By Theo Adebowale
It is a new season in the State of Osun with the Progressives being able to retain power. The last four years have been most trying as the Nigerian economy took a nose dive into recession. Whereas economic recession has been global, the inability of the previous administrations to save for the future made the economic downturn a most excruciating experience for the newly elected government of All Progressives Congress at the center, while personnel of the defeated Peoples Democratic Party engaged in deception. And the propaganda had some visible ‘justification’.
In the period between 1999 and 2015, free funds were criminally available to members of the National Assembly to induce them to pass bills. Appropriation Bills attracted jumbo inducements from the Presidency, and when Dr Olusegun Obasanjo began to unfold his ill fated third term agenda, many Nigerians reported that billions of naira was shared among Senators and Representatives.
However, the six years of Dr Goodluck Jonathan witnessed unprecedented treasury looting with the almighty Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison Madueke literarily competing with the Central Bank of Nigeria with funds in her personal custody. The construction industry was very active with estates springing up all over Nigeria. Private schools and institutions were thriving as public officials made prompt payment of huge fees for their wards’ education.
Marabouts, seers, diviners and merchants of death earned generously further services.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was committed to provision of infrastructure including roads, and even contemplated constructing a befitting airport for the State of Osun. The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) and promotion of the Yoruba culture, and the Omoluwabi mantra received must attention from the State Governor. The other Chief Executive Officers of the remaining five South West States were more cautious and less committed to the DAWN. So as recession bit hard, the economy of the State of Osun became too parlours to care for workers’ welfare. On two occasions, Forum for Patriotic Members of APC (FOPAMEC) were received in the Governors’ office. His Excellency took time to narrate the pitiable state of the finances and how his government made sure that each worker went home with their salary every month. Those on levels one to seven took the full salary while the senior officials returned home with varying pay every month depending on federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue.
The opposition had enough to run down the APC government as economic performance was drastically reduced, and hunger was pervasive. The educated elite, finding it difficult to meet responsibilities were equally sore. After the All Progressives Congress took over in 2015 the Federal Government was able to come to the rescue of the 36 states of the federation even then the Peoples Democratic Party had under mined the sitting government. The gap between the victorious APC candidate and the runner-up was narrow, but for Alhaji Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola it was victory at last. This was a multidimensional victory. A professional insurer is succeeding a rugged, astitute engineer. In the study of Politics of Western Europe in my undergraduate days, we learnt that an engineer is a kind of a plumber, and a plumber is not a gentleman.’ One reason the British Royal family has not produced an engineer. The new Governor therefore, would be expected to provide assurance for the people of his state to turn the economy around. It is also an opportunity to deliver to his name as Isiaka, that would employ divine wisdom to know the right sacrifices to make to achieve success. It translated to victory for the economy.
He is referred to as an insurance technocrat and business administrator. He will be expected to bring radical revolution to the agrarian economy of the state. That he held strategic top management positions with exemplary performance records should situate him for the onerous task ahead. His Excellency Gboyega Oyetola having worked for others ventured into self employment starting with insurance broking and consultancy. He diversified into finance, mortgage and property development as well as construction. This must have adequately prepared him for processing agricultural and other natural resources for greater value.
In the last eight years, he has undertaken apprenticeship in governance as Chief of Staff to his predecessor. Hopes are high that he would deliver development to the state of Osun.
It must be mentioned that while his contemporaries in University of Lagos have to celebrate this gubernatorial victory, the real celebration and jubilation will be taking place in Ife Oluwa Grammar School, Osogbo. His classmates, seniors and juniors never expected that he would show interest in politics. Oladosu Gidigbi and Kunle Adedeji started talking about Ileri Oluwa less than 2 years ago. He was never controversial, neither did he display attributes that get pupils suspected of or being involved in high risk ventures like Nigerian politics. Cool headed, polished and not pokenosing in any instance, everyone of his contemporaries found it unbelievable when he emerged Chief of Staff. To the best of my knowledge, he is the first Iforian to have risen so high in Nigerian politics. In a way, he has broken a jinx and delivered victory to pupils of Ife Oluwa Co Educational Grammar School, past and present, Mr Taiwo, and the Auntie Dupe Fadeyi who were principals while he was a young upcoming secondary school pupil.
We congratulate the good people of Iragbiji, State of Osun, leaders and members of All Progressives Congress on the victory at the polls. It is a time for us to come up with strong determination to contribute our quota to make a resounding success of this tenure. His government must involve more home based citizens in balancing the economic cake indeed because they have upgraded their skills in interaction with those that have travelled far and wide. Our celebration would be enhanced and prolonged if more efforts are invested in reconciliation of party members, and other electoral participants.
Congratulations to foot soldiers of Forum for Patriotic Members of APC under the Chairmanship of Ajasegun Aluko and Woye Dr Olaniran, Chairman Committee of Friends of Gboyega who were on the field essentially on self efforts. APC Governors must receive accolades for their steadfastness and unalloyed support for the Osun project. Congratulations to our own PMB and national leadership of APC.
May your stars never dim.
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