By Abdulwahab Oba
Every time I read my brother, Rafiu Ajakaiye, struggling to defend his master and protecting his meal ticket, I pity him. This is a thorough bred professional saddled with the responsibility of selling a very bad product. He’s caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. But can a brilliant marketing sell a terribly bad product? May be for a short while, yes. The bad product will always show it’s true colour sooner or later. The repercussions will be serious.
Ajakaye’s propaganda and series of lies remind one of the Theranos scandal in the US. Company founder, Elizabeth Holmes, adopted an aggressive marketing and propaganda claiming to have changed the world. But there was just a problem: Theranos’ blood testing product didn’t do what Elizabeth Holmes said it did. Not even close. It was a very terrible product.
The founder and CEO of Theranos, a Stanford-drop-out, had falsely claimed in
2014, that Theranos, a blood-testing startup, was able to perform over 240 tests with just a single pinprick of blood, while existing technology required one vial of blood for each diagnostic test conducted. Automated, fast and inexpensive, Theranos deceitfully claimed to be offering technology that could revolutionize medicine and save lives the world over.
Holmes deliberately marketed herself as the next Steve Jobs, and relentlessly marketed her company’s product as a major breakthrough in blood testing. But it was a bad product. The tests it carried out were of questionable accuracy.
Things started to go publicly wrong after The Wall Street Journal ran a story on the validity of Theranos’s technology. The company, thereafter, was faced with legal and commercial challenges, and by September 2017, the company had failed to find a buyer, its reputation irreversibly damaged by aggressive marketing of a product that had never worked.
In November this year, Holmes was found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in prison, while former company president, Sunny Balwani was also convicted on all 12 counts brought against him and was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison and 3 years of probation.
Now, let’s do a forensic analysis of the Otoge failure and why Osuwa is not only gelling with the populace of Alaabe but trending with Kwarans. AbdulRahman had deliberately deceived the people of Kwara North, who now earnestly crave for a governor from the zone in Abdullahi Shuaibu Yaman, to within the first hundred days in office, commence the construction of Kishi/Kaiama and the bridge linking Patigi and Bida in Niger state. These remain empty promises almost four years.
While Saraki broke the jinx of underdevelopment in the area when he
tarred the stretch of road from Oyo State boundary to Baruten and Chikanda axis by Benin Republic, a120km road in less than four years in office, AbdulRahman’s promise to the people of Kwara North to abolish joint funding between local government and state government and building an agro-processing industry also remain theoretical almost four years after.
Asphalt overlay of Emir/Taiwo Road, Lafiaji,
Asphalt overlay Etsu Palace -General Hospital, Patigi, Kaima Township Road, Share Township Road, Tsaragi Market Road, Tsaragi, culvert and Windwall of Dongi Bridge along Koro-Isanlu in Patigi, old garage – central mosque- mission road, Tsaragi, Tsaragi- Batakpan Road, Ilesha Baruba-Gwanrara Road- 14km surface-dressing completed as at May, 2019 are some of the reasons Osuwa remains relevant with the people, while Shonga Farms, Kwara State University and its various campuses are life-changing projects that continue to resonate with the people.
Between the years 2003 and 2019 during the reigns of Senator Bukola Saraki, CON and Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed as governors of Kwara State, Ile-Ire district alone where Ustaz Ajakaye comes from benefited massively dividends of democracy. Some of the benefits included, but not limited to motorized boreholes in Alaabe, rehabilitation of classrooms, ECWA, LGEA School, Alaabe, grading of Oba of Alaabe to 4th class and rehabilitation of Oke-Ode to Alaabe to Owode Ofaro, (Dr. Jogunola from Alaabe represented the community to supervise the rehabilitation).
Other benefits to Ile-Ire included tarring of Sagbe-Babanla-Oreke road in Ile-Ire district; construction of a Awere bridge near Oreke; tarring of Oke-Aba-Owode Ofaro road in Ile-Ire district; motorized boreholes in Idera, Afin, Owode Ofaro, Idoba, Owa-Onire, Oke-Oyan, and Owa-Kajola all in Ile-Ire District; transformer in Idoba-Araromi-Ile-Ire; opening of road from Sabaja to Owa-Onire to Owu-Falls; (contract awarded to Bulletine Construction Company); rehabilitation of Oro-Ago to Oke-Oyan road; rehabilitation of classrooms, (ECWA primary School, Owode-Ofaro, ECWA School, Idera, Afin, Ansarul-Deen Primary School, Owode-Ofaro); and grading of Obas in Ile-Ire District, Oba of Babanla (2nd Class), Olu of Ofaro, One of Owa-Onire, Oba Oke-Oyan to 3rd class and Onidoba, Oba Afin, Oba Ikosin, Oloreke to 4th Class.
These are some of the reasons the Osuwa mantra makes sense to the people.
So, like the Theranos scandal, the Otoge scandal, occasioned by an unprecedented debt profile, corruption in high places, degrading of the civil service, assault on traditional institutions, including threats of dethronement, contemptuous use of inexperienced consultants for traditional civil servants’ responsibilities; unfulfilled promise fo new industries if elected; lack of new residential estate despite housing deficit in the state capital; conversion of Ilorin Airport Cargo Terminal to Garment Factory on the land carrying Certificate of Occupancy of Ilorin International Airport (a federal Government agency), nepotism and overbearing influence f governance in the state and lack of communication by the governor with the people until election period are some of the reasons that Otoge may be consigned to political imprisonment come 2023.
A Prosperous Kwara is Possible!