Osun Defender will continue to run the profiles of the people perceived to be in the running to succeed Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the governor of the State of Osun. This is being done as a public service. None of them has formally declared their intention to run, nevertheless, there is a widely held perception that they are in the race.
With events rapidly unfolding, the critical issue is what to expect? Aregbesola has shown that adequate preparation is vital. His thoroughly articulated Six-point Integral Action Plan provided the roadmap for what has been generally acknowledged as a stellar performance in office. It cannot but be a source of unease that as of now, we are not seeing a similar well constructed programme of social and economic reconstruction and rejuvenation to take the diligent application of the Aregbesola years to the next level. This is disturbing.
For kudos must be given to Ogbeni Aregbesola for decisively altering the territory of the debate as well as the perception of the efficacy of government intervention programmes. This is reflected in the fact that it will be political suicide to now go against Aregbesola’s social intervention programmes.
There will of course be issues as to the dotting of I’s and crossings of T’s, nevertheless, no one is openly going to come out and commit to the wholesale dismantling of the free school meals programme and so forth.
The fiscal landscape of Nigeria will continue to be difficult in the foreseeable future. This is understandable for we are in a period of transition from an ancient regime which virtually bankrupted the nation. In addition, our defective quasi-federalism will continue to act as a brake on the nation’s federating units. What this means is that anyone taking over at the state level must, to quote the motto of the Boys Scouts – “Be prepared”.
We therefore urge the aspirants to provide clearly-articulated, rigorously costed programmes for the public to peruse. On our part, we believe, indeed we insist that a continuation of the programmes of the Aregbesola administration is in the best interest of the state of Osun. The state having made so much sacrifices cannot afford to go back to a dismal past of underachievement. The Aregbesola template must be built upon. We will be delighted to publish any well costed programme presented to us by any aspirant of whatever political colouration.