Whether subtle or open, Governor Gboyega Oyetola has been doing almost everything to distance himself from everything that went wrong under his predecessor. This is evident in the series of policy reversals and sometimes, members of Oyetola’s government have come out to repudiate so many things that Rauf Aregbesola did while he was at the helm of affairs.
Talk about the failing standard of education in the state, and the finger point straight to the direction of Aregbesola. Talk about the frustrating sights of abandoned projects littering the state, and no one else to blame but Aregbesola.
What if it is about the over 30 months unpaid half salaries? The person to blame, or throw under the bus for the opprobrium that comes from the public, is no other but Aregbesola. And come debt burden, and you’ll marvel at the rate which supporters and officials in Oyetola government try to drop it all on the head of Aregbesola.
While Osun state level of indebtedness is shrouded in secrecy, but looking at the quantum of accruals that goes into servicing debt on monthly basis, paints a frightening picture. Few days ago, Nigeria’s trusted and most reliable business newspaper, BusinessDay, confirmed fears that Osun state is in a precarious situation as a result of past debt binge.
In the article entitled “Osun State Flirts With Insolvency, Spends 91% Of FAAC Servicing Debt in Q1”, the widely read newspaper captured the pathetic condition of the state brought on it by unreasonable borrowing, pointing out that “For every ₦100 shared to the Osun State government as revenue allocation from the federation account (FAAC), ₦91 was deducted to service its debt, a pointer to how the state’s fiscal crisis has moved from bad to worse.”
Terrible, you’ll say? But what followed was as disappointing as the terrifying economic outlook that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had brought on Osun state. For well over 10 years, APC administrations have shown to be bad managers of resources, but followers of the party on social media are trying to distract attentions from this gloomy reality.
For Oyetola’s hirelings, they have a ready fall-guy and that is Aregbesola, but they are swiftly reminded by the dwindling supporters of the former governor that whatever damage that is done on Osun state, the incumbent governor cannot be excused. Amidst their irritating conducts come the declaration of Wale Alabi, a former aide of Aregbesola and protege that “Oyetola was a double signatory to all Aregbesola’s acts. If their dogs are saying Aregbesola was evil, then they are also saying Oyetola was the Chief of Staff to lucifer!”
The truth is well known to every discerning observers of things, and the approach of Oyetola or followers to separate themselves from the horrendous experience of the people, is nothing but a trick to prolong misrule. APC as we have seen in the last 10 years is ineffectual, and the idea of the party on governance is regressive and anti-people (that is to put in the mildest form), regardless of who it pushed forward. This is evident in the shabby outlook of things in the state, be it economy, education, infrastructure and general wellbeing of the citizenry.
Way back in 2010 when APC crept into power, Osun was gradually getting its feet and governance with human-face gaining foothold. Except for those who choose deceit or political correctness, the trauma of unpaid wages and entitlements, which has brought civil servants and senior citizens to a pitiable condition with hundreds avoidably dead, are the hallmarks of APC government in the last 10 years in Osun state.
Taken together with the humongous debt, which now placed a big burden on the future and already depleting accruals to state treasury, we’re provided with a clear idea of the damage that the party has wrought on Osun state. Now, you might imagine that Oyetola would try to twist the manifest ills done to Osun, actually trying to position himself as different, when in fact, he was actively involved in every wrongs that had been visited on the state in the last 10 years.
I wonder what suddenly happened to the undenied narratives sold to the state prior to Oyetola’s bloody election to the effect that he, as chief of staff to Aregbesola for straight 8years was the brain behind every action and policies foisted on the state and which have plugged the state into auto regression.
As I have always warned, this is nothing but a trick to cajole Osun people to prolong this misrule and we should not fall for it. APC have had enough time to prove itself but what mirrored it was incompetence, maladministration, bad faith and outright lies that worsen the situation of the people.
As we already know, Osun is on the abyss and struggling for survival, but whether it will survive the brutal damage of the last 10 years rests with our resolves. If we can reject the deceits of the past and embrace something new, hopefully, we can salvage the situation and rescue the ship from sinking. But if not, I’m afraid the outcome is better not imagined. But we cannot afford to prolong this misrule and we all know what to do.
Ibrahim Sarafa writes from Iwo, Osun state.
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