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Osun At 30: Looking Ahead By Kunle Oyatomi



Barrister Kunle Oyatomi

At thirty, a person, institution or country, would be said to have put some noticeable achievements behind to afford a standpoint, overlooking the future. The shape of those years ahead would unfold from the fetus created by the past. Yet, because this creation of the bygone days is not static, but given to the dynamics of change, the present can influence its growth and development. So a great deal of work lies in the hands of the present to determine the trajectory of the future of an entity, whether it’s a human being, a system or an organization. Therefore, an earnest understanding of what goes on in the present is crucial to the survival of a person, regardless of what transpired in the past.

If we apply all the foregoing to our appraisal of the State of Osun at thirty, we are faced with a state that has its fair share of the traditional tumultuous cycle of birth, growth and development together with the problematic challenges threatening to drown it. There were years when some naysayers wrote off Osun, excised from Oyo on August, 29, 1991, as a ‘failed state’, following years, civil servants were owed salaries and allowances. At other times, these patriotic workers were paid only a fraction of their wages. Even senior citizens who tirelessly served the state and had retired were not spared: they were owed their pension dues, with some without the fruit of their labour.

Osun became a beleaguered land. The rural regions suffered along with the urban centres, as the citizens had a low purchasing power to trigger a thriving exchange of goods and services. Needless to say, this couldn’t bring about any buoyant economy, either in the public or private sector. The long and short of this doomsday narrative was that Osun appeared to have been brought to its knees.

But by the time the state drove itself into the warm embrace of enlightened governance that came with the advent of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2010, the State of Osun set its feet firmly on the path of irreversible progression. The point began to be proved that the party in power, together with its ideology and leadership, must be reckoned with, in building a society. A nation stands or falls strictly according to the quality or depth of its leaders, party and ideology. This is an inviolable law. It is valid in all climes, in developed, developing or underdeveloped nations.

Thus, the APC leaders have taken heed to these inexorable demands of administration to guide Osun to draw it away from the precipice to give it a new lease of life. The locusts the preceding governments of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, brought to destroy the state have been swept off the scene by APC’s unsparing brooms to give way to a new sense of hope.

Remarkably, these changes are rapidly taking place in the era of the APC administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola. His government has not wiped only out the losses incurred by past governments, but also it has moved the people to a point where the sky has become the limit. Oyetola’s Midas touch is everywhere. The hinterland is opening up to new roads, health centres, industries, education etc. The urban hubs are receiving a surgical facelift such that if you have been away from say, Osogbo, since Oyetola’s incumbency, you’d be amazed and dazed as you return now to witness the great changes in the city’s transformation.

The state, used to be in the bottom league of indices in agriculture, industry, IGR, education, security, infrastructure, health, among other yardsticks of development. Today, the State of virtuous is either a leader or in the bracket of the first three. This year, the state beat all others to emerge as the Destination for the Celebration of 2021 World Environment Day in Nigeria. It was in appreciation of Osun’s giant strides in erecting a citizen-friendly atmosphere for all-round development.

And only recently, Oyetola reiterated his long-standing position that he is positioning Osun for the future through a commitment to youth-oriented policies and programmes. At an interactive session with a large gathering of youths to mark the 2021 International Youth Day in Osogbo, the capital, Governor Oyetola said the recently launched Osun Youth Policy Document will soon begin to birth new opportunities for the young citizens of Osun. He said the government’s commitment to the well-being of the youth, the future of Osun is non-negotiable.

The youths have responded by saying in their teeming thousands that they want Oyetola to be given a second term in office next year so they and other sectors of the population of Osun can be guaranteed a safe landing into the future.

So what’s in store for Osun in the years ahead? We can hazard a prediction. Given what we have on the ground, a forward-looking APC government poised for new progressive exploits, the state will break fresh frontiers and economically, socially and politically empower the citizens beyond expectations.

Oyatomi Esq speaks for the APC in the state of Osun

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