A rejoinder to my opinion which I titled, Taofeek Arapaja and the Burden of Intellectual Illogic, written by Isiaka Kehinde is a good piece of Public Relations effort for which the writer deserves commendation. Surprisingly, the writer did not attack the messenger of the opinion, though he was quite defensive of Taofeek Arapaja, which is not bad in itself.
However, while defending the Ambassador, the writer of the piece unconsciously confirmed that Taofeek Arapaja was not only intellectually illogical on his misplaced wailings but also could not distinguish between ‘will’ and ‘action’ while the writer himself has committed another intellectual gaffe, having defined ‘political action’ to translate into ‘success’. For former Governors Alao-Akala, who mooted the idea of LAUTECH takeover, and Abiola Ajimobi, who furthered the discussion on the possibility of the takeover, they had both expressed both the political will and the political action on the issue. ‘Will’ is intransitive, residing in the mind as a courage while ‘Action’ is transitive, defining practicability of the will earlier nursed. One may nurse the will to do something without commensurate action just as action may occur without being successful. To say that the two former governors only had ‘will’ but not ‘action’ towards making LAUTECH takeover a reality is demeaning of the mental working of the harbourer of such thought. Governor Seyi Makinde also had the will, took action and with the cooperation of Governor Oyetola, was successful in taking over LAUTECH, though at a cost not already in public domain. LAUTECH takeover could not have been possible without the interventions of other eminent actors.
The writer also alluded to the fact that since Arapaja was an active participant in the government of Alao-Akala, the Ambassador was privy to everything that transpired over LAUTECH takeover negotiations between Oyo and Osun. Need we remind the writer that Taofeek Arapaja as the deputy governor under Alao-Akala administration did not have a rosy relationship with his former boss? How does Arapaja’s claim of being sidelined in the scheme of things in the administration tally with being privy to all that happened during LAUTECH takeover negotiations?
It’s laughable, indeed, that the writer denied that without the political influence and benefactions of late Chief Lamidi Adedibu, Taofeek Arapaja could still have made great strides in his political career. Even if we would claim that it’s God that makes a man successful, and since God won’t descend to earth to help anyone, Baba Adedibu was the Samaritan God sent to perfect Arapaja’s political paths. The writer’s argument that Taofeek Arapaja was qualified and competent for Baba Adedibu to have counted him worthy of being helped politically was porous in the eyes of keen watchers of political situations when Baba Adedibu was calling political shots at his sprawling Molete residence. Baba Adedibu would field you for political positions even if you’re not competent and qualified! Motor park touts and miscreants were made councillors and supervisory councillors by Baba Adedibu. As long as you exhibited unfeigned loyalty to the late Ibadan chief, whether you were qualified or not, competent or not, you’re assured of a political position beyond your wildest imagination. I refrain from mentioning names of such beneficiaries in order not to embarrass some people. Why did you think Baba Adedibu was given an appellation of ‘S’erú d’omo’? It’s because people like Taofeek Arapaja had had their lives turned around for better by Baba Adedibu’s benefactions! The writer would do well to tell us what political achievements Taofeek Arapaja has made after the demise of Chief Adedibu. He was made the Ambassador to Jordan on the strength of his political affinity to the late Ibadan Garrison commander of Ibadan politics.
The writer went on to describe Ambassador Arapaja as a ‘leader of leaders’. One recalls that the last time the Ambassador made any political headway was during his deputy governorship as he used his influence to have an ally of his, Abiodun Ekolo, appointed as the caretaker chairman of Ibadan South East local government. Since after the expiration of his ambassadorial position, Taofeek Arapaja and his political camp have continued to struggle to seek political relevance, hence his prostituting from one party to another. He left PDP to join Labour Party, then to Accord. He also teamed up with the Unity Forum to move to ADC. When his political aspirations could not be met, he ported to APC during the administration of late Governor Ajimobi. Now, Arapaja is back in the PDP! In all of these political trips from one party to another, Arapaja and his camp remained in political oblivion as he or any of his loyalists from his local government did not occupy any elective position or was given any appointment.
As advised earlier, Taofeek Arapaja needs to occupy his mind with how to rejuvenate his comatose political machinery towards realising his next political ambition. He should refrain from making unsubstantiated statements against those older than him because of political partisanship. He cannot afford the luxury of attracting enemies to himself henceforth.