce the state workforce. No fewer than 2000 workers would be sacked according to the fake news they circulated in the social media. The poorly written fable claimed the massive retrenchment would be carried out during the second term of Arakunrin Akeredolu if reelected.
It is true that liars’ mouths don’t bleed. But those behind the two doctored stories cited above are not expert liars. Their fakery lacked believability. It was evident they had a sinister motive. And the motive was to incite civil servants in the state against the present government. The truth is that there is no plan to disengage any worker from the employ of the state.
Nobody can dispute the fact that the welfare of the civil servants means a lot to Arakunrin Akeredolu. The governor inherited seven months salary arrears. He has cleared six months. It remains one month. And the governor has promised to pay the outstanding before the expiration of his first tenure in office. The government prioritises the welfare of its workers despite the paucity of funds and the fierce competition of several needs for the available resources.
A gubernatorial candidate had been plotting to sling mud on the personality of Governor Akeredolu and members of his immediate family. But the five-month-old plot was uncovered few days ago. The fellow, who has become a victim of his ambition, intended to used fake and cloned receipts to achieve his sinister motive. The master forger had already employed the service of printers to print the fake receipts.
The plan was to show the receipts to the public as the ones purportedly presented by the members of the Arakunrin Akeredolu’s immediate family and senior officials of his government. The prime motive was to create an impression of corruption and overbearing influence of the governor’s family. But the cat was out of the bag before the enemies of progress could execute their plan.
All kinds of lies have been told against the wife of the governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, and their son, Babajide. The sin of the Ondo First Lady is that she is brimming with ideas and has turned these ideas into life-transforming programmes. These programmes are privately run, completely independent of her husband’s government. They have brought hope and succour to various homes and people.
The sin of Babajide is that he seeks the success of his father’s government. He holds no position in the government, but he is always around his father. The truth is that no father will have a son as brilliant and intelligent as Babajide and will not be proud of him and want him around. One needed to see Babajide in 2016 when his father was campaigning for votes. One would think he was one of the photographers employed to cover the campaign. Unless you were told he was the son of Arakunrin Akeredolu, you would not know.
It is unfortunate that some members of Babajide’s generation are being used to smear his personality on social media. These idle minds don’t have a sense of generational solidarity. None of the lies told against Babajide can be proved.
They describe the Akeredolu government as Baba-Iya-ati-omo government. One wonders what they mean. Is the infrastructural development across the state in the last three and a half years for only the Akeredolu family? Is education revitalisation, health rejuvenation and adequate security provision in the state only for the first family? Are the industries and the bitumen exploitation for only the family? Will the Ondo Port be only for the family? Is the foundation of a prosperous and self-reliant Ondo state being laid by the government for only the family?
As the gubernatorial election approaches, many lies will still be told against Arakunrin Akeredolu, his family and his government. But as God lives, they will collapse like a pricked balloon. This is because God always supports the truth. He detests lies.
*** Oyewamide is Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akeredolu on Media and Publicity