Now that the dust appears settled – bar impending litigation in PDP, focus will, in the coming months, shift from intra party scrabbles to the jostle for the keys to Bola Ige House. As with the last three general elections, Osun’s place as the laboratory centre for wits testing amongst the two leading political party – PDP and APC – is both intriguing and unenviable.
In the lead up to the 2018 election in Osun, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had been quoted as saying: “He (Oyetola) will not collect bribe nor steal your money. If he is after money, let him stay in Lagos. For, you don’t have the magnitude of wealth that can tempt him in Osun.” Three years after, Oyetola’s prudence, shrewdness and accountability shows clearly that Asiwaju’s acclamation of the man he described as a financial encyclopaedia was in fact greatly understated.
The last three years in Osun, despite litigation that lasted almost a year, the challenges caused by Covid-19; all in the face of unprecedently meagre resources affirms Oyetola as truly, a brilliant son of the soil. Just last month, in February, Osun received a monthly allocation of minus (N300m) as a result of deductions for debts from prior administration.
The deficit of N300m, deductible in subsequent month’s allocation in March offers a snippet view into the impossible financial situation being managed by the man famously described by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, himself a financial master planner, as an encyclopaedia of finance. Unsurprisingly, workers’ salaries for February were paid as and when due whilst infrastructural projects including roads, bridges and other amenities remain unabated.
Apart from his financial prowess, Oyetola’s calmness, and ability to build bridges, establish and maintain what, sometimes are the most delicate balance in a relationship remains greatly underemphasised. It appears from a distance, that Mr Governor, being a man of strong faith in God, does his things with utmost sincerity of purpose and open-mindedness and then leaves the rest to God. Personally, I have learnt so far in life, in my little engagements, that this approach works like magic. This explains why his foes “want to bam ba, they wanna chill with the big boys, but yet, dey run kiti kiti, dey run kata kata”
How do one stay calm and unassuming yet continue to redefine governance and leadership across his state, and in Nigeria, despite the magnitude of issues he had to deal with? The responsibility of managing the state these past three and half years had been like Navigating a Toxic Maze, yet without bickering, Governor Oyetola has taken on the challenge in strides, justifying people’s faith and confidence in him as the Governor with the Midas touch.
Recent events have affirmed Osun’s place as one of the most sophisticated states in the mastery of politics, however, notwithstanding the vulnerability of the political process, these recent events and coming months Would be the most defining and affirmative in consolidating the good work of our Omoluabi Governor Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola.
Kola Salami is Vice Chairman, Ede South LG
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