By Adelani Baderinwa
There is no gainsaying the fact that the State of Osun has been witnessing sparkling infrastructural and socio-economic development since Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola took over the mantle of leadership on November 27th, 2010. The all round progress and transformation of the state is incontestable.
In all ramifications, Aregbesola has delivered the dividends of democracy to every household in the state with either the infrastructure projects or the social security programmes.
The unprecedented development of the state does not just happen by accident: It is a well thought-out programme embedded in the green book titled ‘My Pact with the People of Osun, in which we have the Six Integral Action Plan for the delivery of good governance. The action plans are: Banish Hunger, Banish Poverty, Banish Unemployment, Promote Healthy Living, Promote Functional Education, Promote Communal Peace and Progress.
Pertinently, the seven years anniversary of Aregbesola’s administration calls for reminiscences: before his coming, there was dearth of infrastructural development in the state. Osun was stagnant; hunger and poverty was ravaging the state, security was at its lowest ebb, unemployment rate was high for the state and there was absence of social security for the citizenry.
But Aregbesola’s emergence restored hope for a new Osun. Aregbesola redefined governance and offered exemplary quality leadership. He fought poverty, stagnation, lack of political will to build strong foundation for good governance. The 14th President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in her speech: ”We have to be bold in our national ambitions. First, we must win the fight against poverty within the next decade. Second, we must improve moral standards in government and society to provide a strong foundation for good governance. Third, we must change the character of our politics to promote fertile ground for reforms.”
In his first 100 days in office, Aregbesola rolled out Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) which absolved 20, 000 unemployed youths for two years, and another set of 20, 000 youths, rounding the figure to 40, 000. Each OYES cadet earned N10, 000 monthly. In every month, for each set of the OYES, a whopping N200million goes into circulation, reshaping the economy of the state.
Aregbesola is leaving an indelible footprint in every aspect of his governance. The achievements recorded in education sector and infrastructure development are remarkable and unprecedented. With the seven years of Aregbesola’s noble reign, more than 900km roads have been constructed. This include the dualisation of Gbongan-Akoda 30km road which hosts the beautiful Bisi Akande trumpet bridge at Gbongan junction, the 320.39km inter-city road development, the 90.505 intra-city roads development and the 17.40km Oba Adesoji Aderemi road, 40km Dualisation of Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo-KWSB and 2.80km Olaiya-Itaolokan road projects.
On education, Aregbesola’s success could not be overemphasised. The current administration has aggressively embarked on the construction of state-of-the-art 100 Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 20 High Schools. More than 20 Elementary Schools, 22 Middle Schools and 5 High Schools have been commissioned while the High Schools in Iwo and Fakunle Unity High School in Osogbo have been completed and ready for commission.
Aregbesola’s government repackaged Osun Free School Feeding Programme now known as O’ MEAL. More than 262,000 elementary 1-4 pupils in all public schools in the state are being fed with healthy and nutritious food and fruits. The programme drastically increased the enrolment of pupils in the public schools. It has also earned Osun numerous national and international accolades and awards.
Of course, the Osun Ambulance Service is another successful strategic social intervention programme for humanity service. There is no how you will assess Aregbesola’s administration without giving thumb up on flood control. He has saved lives and properties from destruction and flood havoc through dredging of streams and rivers and channelisation of drainages.
Osogbo, the capital of Osun for the first time, now has a befitting look of a state capital. Osun and Osogbo specifically used to be a rustic environment but reverse is the case today. The environment is now clean. The Nelson Mandela Freedom Park was a filth to glitz for anybody that knew Ojurin before being transformed to an amazing aesthetics recreation centre. Ogbeni Aregbesola is crowning his achievement with the construction of MKO International Airport at Ido-Osun. Osun has never had it so good!
Ogbeni Aregbesola is a man with incontrovertible record of good governance in the State of Osun. I, like several others, in and out of Osun, acknowledge his achievements. No patriotic Osun indigene/resident will deny these blessings wrought on our state through Ogbeni’s fertile mind and creative hands. To think otherwise is insanity. Ogbeni is an enigmatic character well appreciated by the high and the mighty, even from faraway lands.
It is crystal clear that Aregbesola has raised the bar of governance in the state of Osun, getting a person to continue the development stride will be a herculean task going beyond pedestrian, sectional and nepotistic considerations. The best to do for the progress of the state is to make sure that a person that is going to succeed Aregbesola has passion for development like the governor.
The Aregbesola’s administration is already a success.