By Olufemi Oyedele
The interest of any good political analyst in the coming Osun gubernatorial election on Saturday, September 22, 2018, should be the campaign of progress and peace by the “Ileri Oluwa Group” – the political movement in Osun – whose candidates for the post of governorship and deputy governorship are Alhaji Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola and Benedict Olugboyega Alabi respectively. They are the flag bearers of All Peoples Congress (APC) and have both fascinated the electorates with their suave and candour. These are signs of confidence and belief in what they have in stock for the state, according to many observers. Their campaigns so far, have witnessed mammoth crowds!
Apart from the fact that ‘Demo’, the acronym for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its other offshoots like Social Democratic Party (SDP), ADP and African Democratic Congress (ADC) are not good parties to be relied on for community development, Gboyega Oyetola and Benedict Alabi have the best manifesto worthy of consideration by any electorate in the State of Osun. For sixteen years, Peoples Democratic Party was in charge of the affairs of Nigeria and never brought anything good out throughout their sojourn. Most of their leaders turned into kleptomaniac and stole the country dry. This dastardly act is being revealed by the incessant discoveries and confiscation of their huge loots by the administration of President Muhammad Buhari since he came into office.
The position of leadership of any government – local, state or federal, should not be left in the hands of mediocre if the objective is to derive the dividends of democracy by the masses. President Barak Obama, Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Governor Babatunde Raji Fasola’s conditions short while after assuming power are examples of the strain and stress that the office of the Governor or President of a state portends. In less than three months after being ushered in into the White House in Washington DC, Barak Obama’s black hairs turned into grey. The job of a Governor is a serious one and know-how, demands full dedication, wisdom and empathy. These are the qualities that stand Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola out from the lots. He has been trusted and tested with money and found to be honest unlike some candidates.
For the continuity of the gains of our ‘heroes past’, including those of Leo Ajiborisa, who stormed the weather to berth the ship of the State in 1991 when there was nothing; Chief Adebisi Akande who was the initiator of good works in the state, and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the coveted office of the governor of the State of Osun requires the best hand the state can offer. These three progressive leaders have left their marks, individually and collectively, to develop the State of Osun to enviable position. It was due to his unparalleled achievements towards uplifting the fortune of the state that a Chieftain of PDP, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, stated that “Aregbesola has done well. In everything, he has done, he has done it well”.
Chief Ebenezer Babatope also reiterated that “It will be very hard for the PDP to take-over from him. As far as I am concerned, Aregbesola is a performer. The young man has done very well. Anything he touches, he does well. Aregbesola plans well. Go round the state, Osogbo and all other places, kudos to him. Even if I am opposed to the APC and what President Muhammadu’s federal government has done, I can never discredit Aregbesola and his government. He has done well.” To meet his pact with the people of Osun as stated in the Green Book, Aregbesola established the award-winning Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) which has engaged over 62,000 youths in the state, was the first governor in Nigeria to pay the state counterpart for the establishment of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) – a World Bank-assisted rural youth development programme.
The school buildings that were constructed under the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola are unprecedented in Nigeria. Late Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who was Chairman, Senate Committee on Education hailed the education policies of the Osun government. He said other states should take a cue from it. OREAP (Osun Rural Enterprise Programme), O’ Clean (Osun Environmental and Sanitation Programme), OMEAL (Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programmes), O’RENEWAL (Osun Urban Renewal Committee), O’SCHOOL (Osun School Infrastructure Revamp Agency) and Agba Osun (a social investment through which elderly people in the state of Osun are given N7,500.00 every month) are some of the programmes that Gboyega Oyetola is committed.