Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. —Harry S. Truman
In 2018, when Governor Oyetola took over the mantle of our dear state, APC’s friends and foes were unambiguous in their scepticism about the sustainability and survival of Osun. The 2018 State of States report by BudgIT ranked Osun 35 out of 36 states for its ability to sustain spending and tax without threatening solvency or defaulting on some of its liabilities or promised expenditures.
The situation at the time left no one in doubt that the task of governing Osun is undoubtedly herculean in nature. The slim margin of victory in 2018 underscores how, for a party that had spent two terms in office, had fared. About Oyetola’s candidacy, a respectable friend told me: “Kola, I may not know your candidate enough to form an opinion, but I trust your judgement and he has my support”.
Two years on, The People’s Governor continues to redefine and raise the bar of governance.
The state of infrastructure across key towns in the state was barely anything to write home about. In Ede, commuters avoiding the main station road from Cottage area to Oke Gada, would journey through Abeere to Oke Fia in Osogbo back to Oke Gada in Ede. My parents did this every single day at the time. Thanks to the timely intervention by the Governor, the journey from Cottage area to Oke Gada now takes approximately 10 minutes.
Further, thanks to another key intervention, the intercity road between Ede, Ara and Ejigbo townships has worn a totally new look, even as Ede to Ejigbo now takes approximately 25 minutes. The tempo of intervention in numerous road rehabilitation and construction across the state has increased, even as the Governor, last week, approved 22 new additional roads to be rehabilitated and constructed.
In the area of healthcare provision for all, regardless of social status, functional primary healthcare centres across all wards in the state has resulted in optimal prevention and treatment of common diseases and injuries. Greatly complemented by improved welfare package for medical professionals and improved working condition.
Our mothers, fathers, uncles and aunties that were owed gratuities and pension arrears have also continued to feel real succour. Around the 30th of January 2021, I was driving with my dad who had lost his phone and unable to receive bank alerts, when he said he needed to use the nearest ATM machine to check whether his pension had been paid. I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the fact that, at month end, pensioners’ hope of being paid was that high. Mr Governor has remained steadfast in his commitment to offset historic arrears, even as almost N2 billion has been released over the past 2 months.
Rebuilding trust and dignity of and between our traditional rulers, our sacred traditional institutions and the government has remained Mr Governor’s priority. Royal Fathers have been accorded the level of dignity and respect with which they deserve to be treated, regardless of their political leaning.
A testament to this, on a number of occasions, our revered Father, Timi of Edeland, Laminisa I, Oba Adesola Lawal passed votes of confidence, acknowledging the Governor’s commitment to good governance and developmental strides across the state.
Some will say these are not achievements to be grateful for, after all the Governor is merely doing his constitutional duty; but whilst they are right, considering the enormity of issues prior to 2018, many would also agree that such demonstration of ingenuity is a reflection of a man making history, as a courageous and skilful leader, seizing the opportunity to change things for the better.
The First Lady, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola on the other hand, has continued to compliment Mr Governor’s efforts. Through the Ileri-Oluwa development Initiative, Her Excellency, a foremost advocate of women empowerment and gender justice, has invested greatly in providing support for the downtrodden in the society.
The recognition of Her Excellency’s selfless service has been underscored across various fora including the recent national award of recognition by the NGWA-GBV in Abuja for her efforts in combating the menace of Gender Based Violence in Osun.
Despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on humanity, Governor Oyetola has, in unprecedented measures, continued to deliver dividends of democracy to the good people of Osun.
Like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden, Mr Governor has continued to serve humanity in diligence and hardwork, and it is our prayer that God almighty shall continually renew his strength as Governor, for the service of the good people of Osun till 2026 by the grace of God almighty.
Thank you, Governor Oyetola.
Ede, Osun State
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