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Ondo’s Pigeon and Dove certificate war

By Festus Adedayo

When it was time to play denigrating politics, Chief SLA Akintola, premier of the Western Region, was not one to shy away from it. The Ondo Province of the Region once came under his lacerating tongue. When it was time to take a swipe at the likes of renowned economist, Professor Sam Aluko, who hailed from the Ekiti part of the Province, Akintola had the right innuendo to singe his flesh. The Province was busy producing all manner of birds, in the name of academics, said the Premier – with the likes of Aluko, Atiala and Atioro. The three were names of birds in Yorubaland and the economist’s name was similar to one of them. While Aluko bird was the carinal, the Atiala and Atioro were allied hornbill birds. Akintola was
deliberately spinning innuendoes.

It goes without saying that the Province, which had Ondo as a major component, was home to intellectuals. Though arguments abound as to which, between the current Ekiti and Ondo states, produces the highest harvest of professors and academics, the fact remains that certificates are ten a dime on the streets of both states. So when the possession or non-possession of certificates became the issue in the current race to Alagbaka, seat of the government of Ondo State, it becomes both off-putting and a dispiriting game.

Jimoh Ibrahim, the senator representing Ondo South and one of those vying for the governorship election in the state in November, has been flaunting his nine degree certificates wherever he goes. Those who should know, know that, like Akintola, Ibrahim is embroiled in a game of innuendoes. What he is doing is reminiscent of an unspoken tango between two birds, the pigeon (eyele) and the dove (adaba). While adaba chants his incantations, the eyele pretends that he couldn’t access them. Those who know the brilliance of the pigeon, however, know it is mere pretence. Yoruba express this tango as “àdàbà ńpa ògèdè bí ẹni pé ẹyẹlé ò gbọ́, ẹyẹlé gbọ́, tí tiri ló ńtiri.”

Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, is the ẹyẹlé to whom Ibrahim, the àdàbà, is directing his incantations. This ẹyẹlé knows. Allegations are rife that Aiyedatiwa, who is also in the race, does not possess genuine certificates. Ibrahim’s advertisement of his suffusion of certificates is a direct innuendo on the certificate tango. Between Aiyedatiwa and Ibrahim’s certificates, or lack thereof, none should be qualification for Ondo governorship. While Ondo, which is reputed, ala SLA Akintola, as the pinnacle of academic certificates, should not have a governor who forges his certificate, the state, hitherto administered by Michael Ajasin, the renowned principal of the famous Imade College; school principal, Adebayo Adefarati; Geologist, Dr Olusegun Agagu and medical doctor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, shouldn’t relapse to such base level of being administered by a certificate forger. So, Aiyedatiwa’s certificates should be top on his qualification index. In the same vein, Ondo electors shouldn’t base their consideration of Ibrahim’s candidacy on merely his plethora of certificates. We have to look at his person and pedigree. Why have virtually all the businesses that Senator Ibrahim laid his hands on been dead, comatose or gasping for breath? Why is his name a serial occurrence on AMCON’s notorious list? Does this point at his spirit?

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