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Waiting for Oyetola to succeed Oyetola By Kunle Oyatomi

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The other day when President Muhammadu Buhari performed the ceremonial presentation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, flag, to Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the State of Osun after he clinched the party’s ticket for the July 16 poll, he made remarks that promised a prosperous outing for the APC candidate. He said the entire party structure, national, state and local government, has been activated into full throttle to support Oyetola. He said Oyetola deserves to be returned to office for a second term because he has served ‘’the people tirelessly in his first term in office’’ adding that he has ‘’confidence in the party winning the election, fairly and squarely…’’

The president described the Osun chief executive as a ‘’performing governor’’ who should be supported by all. Buhari then declared: “l wish you (Oyetola) the best of luck…I hope I will make myself available to boost your morale.’’ The two-term president hinted that Oyetola’s victory would set the stage for APC to ‘’emerge the overall winner in the general elections in February next year.’’

According to observers, this upbeat position of the president was buttressed by the caliber of party giants who gathered at the Presidential Villa to witness the presentation of the APC flag to Oyetola. As he looked around and saw notable personalities that included the Deputy National Chairman, Senator Abba Kyari, National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore and Co-Chairs of the Osun State Governorship Campaign Council, Governors Babajide 

Sanwolu (Lagos) and Abdullahi Ganduje(Kano), Buhari drew inspiration to look forward to an Oyetola triumph in the days ahead.

From two flanks of political permutations therefore, we can make some specific deductions based on pure logic. First, the president of the country and father-figure of APC has added his weight to the fighting force of the Oyetola push. Next, the party apparatchik is undivided in queuing behind the president in the electoral battle to retain the State of Osun for APC. Thirdly, the campaign team, headed by two governors and boasting party leaders and a governorship candidate, is a rainbow coalition prudently put together to reflect the delicate balance of the nation’s federal character. 

Clearly, no leader who has this arsenal would go into the battlefield with diffidence. He enters the frontline with hope and optimism that the war has already been settled in the favour of his camp. According to pundits, this explains the upbeat mood of President Buhari and the other leaders of APC who witnessed the handover of the party flag to Oyetola for the July 16 gubernatorial contest.

But the biggest factor swinging these variables is the totality of what I refer to as the Oyetola persona. By this I mean that all the upshot we get after examining the chances of Oyetola, are but a reflection of the performance of the governor. Everywhere you turn in Osun, you are faced with the footprints of his good exploits. First-time visitors to Osogbo, the capital, say the city is not only a work in progress, it also presents some exotic difference from others, all the product of four years of the era of Oyetola. 

How about the reports of those who return to Osun after being away for years? They are also starry-eyed. They ask themselves if this was the same backwater and provincial community they left behind about half a decade ago. Of course, it wouldn’t be like everything of the past has been lost to the past. No, but the old unfruitful past has given way to the productive and modern present. 

Consider the skyline of the capital for instance. The Olaiya Flyover wasn’t there before Oyetola. But now it’s a scenic addition to the tourist attractions in the metropolis. Today, in the place of strips that went in the name of streets across the state, we have a couple of them upgraded to properly answer to the name, streets. Oyetola’s concern for infrastructural transformation has touched other sectors in the State of Osun including health, education, industry and agriculture, where the APC administration of Oyetola is pulling down old structures and rapidly replacing them with new ones to enhance the delivery of the state to a new level.

We need to realize that all these physical programmes, coupled with Oyetola’s interventions in human capacity development, such as initiating policies that give dignity to the citizens, for instance paying workers’ wages regularly and upgrading them when due for promotions as well as honouring pension dues without fail, are parameters that define performance or failure.

Governor Gboyega Oyetola has been weighed in the balances of these indicators, and he’s not been found wanting. Rather, the reading is that Oyetola will succeed Oyetola, come July 16, 2022.

Oyatomi Esq is the Director of Publicity, Reseach and Strategy of the APC in the state of Osun 

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