BY May 29,2009,Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the Governor of Osun State would have been in office for six continous years. Except the Court of Appeal rules otherwise in the case on the 2007 Gubernatorial election before then.
Having been in office for so long, one can now attempt to evaluate his performance in office since he was sworn in as Governor of Osun State on May 29, .2003. I want to declare straightaway that, to me, his administration has been one of, much “sound and fury but signifying nothing”. His administration has been generally characterized by the execution of some scattered white-elephant projects on which much more money had been expended on their publicity in various publications, pamphlets and paid adverts than were actually expended in executing the projects.
Before I go on, I want to concede that Prince Oyinlola’s administration made an appreciable impact on the construction of primary school buildings. In taking this position, one is taking a holistic view of his administration’s performance as most, if, not all, the primary school buildings were contracted by Honourable members of State House of Assembly as Constituency Projects as well as various Local Governments in the State. However, the cost of erecting these structures, the quality of the materials used in the construction and the design of the structures are an entirely different ball game. Investigations have shown that most of the structures were put up at ridiculously exorbitant costs while the quality of the materials used in the construction were of the lowest quality and hence many of the structure are failing already.
More importantly, the design of most of the structures is out of place as they look more like residential bungalows, rather than classrooms. One can then safely conclude that most of the primary school buildings constructed by Governor Oyinlola’s administration are wasteful and not really functional. In any case, they have succeeded in massaging his ego and portraying the depth of his vanity as most of them carry the inscription “Oyin ni 0”.
Some other constituency projects by the Honourable members of the State House of Assembly are: equally of the lowest quality and at most exorbitant prices. No wonder, many of them collapsed immediately or very soon after they were commissioned. One can also talk of the much-orchestrated mini-water projects scattered over the state about which so much noise had been made. As at present, most of them have either not taken off or have failed while the few functioning ones are being maintained with funds of the Local Governments where they are sited. One can also point to a few roads that were claimed to have been constructed, most of which, however, have failed soon after commissioning.
A disturbing and noticeable trait of Governor Oyinlola’s administration is its penchant for expanding the state’s scarce resources on that are not the responsibility of the State Government. It has been insinuated that such a development is in furtherance of the Governor’s love in spending money recklessly at all cost, possibly for personal aggrandizement and/or financial benefits.
This contention can be justified by a few instances. One instance is giving assistance to Federal Agencies in the State in the form of office building, vehicles, and others. If the Federal Government., decides to set up any of its agencies in the state, it is only reasonable to expect it to adequately fund such agencies. While there are other such unnecessary, if not unreasonable expenditures by Oyinlola’ administration, the most conspicuous is the dualisation of Osogbo-Ede Road. This is a Federal Government Road on which a thinking State Governments should not have committed its resources.
Such expenditures on areas which are not the responsibility of the State Government, especially those relating to the Federal Government, are like “throwing spittle into the ocean”. Only a profligate, irresponsible and uncaring Government can engage in this type of financial recklessness.Incidentally, and, most unfortunately for Osun. State, this dualisation of Osogbo-Ede Road along the Osogbo-Gbongan Road has become a monumental failure. In fact, the dualisation of the road has done much harm to the State Capital and has since become a nuisance and a disgrace to the State. Apart from the fact that it is taking tool long to construct the road which is less than 20 kilometres in length, the cost of construction is very prohibitive while most areas along the road are failing and collapsing as soon as they are constructed.
The greatest source of worry and most disturbing embarrassment to the indigenes of Osogbo and Osun State in general is the inconvenience which they haveto contend with as they ply this road. Osogbo, the State Capital, which since the advent of. Oyinlola’s administration has, virtually gone to sleep economically, is now experiencing artificial traffic hold-ups and go-slows. The approaches to the bridge being constructed near the Old Secretariat along the route and to Ola-Iya junction are the worst focal points. Motorist and commuters alike are now subjected to a most-harrowing inconvenience on this route and this phenomenon has only exacerbated the already parlous state of the economy in the State. As at present, economic activities in the State are at the lowest level, possible and the people are groaning and finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet.
In the face of this economic downturn in the State, Governor Oyinlola and his team feel most unconcerned as they continue to engage in their well-known pastime of merry-making, partying and expensive participation in recreational, games. Nowadays, the State’s resources are being recklessly expended on massaging the sporting ego of the Governor and his team and in celebrating or marking various anniversaries – weddings, birthdays, burial ceremonies of the Governor and his close aides.
The Governor and indeed the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has become that of “OWANBE”. The state is wallowing in abject poverty and neglect while .the Governor IS busy gallivanting all over the place, serving as peace-maker or interventionist of one type or the other in matters which are purely outside his responsibility as Governor of Osun State.
As at present, it will not be uncharitable to declare Governor Oyinlola’s administration in Osun State a “monumental failure”. If the present style of governance persists, Osun State will definitely qualify to be declared a disaster zone at the end of his tenure.
By ADETUNJI ADEMOLA