Tremendous progress has been made since the creation of the State of Osun, twenty six years ago. In its own way, the edifying development strides indicate that in spite of the defects linkable to quasi-federalism, a well thought out road map can still make a difference.
We must salute the courage and foresight of those who have governed the state since its creation. There will always be great discourses about dotting the i’s and the crossings of t’s. Nevertheless, if a holistic comparative analysis is made, we cannot but give their endeavours a solid pass mark.
The issue is how to sustain the momentum. It won’t be unfair to look at the current flow of development in the state as being pre and post-Aregbesola as his interregnum is decisive. His administration has its nexus built on the foundations for sustainable development goals which are conspicuously noticeable and commended far and wide.
Sustainability is key. The absence of it is at the heart of our perennial boom to bust cycles. What the Aregbesola intervention has sensibly achieved is the construction of the building blocks for sustainability in development. A clear counter-mechanism to the boom to bust cycle, is to build a buffer, this mechanism can be seen in the physical and social infrastructures that are being put in place. Inevitably, developing this shock absorber is a long-term objective. Inevitably, it comes with setbacks as well as misconceptions in the short-term.
This is understandable. To balance the immediate needs with a long term perspective and strategy will always be difficult in a democratic system based on relatively short-term electoral cycles. From contemporary history, we know that the Action Group government led by the avatar Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the 1950’s also suffered short-term electoral reverses. Nevertheless, by sticking to his position, he has been vindicated by history.
To protect the tremendous gains made, there must be continuity. Posterity will be unforgiven. This has worked for Lagos state where there has been a seamless transition of progressive, developmental focused governments without break since 1999. It will work for Osun as well. We therefore urge that all hands must be on deck as we move to change the baton of governance next year.
Everything must be done to ensure that the tremendous progress achieved is sustained with the installation of a progressive minded post-Aregbesola government. Otherwise, we might be saying congratulations a bit too early.