The state of Osun since creation has come under various leaders from different parties with each doing their bits to transform the state. At 27, SOLOMON ODENIYI takes a look at these leaders since the commencement of the 4th republic and their achievements. Celebrating Osun At 27
Created from the old Oyo State on 27th August 1991 during the regime of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, along eight other states such as ; Kogi, Taraba, Kebbi, Jigawa, Abia, Enugu and Delta.
The state has gone under military as well as civilian rules. Those who ruled during the military era include Col Leo Segun Ajiborisa, Navy Commander Anthony Udofia, Col Anthony Obi and Col. Theophilus Bamigboye, while Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke was elected the first civilian governor of the state and ruled for 22 months before the late Gen Sani Abacha seized power from the then civilian regime.
The state is one of the few states in the country that has, not just a political party holding sway at the helms of affairs since the return of democratic rule in 1999. Chief Bisi Akande ruled under the Alliance for Democracy AD, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola the incumbent who won under the platform of theAction Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which metamorphose into APC.
With his days in office numbered, Aregbesola will remain the only governor to have successfully completed a two-term tenure in the state. Chief Bisi Akande held office for four years losing his return ticket in 2003 to Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who governed between May 29, 2003 and November 27, 2010 when the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan nullified his 2007 re-election and declared the incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as the winner of the election.
However, the state has gone through various forms of transformation from each administration, for instance, the Chief Bisi Akande’s administration was referred to as the chief architect of the development of the state. The construction of the state secretariat, Abere and the Office of the Governor, among others, were built by his administration with other various developmental projects. His successor, Oyinlola, also has to his credit the establishment of the state owned university with six campuses sited across the state’s six zones where no fewer than 825 academic and non-academic staff were employed among others.
With few months to complete his two-term of eight years in office, Aregbesola has been hailed to have brought about unprecedented development to the state through his various ‘O’projects which are targeted at reducing unemployment, enhancing sanitary condition of the state and making the state less dependent on revenue from federal government despite tight fiscal condition of the state, especially during his second term in office.
OYES for instance, has profitably engaged over 42,000 youths in the state which has reduced the restiveness famous among youth, making the state the most peaceful in the federation, a rating by the Nigeria Peace Index in April 2018. Another one is the National Bureau of Statistics declaration of the state of having the lowest rate of unemployment in the state.
The state in terms of infrastructural development has veered off from what it used to be known for. The State-of-art school structures for elementary, middle and high schools dot the state, massive roads constructed; few among these are the workers drive, Chief Bisi Akande Trumpet Interchange at Gbongan, Oba Adesoji Aderemi Osogbo Byepass road, overhead bridges, construction of rural roads, procurement of security gadgets, including 25 Armoured Personnel Carriers, 125 Security Patrol Vans among several others development are to the credit of Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration.
The state, despite its young age has recorded more development than some older states, particularly more under the administration of Aregbesola within the last eight years and it’s indeed positioned for greater landmark achievements than some of its counterpart in years to come with a lot of its resources yet untapped‘.
The growing concern among major stakeholders is how to ensure the continuity of the ongoing developmental strides in the state under Aregbesola, which they believe could be made possible if a government that has the same commitment for development emerges in the September 22 governorship election.