Twenty-nine years after its creation on August 27,1991, the State of Osun has come a long way. From the days it was governed by military administrators through the period it had the reign of elected governors, Osun has had a chequered history. It has had an era of bloom. But it has also faced moments of gloom, bringing it to the tip of doom, when naysayers painted unpalatable pictures of a failed state in the making. Many said that Osun, split from Oyo State, might not be able to survive the challenges of ‘independent’ statehood.
Well, at a point, when civil servants’ salaries were deferred or fractioned and a huge backlog of arrears followed, the doomsday prophets began to beat their chest. “We’ve been proved right,’’ they said. “Osun won’t survive this crisis’’, was their sing-song. Sad to recollect, there were some among early optimists who were converted to the camp of the pessimists. They also began to doubt the possibility of Osun overcoming its teething problems to come out as one of the leading states of the federation.
From the first military administrator, Leo Aborisha to the first elected governor, Isiaka Adeleke, through other martial rulers, Anthony Udofia, Anthony Obi and Theophilus Bamigboye, along with more elected governors, Adebisi Akande, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Rauf Aregbesola down to incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, the people of the state have witnessed a succession of policies that have ensured the steady move of Osun from the cusp of disaster to the realm of stability and progress. Osun has confounded those who waited for a failed state.
But in the days of the reign of the All Progressives Congress, APC administrations, the State of Osun has made gigantic strides through the sterling performance of its governors, bringing good fortunes to the people and restoring hopes for a promising future. The state has become synonymous with the acclaimed Omoluabi, (Integrity) culture, a trademark that stands the citizen out of the crowd.
Long-headed policies of APC administrations have given birth to unprecedented feats. Little Osun, with one of the least populations, 3,416,959 in 2006, now numbers among the leaders in education. An Osun student emerged the Best Young Nigerian Scientist recently, leading him to have a rare audience with President Buhari in Abuja. Today, Osun is home to one of the largest concentrations of universities in Nigeria.
In the economy, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has recorded that Osun’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, has risen from N10.4b in 2018 to N17.9b in 2019. This is a 72.6% rise. It is healthy prognosis suggesting that the government’s target of N36b is achievable. Experts have hinged this engaging outlook on the fact that the figures place Osun in the list of states with the highest positive growths in Nigeria.
There have been correspondingly undeniable leaps in the delivery of infrastructure, not only in the urban centres, but also in the rural regions. New modern roads are in place, while old ones are being modernized and widened.
The health sector is getting a rebirth under the government of Oyetola with a $20m primary healthcare grant being judiciously applied to refurbish more than 250 health centres all over the state.
Lately, Osun has begun to lead the way in the quest to wean the economy from its dependence on crude earnings. The state is investing ginormous capital in agriculture, mining and tourism. These are, unlike the fickle oil income, not subject to international variables that destabilize developing economies.
That is the future Osun is building, after enduring a past of mixed fortunes that has finally led it to a position of advantageous stability to launch it and its citizens to greatness in the years ahead.
Congratulations, the good people of the State of Osun.
OYATOMI is the spokesperson of the APC in the state of Osun
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