By Abiodun KOMOLAFE
Recently, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the State of Osun inaugurated the construction work of a juice production company in the state. At the event, the Timi of Ede, His Royal Majesty, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal, who could not hide his joy at the level of the development in the state in the last two years, endorsed the candidature of Oyetola as governor of the State beyond 2022. Hear him: “You (Oyetola) are doing well. You will complete this term and do another term.” Well, this is not the first time the foremost traditional ruler would be announcing his endorsement of the governor. Records have it that Kabiyesi had made this important remark, at least, on two previous occasions. So, when one considers the significance of Ede in the State’s political trajectory, that the monarch has been singing from the same hymn book, consistently, with other traditional rulers, lawmakers, pensioners, the Iyalojas and, of course, the artisans and the peasants is a plus for the governor.
If we may ask: what does it take to set up an industry? Goodwill! Capital! Viable labour! Access to raw materials! Regular supply of power! Anticipation of profit! Enabling environment (otherwise, there will be no business). There must be demand; and population to make the market possible! What’s more? A peaceful atmosphere; otherwise, striking a bargain becomes a welcome statement in a vacuum. Indeed, this is where performance of government comes in.
Basically, the philosophy of Oyetola’s development agenda is that only healthy people can initiate plans of development and engage successfully in other viable economic and socio-cultural activities. Is it any wonder that the governor started off on that premise? With a unique reference to Ede, it is heartening to note that, within 2 years, this Administration has renovated and fully equipped 21 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). With requisite manpower and drugs in place, the hospitals and clinics are now performing better than they have ever been. Even, the attitudinal disposition of the medics and support staff of the Health Centres is definitely changing for the better.
In Osun, Oyetola held an Economic and Investment Summit to attract investors. It gladdens the heart that credible investors are now responding. A vivid evidence is the siting of this juice production company in the Osun Free Trade Zone. Needless to repeat that the company’s establishment will have a multiplier effect on farmers, transporters, employment and plastic makers, among others! The good news is that the State Government is also building roads across the length and breadth of the State to ensure that farmers get agricultural products to the end users in record time. Remember Oke Gada - Army Barracks; the 4.6km Orita Cottage – Oke Gada; Ede Army Barracks – Ara - Ejigbo, and Iwo – Ede - Osogbo Roads! Also in this class is the dualization of Akoda - Gbogan Road, which is ongoing.
Moreover, we need not forget that a big-time construction company from the United Arab Emirates has finalized arrangements to build a world-class specialist hospital and a medical diagnostic centre in the State. As a matter of fact, bureaucracy work on the project has already reached an advanced stage. Yes, this is just one out of so many anticipated interventions aimed at transforming Osun from ‘civil-service’ state-profile to that of an industrial and innovation-driven State. Fortunately, all the resources needed to forge an enabling environment are already on ground.
It is a statement of fact that our children are the leaders of tomorrow; they are the owners of Nigeria’s future. To this end, no efforts must be spared to adequately prepare them for that future because the child that you did not build will eventually sell the house you built at a giveaway price. Therefore, if the government is interested, and it is vigorously preparing our children for that future, then, it must be commended. Why did I say so? In Ede alone, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board, aka ‘Osun SUBEB’, as the foundational education system for our kids, has, within the last two years, executed no fewer than 17 major projects. Among them were the construction of 10 classrooms at Ansarul-Islam Government Middle School; repair and renovation works on 2 blocks of 7 classrooms with 1 office at LA Government Elementary School, Adogbe; and the refurbishing of 6 classrooms with 2 stores and block wall fence at LA Government Elementary School, Oloki.
The Trailer Park at Oloki-Ede, for which claimants have been paid compensation; the desilting and dredging of Olonkoro Adogbe and Isale Okuna Streams; the New Ede Fire Station, and interventions by Osun State Water Corporation in Ede are also some of the dividends of democracy from the governor to the good people of Ede.
When one juxtaposes the achievements above with the recent appointment of Adejare Bello, an illustrious son of Ede, as Nigeria's Ambassador to Mexico; and five other prominent sons and daughters of the ancient town heading important portfolios either as Commissioners or Senior Special Assistants; plus other statutory appointments in the Oyetola-led Administration, one can now understand why Oba Lawal decided to endorse Governor Oyetola for continuity. Already, His Royal Majesty is sufficiently impressed by the level of the governor’s development strides, not only in his domain but also in the entire state. He has seen that, with the way His Excellency is moving in taking the state to the Next Level, he remains the man to beat in any election, any day, anytime. The interesting part of the endorsement is that Timi of Ede is not just an ordinary Oba. No! He is not! The custodian of Ede's traditional and cultural values is a very brilliant and highly revered monarch who sees beyond the peripheral innuendos when issues of development are at stake. Kabiyesi is well-travelled, exposed, cultured, supremely stylish, and has a cosmopolitan worldview. So, that sound decision, which, no doubt, was an encouragement to the governor, could only have been the product of ancient wisdom.
“Manus manum lavat” (one hand washes another). A panoramic overview of Oyetola's investments in Ede has only revealed that the vision of this "public servant" is to lead “a government that truly exists to serve the people." It is to be a governor for everybody, irrespective of whether some people voted for him or not. Of course, it is a systemic and holistic approach to governance. It is systematic because the developmental strides link each other. It is holistic because no part of the State is left behind in the distribution of the dividends of democracy. Most importantly; and, given the circumstances, Kabiyesi concluded, rightly too, that there is wisdom in allowing Oyetola, a man of “foresight, exemplary leadership and administrative skills” to have another shot at ‘Bola Ige House.’
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, make Gboyega Oyetola’s Administration the best ever in the history of the State of Osun!
*KOMOLAFE is Senior Special Assistant to Governor Oyetola on Media (firstname.lastname@example.org; 07087941459 – SMS only)
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