By reversing many years of hopelessness, inertia, falling income, growing debts, social divisions, drift and unemployment in Osun State, Governor Gboyega Oyetola second term is a fait accompli .
After the contentious 2018 governorship election in Osun State, Gbeyega Oyetola, the winner and incumbent, gave some signals and looked ready, both in words and actions, to pilot the state to state to a safe shore. Before then , especially after the keenly contested election, many within and outside the state had thought that the return of the All Progressives Congress, APC would translate to a reappearance of half salary, non-payment of pensions, highhandedness, lack of economic opportunities and other problems associated with the previous administration. But he disappointed the pessimists . All these have changed and the governor has ,indeed, proved he could make a difference. Despite , a handful group of mischievous individuals heating up the polity for no just cause , for creating this new economic and social atmosphere, Oyetola’s second term in office is a fait accompli
The governor is an unexpected performer who has touched lives in many ways. He has engendered hope and good governance in the last three years and a few months with his vibrant economic policies that focus on growth and human capital and development. One talking point in the state today is that the governor is very concerned about recovering lost confidence. And he has done that . Since he assumed the office he has continued to demonstrate intelligence, energy, courage, commitment, good grasp of the issues, fiscal responsibility, business mindedness and a desire to inspire confidence. And for many people, this is a welcome development. It is pertinent to state that this administration took off on a great and impressive note and has not derailed. . First, it placed premium on human development . As against concentrating mostly on the physical and infrastructural facilities by the previous administration , he has continued to balance the two aspects by paying full salaries to the workforce and building physical and infrastructure as well . After all, man shall not live on infrastructure at the expense of realities such as the next meal or the source of school fees.
For many people, the total focus on infrastructure at expense workers salaries was a misplaced priority and a major drawback in the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who may have meant well but was in unnecessary hurry to develop Osun. Today, the current administration is inspiring hope, working with the people and paying salaries and pensions as and when due. Oyetola is also paying backlogs, contributing to pensions scheme, redirecting the state and empowering citizens in many ways, different from the past administration.
At the beginning, the governor’s acceptance speech said a mouthful. And in many ways, he has not yet deviated from that path of progress he promised at the dawn of his administration. “I regard the mandate given to me by the people of Osun State as sacred and I am taking it seriously. Of course, I have been part of the new beginning that started eight years ago. Nevertheless, I am continuing the glorious path on which I am familiar but this is a new beginning for me. I am committing myself the more to the good governance of Osun State and the welfare of the people”, he said.
Indeed, the governor has not left anyone in doubt about his abilities and commitment to a new Osun. He promised an inclusive government those early days when he took over, he lived up to that expectation. He also consulted widely: workers, communities, traditional rulers, civil servants, traders, artisans and other stakeholders. And in many ways, there are good results. Unlike before, this new administration initiated a programme for human and skills acquisition for political office holders and appointees as a way of making government officials abreast with government’s new directions. So far, the cabinet and others in the mix are up and running. At the beginning , over 22 industrialists and investors signified interests in investing in Osun both within and outside Nigeria, including investors from Europe, Canada and North America. This is in addition to the investing companies’ commitment to deploy over 100 million naira in the mining and related sectors. No doubt, the multiplier effect has been considerable and positive too ; it is boosting job creation , transforming the economy and energizing businesses within the state.
This governor appreciates the age-long dictum that health is wealth and he has been focusing on revitalizing and revolutionizing the health sector. On the issue of security, Oyetola is also working round the clock to provide a peaceful state that will not only protect lives and lure investors but also guarantee investments for those who have already invested. For many people in the state, this administration is laying a solid foundation for growth and industrialization and the results are already beginning to manifest.
For a greater Osun, the governor is driving the state’s Internally Generated Revenue at full throttle for maximum effect. Already, the IGR has tripled in the last three years and it is not likely to go down with what is currently on the ground. He is also partnering with economic drivers like the organized private sector, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE and other critical stakeholders who are contributing in no small way in revitalizing the state’s education, mining, agriculture, textile, tourism and other sectors.
As Oyetola and his team continue to maintain their leap in different areas of life in Osun State, everyone seems to be cheering, including the opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP. At a point in the administration this opposition party noted that the significant fall in the over bloated wage bill and salaries in the state is a credit to the governor. The wage bill which increased under the former administration robbed the state of vital revenues for the implementation of projects and service to the people. The PDP believes strongly that the rise in salaries and emoluments was due to the many fictitious names of acolytes of the former governor’s Lagos-based supporters who were paid by the state for doing nothing.
Surely, history will be fair on Oyetola who is breaking new ground and restoring hope in the citizenry with his sound administrative style and unmatched performance. At the moment, many believe that Osun State is in good company with a leader like Oyetola. And it is already evident that the people will continue to enjoy good leadership under this focused leader with drive, ability, commitment, patriotism and understanding of what the issues are. This is one of the reasons the governor must be allowed a second term for him to continue the giant strides