Seven Years On: Aregbesola Assessed

By Shina Abubakar

Mixed reactions have continued to trail the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in the State of Osun, as the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola clocks seven years.

While some major stakeholders including religious bodied scored the administration high as a result of its series of developmental programmes and policies across the state, the opposition political party, PDP said, the administration has not performed to the expectations of the people.

Aregbesola was sworn-in as the governor of the state on November 27, 2010 after the Court of Appeal in Ibadan validated his victory in the April 14, 2007 governorship election. After the first four years term, he was re-elected for second term in 2014.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), the Osun Muslims Community, Baptist Conference, Traditionalists and Labour Leaders among others have showered commendations on the administration.

The APC, in a statement by the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi, urged the people to “give thanks to God for using Ogbeni Aregbesola and the APC government to bring to Osun, the kind of development that the state had never seen in 26 years.

The party, while calling on the citizens to engage themselves for the next few days in counting their blessing, said, this is because an era of unprecedented happenings in the state is approaching a climax, and it is time the whole state should take stock.

“Is the change we have experienced, good or bad, worthy or unworthy of our people? Now is the time to count our blessings to see what God has done for us. Unless we take stock, we will not appreciate what God has done for this state by installing Ogbeni Aregbesola as governor.

“Is Osun better today than it was 10 years ago? Is it a good thing that this state is peaceful? Had God been kind to us for the good roads, the wonderful schools, the enabling environment for profitable business, the unprecedented human capital and environmental developments which Ogbeni Aregbesola-led APC government has effected in Osun these past seven years.

“Look around you and ask yourself this question: why did those who had had the God-given opportunity to rule this state fail to do what Aregbesola  had done and is still doing? Would you in good conscience be kind to yourself if you condemn and vilify the man and the government that have brought all these about?, the APC queried.

“Would the people of the state be fair to themselves if they refuse to acknowledge the fact that whoever it was that brought this development to Osogbo was a kind, thoughtful and progressive person?

Speaking on behalf of the PDP, the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly and a leader of PDP, Honourable Adejare Bello said, though, Aregbesola has good intentions, but his ‘Lagos style’ of awarding financing, and executing the projects and governance is not working well for Osun.

In terms of physical projects, Bello said the administration had done well, but quickly added that the projects were executed at too exorbitant costs.

According to him, the DMO office had last August claimed that the state debt profile was N179 billion, saying for a state like Osun, without major source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), it would take a long time for the state to pay off and come out of such debt.

He commended the mega schools being built by the state government, but stated that the under-utilisation of the buildings across the major towns in the state might make the projects to be counter-productive.

“Sincerely, Ogbeni Aregbesola would have been a fantastic administrator, because he had good intentions to develop the state in a hurry, but his approach, in my view is totally wrong. How can you claim such a huge achievement with such huge debt and claimed to have moderately outperformed others”, Bello queried.

From the religious perspective, the President Osun Baptist Conference, Pastor Paul Kolawole, commended the administration of Aregbesola for the development of efficient road network, as well as the efforts of the government to uplift the educational standard in terms of physical structures.

He also lauded the administration for its efforts to secure employment opportunities for youths, as well as stabilisation of peaceful co-existence through security of lives and property, saying the administration has made meaningful impacts within the last seven years.

The clergy then commended the government for stabilising the workforce, saying though, some section of the state workforce are facing challenges of modulated salary, but the situation in the state is better than other states in the country.

In his own, the President, Traditional Religion Worshippers Association (TRWAOS), Oba Olawumi Bamijogbin, described Aregbesola as a messenger of peace, who would not condone injustice or infringement on people’s right as enshrine in the constitution, saying, for so long, “we the traditional worshipper are been label as heathen and so we are concealed to the dustbin of history, but this government had harmonised the aggregate of traditional worshippers in the state, foster unity among us and other religious bodies”.

The traditionalists also commended the administration for its prudence, proactive stance, foresight, vision and the doggedness in terms of opening of rural roads, investment in Agriculture, provision of security among others.

Also, the 1st Vice President, Osun Muslim Community, Alhaji Mustapha Olawuyi, lauded the administration for the development that had been attracted to the state in the area of infrastructure, education, youth employment, security and community development.

He said the situation was pathetic in virtually all sectors of governance before the advent of Aregbesola administration, but he has turned it around for the better, saying, no one would ever though that the transformation that has been brought to the state could become a reality.