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System Analyst June 10, 2024

Re- Osun Govt., Osun Defender and their Gang of Jesters

By James Bamgbose

In responding to the above article laced with insults and name calling, the focus will be to briefly dispassionately address the three key issues raised by the writer even though he digressed largely to attack imaginary enemies.

First on budget performance, the government response remains valid as you cannot use performance of the first quarter to generalise on the outcome of the entire budget. The reality today in Osun is that sectoral performance across the sectors has picked up from the first quarter review. Overall budget performance is over 65 percent as at mid-year even as the budgetary implementation is being fast tracked in line with fund flow and availability.

The general services budget usually tagged the Governors’ office fund is mostly a service wide heading catering for governmental operations across the sectors. Specifically linking such state-wide official projects and service activities as Governor’s expenditure is a failed attempt to deny official reality which was also the practice when the minister of blue economy was in charge of the state.

The writer erred by claiming no serious attempt has been made to Jumpstart the state economy. We can educate him by pointing out the following. First is that infra upgrade is a condition for economic revival and development. This is ongoing across critical sectors. Second is that specific steps are ongoing to revive the agro-industrial sector such as the cocoa and cashew agro industrial projects, the revival of Cocoa Industry Ede, the implementation of harmonized Tax codes for ease of doing business, the documentation of several investors who are interested in Osun economy , the revival of Osun Investment Promotion Agency, the robust reform of the mining sector which witnessed consolidation of Osun holdings at Segilola as well as the streamlining, upgrading and strengthening of Osun licenses for better returns. The state is strengthening small businesses with ongoing programmes of financial inclusion. This administration has a bigger view approach to jumpstarting the state economy from its comatose state of 2022.

In the usual habit of denying reality, the writer wrote that Osun has no infra deficit of above 80 percent. He was asking for evidence. What other evidence than the fact that Osun primary health centers remain moribund after the previous government expended a whopping $20 million dollars. Adeleke government has now fixed over 100 of such health centers with solar power and water supply. Many major towns were cut off from within such as Gbongan, Ile Ife and Iwo where the linking bridges collapsed and nothing was done to revive them. Many inter-state roads were unpassable with many rural roads impassable. Many schools were rundown with all the water works in the state not functioning. The state of Osun infrastructure as of 2022 was heartbreaking.

It was this bad state of infrastructure that prompted the multi-sectoral , multi-billion naira infrastructure agenda of this administration. When the agenda was proposed , the funding level was still very low but the administration planned ahead. The agenda covers complete renovation of selected schools, rehabilitation of over 400 health centers, new round of boreholes alongside rehabilitation of all water works, several kilometers of roads per local governments, private sector driven airport project, activation of state universities as in the realization of University of Ilesa and several projects at the Osun State university.

If Osun infra rating is just above 40 percent as at 2022, the infra agenda of the present administration will not face so much work at hand. The former Governor abandoned many projects including the Osogbo ring road , the Osogbo-Ikirun road and several other projects and programmes out of political vendetta. Governor Adeleke on the contrary completed the Ikirun -Osogbo road while the Osogbo ring road is nearing completion. If Oyetola had kept faith with his predecessor under whom he served as a Chief of Staff, maybe the infra situation would not be that bad as in 2022. If the writer is sticking to his way of denying reality, Osun people who know and experience the two administrations are the best judges.

The other issue is the writer’s dwelling on the Governor’s dancing and happiness mood. First, it is not compulsory that everybody must be a sadist. It is not anybody’s fault for your leader to be a bitter minded boss with a deep level of toxicity in and around the government. In reality, happiness is a choice. If somebody chose to be in a permanent mourning mood ,that is his or her business. If another is delivering on good governance as attested to even by opposition members, Osun people have no issue with him. Osun residents are proud of a Governor that has done so much within less than two years even as he appears all the time as a very happy man.

Happy mind draws good fortunes. When a leader radiates negativity, such bad odour may affect the fortunes of the state. On the contrary, when a leader demonstrates positivity,good things manifest. This is the case of Osun. Everything is turning around for good for Osun because the Governor radiates positivity. Even Mr President and the Vice President love Governor Adeleke. Hence several federal agencies are supporting the Osun state government.

If Osun allocation improves, that is good music following a good man who is leading Osun. Interestingly, the man has mapped out state spending plans long before improvement in federal allocation. A dancer was smart enough to plan for
an unknown future, pay pension debt of twelve billion naira in less than two years as against 11.7 billion in 12 years of APC governance of the state and achieve in two years what a non dancer could not achieve under four years.

The question is what is the essence of governance. And what is the expectation of the residents from a leader? What can make the people happy with their elected leader? First they want him to deliver on good governance across sectoral divides. Governor Adeleke is widely acknowledged as doing that. Secondly, he must give hope. It is not in the place of a leader to be sad mooded. That explains why Mr President has a renewed hope agenda and that is why Governor Adeleke is a boss of happiness, delivering joy and dividends of democracy collectively and individually.

Ijesa people are happy with Governor Adeleke as they now have a real university rather than the audio project of the previous administration . The Iwo people are happy that Mr Governor did not terminate the Iwo-Osogbo road contract hurriedly awarded by the former Government even as the Peculiar firm is about to be remobilised again to complete the project on time. Ikirun cherishes Mr Governor for completing the Osogbo -ikirun dualisation. Workers and pensioners are happy that half salary debt and pensions are being paid. Four star Osogbo stadium is in the oven alongside Osun state Sport. Commission being worked on.Cooperative societies in Osun just got millions of naira as operating grants.

Osun is already processing her State Electricity bill and policy to regulate generation and distribution of electricity within the state. Additionally, Osun has no ICT policy as of 2022. Today Mr Governor has delivered State ICT Policy, State Tech Innovation Policy and a draft Bill on the domestication of the Nigeria Startup Act. The Fibre optic project for internet penetration of Osun is still ongoing. Governor Adeleke is not an analogy that left Osun without an ICT policy.

All lovers of good governance love Governor Adeleke because he is delivering on his five point agenda. The man has outperformed a boardroom chief who failed woefully under four years. As he runs a governance that leaves no town behind , Osogbo people, Ila people, Ijesa people, Ile Ife people , Iwo people and others are glad that Osun is moving. I have not seen any genuine indegene of Ede who is not happy with Governor Adeleke.

On the free train ride and other policy issues, we have no time to argue with the failed men of yesterday. Free Train ride is upcoming. Osun is moving.

The miracle of Osun governance today is that an underrated little David is shining where the light of self-acclaimed giants dimmed. What many find difficult to attain is easily achieved by the dancing performing Governor. Osun people love their action oriented and delivering chief executive.

● James Bamgbose is a media aide to Governor Ademola Adeleke

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