By Tunde Rahman
The race to succeed Governor Rauf Aregbesola in Osun State is now attending to the wire with barely every week to the all-important election. The September 22 ballot is essential in additional methods than one. Coming after the Ekiti July 14 election, the Osun ballot is a kind of elections that might herald the 2019 normal election. As one of many forerunners of the 2019 election, it could function an indicator, giving us an thought of what to anticipate on the normal election, notably in terms of the preparedness and precise efficiency of the Independent National Electoral Commission and security companies and the seemingly voter turnout given the seeming voter apathy within the land.
It was just the identical approach the 2014 elections in Ekiti and Osun, with its different electoral tales within the two states, foretold then of what was to return in 2015, leaving a bitter style within the mouth. In that ensuing 2015 election, nevertheless, the then newly-cobbled rainbow coalition that’s the All Progressives Congress, APC, ultimately uprooted a sitting incumbent on the centre for the first time in Nigeria’s political historical past.
Specifically for us in Osun, subsequent Saturday’s election is significant for what it portends for the way forward for the state within the subsequent 4 years. It will decide who takes over from Governor Aregbesola who in eight years laid a stable infrastructural and socio-economic basis for the state to maneuver to the subsequent stage, which is financial growth and industrialisation stage. It is a giant electoral choice we’ve to make and a mistake could show too expensive as it could set the state again irretrievably.
According to official statistics, the Aregbesola government delivered over 1000 kilometres of city roads throughout the states, notably within the capital Osogbo that has been superbly reworked, reconstructed as much as 27 intercity roads, overlaying 381.89 km and upgraded 81 township roads, overlaying over 255.17 km.
The administration improved the financial and monetary administration of the state, shoring up Internally Generated Revenue from N300 million to a mean of N1.three billion per thirty days. Among different laudable issues, the government additionally established multi-billion Osun Micro-Credit Agency for cooperative teams and societies in a bid to not directly energy small scale companies.
Critics of the administration could draw consideration, as they typically do, to the occasional delay in cost of salaries and pensions, however fact is given the parlous state of the funds of the state, it’s a miracle that the governor could preserve its wage and different monetary obligations and but in a position to embark on the laudable initiatives it has delivered to date.
However, sadly however not unexpectedly, the race has been low on points and excessive on harmful campaigns. We should not permit ourselves to be hoodwinked or be distracted. What is at stake is simply too severe and too essential. It’s about the way forward for our state. We should listen and interrogate the competences of those who have come ahead for the exalted job for the sake of our individuals and generations but unborn within the state.
The race parades the contenders and pretenders, those that know they lack what it takes to steer us in Osun and but proceed to grandstand as potential governors of the state. On one excessive is one candidate, the All Progressives Congress candidate, Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola alias Ileri-Oluwa, in a class of his personal, imbued with stable training, non-public sector expertise spanning over 30 years and wonderful document of efficiency as Chief of Staff within the outgoing administration. At the opposite finish is one other candidate, credited with dancing prowes. In between is a combined grill of the great and the dangerous. The tolerable and insupportable and even the distasteful.
It’s perhaps owing to their widely-known inadequacies that some within the race have elected to indulge within the reprehensible. They concoct lies, unfold pretend experiences and launch disruptive campaigns. Rather than canvass concepts and articulate points that can help uplift the individuals they need to govern, they commerce in barbs and campaigns of calumny, certainly confirming the correctness of these immortal phrases of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, that solely the deep can get to out to the deep. You can not give what you don’t have.
Knowing full effectively Oyetola is the man for the job and the one to beat, they transfer to delimit and de-market him. They claim he’s within the race to have interaction in wanton wealth accumulation. But not a number of know Oyetola has achieved monetary success in his non-public life before coming into politics and has a popularity for honesty and integrity.
The opposition additionally tried to twist the APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s remarks on the palace of Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, to present the impression he disparaged the standard ruler and Osogbo individuals. This author was on the courtesy go to. Asiwaju was obtained with pomp and ceremony by a standard ruler who stated the go to was a possibility for him to point out gratitude to the APC chief for his super assist when he had challenges over the throne. Asiwaju neither disparaged the standard ruler nor demeaned the individuals of Osogbo.
Asiwaju has at all times confused the truth that he was born into poverty and needed to obtain success in life by way of a lot struggling, perseverance and trade. This is also true of multiple of our nice leaders including heroes like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and MKO Abiola. Like these icons, Asiwaju’s goal in politics is to utilise all he has to help empower individuals and elevate them out of poverty. His message on the Ataoja’s palace was that this is also the mission of Oyetola in politics and to not accumulate wealth.
*Rahman, former Editor Thisday on Saturday and Sunday Newspapers, hails from Iwo in Osun State. He is Media Adviser to Asiwaju Tinubu.