Adelere Adeyemi Oriolowo, consummate technocrat, undisputed team player, untainted civil servant and man of the people has all it takes to occupy Osun Government House
BY AMOS ADETUNJI
The quest for governorship tickets across the various political parties in the forth-coming governorship election in Osun State is a straight fight, no doubt. Everybody agrees that aspirants with fighting chances must be knowledgeable because this is a knowledge based economy. There is also agreement that aspirantsshould understand the rudiments of governance, with skills to turn around the economy of the State of Osun. But above all, the candidates are expected tocome from Osun West for equity, fairness and justice. Though there are other considerations, these are three cardinal requirements that are already driving the choices of the leading political parties.
For the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, AdereleOriolowo remains its best choice, all things considered. Apart from the aspirant’s robust and unblemished career as a top civil servant and administrator, the Iwo born technocrat is widely believed to be APC’s beautiful bride in the coming election. In fact, many are of the view that he is the only person at the moment who can guarantee victory to the ruling party. And the reasons are not far to seek.
For those who may not know, Oriolowo, at least for now, is the only aspirant in the entire Osun West whose ambition, rather than divide, is already uniting his people. This is so because he is loved for his simplicity and generosity by people across age, creed and sex. But Oriolowo also has many other advantages.
Outside his immediate political environment, the aspirant is a classmate of the sitting governor and a confidant too. After retiring from service as a Permanent Secretary, he was retained to oversee World Bank projects in the state, an appointment that did not only showcase his abilities and sense of fairness but also offered employment opportunities to sons and daughters of Osun.
But outside these realities and sentiments, Oriolade knows that there are burning desires and expectations among Osun State people with regard to who eventually becomes the successor to Rauf Aregbesola. Fortunately for the Iwo born engineer and technocrat, he is already addressing all the outstanding issues in this governorship race and adding his voice to the fact that political experience alone cannot drive the candidacy of any politician with ambition.
Recently, at a programme, with the title, “News Point” organized by the Correspondence Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ in Oshogbo, Oriolade who is the Osun State Project Coordinator of Rural Access and Mobility Project, O’RAMP, spoke eloquently on the need to avoid sacrificing competence at the altar of political experience. ‘If a competent person is not put in place, it is either the state goes backwards or remains stagnant. Political experience is not enough to make somebody governor of a state without technical expertise, sound project management skills, healthy interpersonal relationship and cognitive problem solving abilities. These are all the needed elements for success”, he warned, arguing that he has the best experience to lead the state, given his competence and wide network of contacts both within and outside Nigeria.
And like most aspirants, Oriolade is not unaware of the huge political benefits that await every contestant from Osun West. Naturally, he is hoping to reap bountifully from that advantage which essentially centres around the fact that Osun West is yet to produce a full term governor. This is so because the aspirant’s zone is the only one that is yet to produce a governor because Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the first elected governor of Osun State did not even stay up to two years in office before he was booted out by military adventurers who toppled the civilian government of the Third Republic.
Be that as it may, Oriolade is bringing everything to this governorship contest which promises to be issue based. For instance, the renowned technocrat will be banking on his experiences and abilities which is second to none. These assets include his international development project experiences as a former focal point officer with the UNDP; his excellent professional qualifications, first as a registered engineer with the Nigerian Society of Engineers and as a member of professional groups like Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers, NIAE; Certified International Project Manager, CIPM; a registered member of the prestigious Institute of Strategic Management, Nigerian Institute of Management and member, Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators, among others.
He was also a former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Rural Development and Community Affairs. Before then, he was the General Manager, Osun State Agricultural Development Corporation. This is in addition to the robust training he received from international bodies on succeeding as a public servant, acquiring and sustaining leadership skills, issues in projects, team management and integrity as a priceless possession in public administration.
These and more will provide tremendous support as he participates in an election that will essentially focus on restoring hope, continuing on Rauf Aregbesola’s laudable projects, youth empowerment and issues of social justice.
This election is also about electing an amiable trouble shooter who has all it takes to unite and reconcile warring individuals and groups in the APC. This candidate should also be able to leverage on the crisis in the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP especially with the exit of IyiolaOmisore who recently dumped the opposition party. For an election that will lean heavily on justice, equity and fairness, it will be suicidal if the APC fails to direct its radar on Osun West where Oriolowo hails from.