The First Vice President, Osun Muslim Community, Alhaji Mustapha Olawuyi spoke with Abdullahi Omotayo on his assessment of Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration.
Osdf: What is your assessment of Governor Aregbesola administration in the past seven years?
Olawuyi: I can see that the administration has contributed a lot to the development of the state. Leadership is not a joke but it is a call to duty and once the call is made, to a certain extent a quality leader is suppose to be elected.
Prior to his administration, many lives have been lost as a result of insecurity and political thuggery. Most of the banks in Osun have been robbed, especially in Ikirun and other areas, but when he got into power, protection of lives and property was one area he considered. In the area of security, he has really tried and I implore the governor not to relent.
Before Aregbe’s administration, Osun state’s position in WAEC was not encouraging, it was always between 30th to 36thposition. But this time around, it has changed and it will continue, even though there are still works to do in the education sector. Aregbe’s administration introduced the school feeding programmes before other states adopted it so as to encourage students. At the elementary, middle and senior level of education in state of Osun, there is a noticeable change to the style of dressing compared to the way it was then. Some parents are not bothered to spend on their children’s education because of Aregbe’s contribution but government cannot do all without the support of parents.
Aside from that, let’s look at the infrastructure of the new and rehabilitated schools and other projects, quality is one thing that I noticed and is similar to the quality saw overseas. Those building can last for up to 25 years if we cultivate the proper maintenance and sustainability culture of the project. One of the problem we have is policy change from time to time. When we have a change of government, the new government brings in new policy which might destroy the previous one. When Aregbe introduced the tablet of knowledge (Opon Imo) but with the Nigerian factor, the students find their way around the tablet and make it accessible to their entertainment needs. I am a chairman of PTA in a secondary school in Ikirun and we worked so much to get tablets for our students. The Governor has done his job but it’s the parents’ duty to ensure that these tablets meet the desired usefulness. Had it been the parents paid to get the tablet for their children, maybe they would have cared more about the tab. But I am imploring the governor to reintroduce the tablet of knowledge and make it limited for learning programmes only. Also students should be sanctioned for damaging the tablet.
Also in the area of road, there has been major transformation. My last trip to Ibadan, when I got to Gbongan area, if you notice the Gbongan junction, millions of naira have been invested into that location. As an engineer, I know the quality job that was done there. I hope Aregbe’s successor will take over from where he stops without politicising.
However, when you build structure, you also build human. Civil servants are not happy, level 1-7 are getting 100% of their salary regularly, level 8-12 are getting 75% while others from level 13 and above are getting 50% as agreed with the Labour. But the pensioners can’t endure this because they are old and feeble to work. If you get to an aged person’s table, the number of drugs used per day is up to start a pharmacy store. I implore the governor to kindly work in this area.
The youth empowerment programme, OYES, which employed 20,000 youths within the state, up till this moment, still exists and so obvious that without being a political person, one or two youths from each family must have benefitted from this programme. Some of these youths have been sent abroad for further training in various fields like ICT, agriculture, etc with the expectation of giving back to their society.
Osdf: What can you say about Governor Aregbe’s fairness to all in religions?
Olawuyi: When Aregbe got into power, after winning in court, we had our Hijrah programme. Because of the nature of the programme, we didn’t want to disturb the government for sponsorship, we held the programme within our capacity. The following year, Aregbe came by himself without invitation. Ever since, he has always contributed towards this annual celebration.
The same way he is doing for the Muslims, so he is for the Christians. So, he has been fair to all religion.
Osdf: What’s your message to the people?
Olawuyi: I have said most of it, something good should be recognised as good. Let us appreciate what is good. We shouldn’t be looking for flaws in government. No one is perfect. Let’s all support the government, let’s ensure peace during the local government and governorship election. Also, we should all pay tax for the development of the state and we should ensure harmony in practicing our various religions. When we talk of Boko Haram, Islam doesn’t have anything to do with that. In Uganda for instance, there is law resisting army that has been against the government for over 30 years with the purpose of establishing Jesus’ rule on earth. No one referred to them as terrorist Christian fighters.