by Adedayo Ademuwagun
In a rural neighbourhood along the Osogbo-Ilobu road in Osogbo, our journalist sits to speak with a woman who sells food at a small roadside shed about her thoughts on the upcoming election.
While she is responding, her four kids start singing a song in front of the shed. The song is in Yoruba, and translates like this:
“God will judge you if you do not vote for him (they are referring to Aregbesola). God will judge you if you do not vote for him. Your child gets to eat turkey and bring home eggs. God will judge you if you do not vote for him.”
Our journalist asks the singing children if they like Aregbesola. They chorus with a smile, “Yes!”
Then he asks them where they learned the song. They say that they learned it in school.
“Children like Aregbesola a lot,” says their mother in the Osogbo dialect as she does a chore.
“Tell me, why won’t they like him? They get served food in school (public schools) during breaks. They give them apples to snack on. They even give them hot tea on rainy days. These are things that poor children like mine do not even enjoy at home. So why would the children not love them. They love him very much.”
“In fact, if they asked only children to vote in this election, Aregbesola would surely win by a wide margin.”
Raimat and Seun are two other kids in this low-income community. Our journalist has a word with their mothers and they let him speak with the kids.
“I would like to vote for Aregbesola, says Raimat, “because he gives us food. He gives us eggs. He gives us bread and beans.”
The mothers laugh approvingly, and one of them says in the dialect, “Aregbesola has done a lot for our children and as parents we are very happy with him.
“He has built new schools and upgraded facilities at old ones. Our children get free uniforms every year.
“That uniform thing alone is a real relief to some parents like us who don’t have a lot of money. Some children go to school with torn uniforms probably because their parents cannot afford a new one. But now parents don’t have to worry about that. For each session, the schoolchildren get a new set of uniforms. Then there are free books for the children, too. This government has truly been good to us and our children.”