As activities marking the 20th anniversary of Osun State entered the third day, Governor Rauf Aregbesola pronounced the tenure of his immediate past predecessor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s tenure as a rule of iron fist just as he promised to leave a legacy of peace and unmatched prosperity during his tenure.
Aregbesola concluded that for most part of his seven-and-half-year rule, Oyinlola had to contend with the crisis of legitimacy.
His words: “Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola ruled Osun State with iron fist while he was in office declaring that “with the benefit of hindsight, and I don’t want to be uncharitable, he was weighed down heavily by the burden of legitimacy and had to struggle with this through his seven and half years tenure of iron rule”.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori at the public presentation of a book titled ‘From Leo Ajiborisa to Rauf Aregbesola: 20 Years of Governance in Osun State’ written to commemorate the anniversary, Governor Aregbesola asserted that as it was the case in Yorubaland, the people would eternal remember the king under whose reign they enjoyed peace and prosperity and the one that was marked by chaos and suffering.
His words: “There are two kings the Yoruba will never forget. The one under whose reign there was peace and prosperity and the one whose tenure was marked by chaos and suffering. Of course, all the ‘kings’ past in Osun have made their mark and have left indelible impression in the hearts of the people – for good or bad”.
Aregbesola told the gathering that his administration was conscious of history and was determined “to leave a legacy of peace and unmatched prosperity during our tenure”.
Recalling the contributions made by two of his predecessors, the governor lauded the pioneer military administrator, the then Colonel Leo Segun Ajiborisa and Chef Adebisi Akande for their selfless and visionary leadership and services.
Aregbesola precented a graphic picture of how the then Colonel Leo Ajiborisa started the take-off of Osun State from scratch armed with nothing but utilized the people and materials available to take off.
“I can imagine the then Colonel Leo Ajiborisa starting a state de novo. He had to put every structure of state into place from scratch. He had to put every structure of state into place from scratch. He had to determine the secretariat, government house and office accommodation. He quickly improvised and started converting markets and sundry other places for good use”.
The only material which Ajiborisha had, he noted, was the people that were hurriedly dispatched from Ibadan, without accommodation and office.
Commending the civil servants and teachers for their services while hanging around under trees and sheds and were subjected to pounding by the elements while being separated from their families.
Aregbesola commented that the public servants carried out their assignments with pride in their heart that they had had their own state and determination in their face to give what it takes to make Osun state succeed.
Commenting further, the governor said “I want to specially commend those courageous and patriotic staff who endured the hardship and heroically stood by the state, even when some of their colleagues were doctoring the records to enable them stay behind in Ibadan as indigenes of Oyo State. Many of those dutiful pioneer staff are still in service, you have my special commendation”.
He remarked that Senator Isiaka Adeleke took over from Colonel Ajiborisa after five months but his regime was short-lived for him to make much impact as he was sacked by the military after the coup of November 1993, less than two years in office.
He also recalled that a succession of military rulers namely retired Navy Commander Anthony Udofia, Lt. Colonel Anthony Obi and Colonel Theophilus Bamigboye followed before civil rule was restored in May 1999 which produced Chief Bisi Akande as the second elected governor.
Aregbesola lauded Chief Akande’s administration as unrivalled in terms of development of Osun State which culminated in his ability to leave an amazing record of achievement within four years of his tenure.
The governor commented said “Chief Akande’s administration till date has been unrivalled in vision, dedication, commitment, transparency and integrity. He definitely has set an ‘amazing record’ which the power mongers would not want to be taken too far. He was brazenly rigged out of office in the 2003 election”.
Akande’s successor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola was for most part of his seven and half years stay in power, had to contend with the crisis of legitimacy.
Lamenting that the immediate past governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola ruled Osun State with iron fist while he was in office declaring that “with the benefit of hindsight, and I don’t want to be uncharitable, he was weighed down heavily by the burden of legitimacy and had to struggle with this through his seven and half years tenure of iron rule”.
He chronicled the achievements of his administration including rebranding Osun State as “Ipinle Omoluabi” with a flag, crest and anthem which dignified the powerful identities of the people and promoted their character and patriotism.
The governor also talked about the state’s Education summit that involved stakeholders who looked into what went wrong with education and proffered the way forward.
He promised that the result of what he described as a brilliant approach to educational restructuring would soon manifest in the development of new infrastructure of learning, system and structure of schools and general overhaul of education in the state.
The governor also mentioned the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) under which platform 20,000 jobs were created in less than 100 days of the administrations that catered for youth who have lost the hope of any productive engagement opportunity to serve their communities with pride and dignity.
Other achievements he listed included the convocation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that sought to address the injustices of the past in the state, a medical mission held in partnership with Oranmiyan Worldwide tagged Jigi Omoluabi, during which eye examinations were carried out, leading to provision of eyeglasses for the visually impaired and eye surgery for those who need it.
Aregbesola than mentione the massive environmental sanitation of Osun State and declaration of 90 days environmental sanitation emergency through the popular O’CLEAN programme that is now a buzzword in the state.
The establishment of Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (OREAP) for job creation and poverty alleviation that has now tractorized 3000 hectares of farmland for farmers in addition to the provision of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer among others were listed by the governor.