The leadership of Osun state governor, Gboyega Oyetola has been described as one of the best in the country. In this opinion, Adebayo Adedeji, a social commentator writes on what distinguishes the governor from others.
Oyetola, who clinched the overall best governor of the year, distinguished himself as a quintessential administrator, an astute manager of men and resources, a silent achiever, an iconic leader with a large heart for the people and service and a trailblazer who believes that a leader is as good as his last accomplishment.
The above was culled from the BusinessDay newspaper of February 26 reporting the Publication's Competitiveness and Good Governance Award for the year 2020. The event was held in a popular Abuja hotel and was chaired by the former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon.
According to the organisers of the award, Oyetola was adjudged the Best Governor for 2020 based on the on-the-spot assessments, interactions with the locals and the analysis on socio-economic parameters obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) by an award committee of eminent Nigerians.
The award, to the organisers, is a clear testimony to the tangible transformation Governor Oyetola has brought to bear in health, education and security sectors in Osun State since his inauguration November 27, 2018.
A laudation of this kind is no longer new. It has become part of Oyetola's worldview. He is highly rated by genuine Good Governance assessors. Of course, this has to be. Because there is no way you live in or visit Osun and will not be pleased about what you see around.
Everyone is pleased with him as he steadies on to redefine leadership in the state and leave an enduring legacy for the coming generation. From the CAN National President to FRSC Corp Marshal and generality of Osun workers, the commendation daily pours in, unceasingly.
According to the national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, "Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is an epitome of good governance whose style . . . has changed the negative narratives of the State."
Reverend Ayokunle also commended the governor for spreading the dividends of democracy to every part of the state, in total compliance to the needs and aspirations of citizens.
In a similar breath, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi lauded "the Administration of Osun state governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, for transforming the State through massive infrastructural development."
Governor Oyetola's commitment to infrastructure, as stated by Oyeyemi, has been greatly felt by the Corps as manifested in the massive construction and reconstruction of intra-town, inter-city and inter-state roads across the nooks and crannies of the State -- an initiative that, he again submitted, has helped to reduce the rate of road mishaps in the state.
The story is the same for the Association Of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria who some days ago honoured the governor as the Most Benevolent Governor in Nigeria for the 2020. The National Vice President of the Association, Comrade Olubunmi Fajobi (mni), praised the Government of Governor Oyetola " . . . for showing robust empathy and sincere commitment to the welfare of the workers in the State since inauguration."
Fajobi, similarly, thanked the governor ". . . for putting an end to the half salary regime in the state, for prompt payment of workers salaries and other allowances as and when due."
The pensioners, on their own, have never hidden their admiration for Oyetola. They, at every opportunity, appreciate him for his dedication to their welfare.
The records have it that since assumption of office, the government of Governor Oyetola has released over N30 billion to settle pension and gratuity obligations. This feat is second to none in the country. Perhaps with the exception of Lagos state, there is hardly a state who can post this achievement in view of the COVID-19 crunch.
The governor's success in many sectors is mercurial. Particularly in the sectors considered by the BusinessDay newspaper for its award: security, health and education -- he is firmly in control.
Just last week, I was caught in a melee involving gangs of hoodlums and cultists in Osogbo. I saw citizens scampering for safety in the presence of gun-wielding touts. Perspiration engulfed me. However, I regained my confidence when I reached out to one of the ace lieutenants in the current administration, the commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Engr Lekan Badmus, who assured me the governor was already aware of the disturbance and had ordered the security agents to take charge. No sooner had I ended the conversation with the commissioner than I heard the blaring of police siren. In a twinkling of an eye, the peace violators were demobilised and peace was restored to the affected areas.
In the health sector, as it is in education sector which gulps the bulk of the state budget, Oyetola's stride is inspiring. To prove, the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the state University in Osogbo has been rated as one of the best in the Sub-Saharan Africa. The multi-million naira laboratory has capacity to conduct massive testing for COVID-19, Lassa Fever, Ebola and other infectious diseases. The laboratory was in September last year activated for inclusion in the NCDC Molecular Lab Network. If nothing, at all, counts for the state governor, this laboratory alone should; because the facility will increase the testing capacity for infectious diseases ravaging us in the country.
Since assumption of office as well, the government of Oyetola has built and renovated primary health centres in nearly all the 332 wards in Osun State to bridge the proximity challenges hitherto encountered by health facility users in the state. This is in addition to the 120-bed state General Hospital renovated and equipped by this administration. Again, the general hospitals at Ejigbo and Ifetedo are not left out of the renovation galore: they are both wearing a new and decent look for the good use of the people of the state.
While the state government is putting resources together to establish befitting health centres, it is, for good measure, prioritising the welfare of the health professionals that would make use of the facilities. Besides being part of a few states in the country that have approved the new salary structure for doctors and other health professionals, Osun has also built 30-flat quarters for its health workers. This particular accomplishment is pivotal given the fact that the quarters are located within the precinct of the state general hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo. This, beyond question, stands to give relief to doctors who hitherto had to contend with hustle and bustle of Osogbo traffic.
To make the health delivery service in the state a comprehensive one, the Gboyega Oyetola led government inaugurated a new Osun Health Insurance Scheme with an initial grant of N150 Million and an addition of N477 Million equity grant to fund the Vulnerable Programme of the health scheme. The vulnerable population, numbering 24,712 across the senatorial districts in the state, have been enrolled in the scheme and have, since November 2020, been receiving free medical services in the no fewer than 86 accredited (private and public) healthcare facilities in the state.
In closing, while we, as humans, may not be able to predict, with clinical precision, what future holds for us; what is never in doubt is our deed will largely define what that future truly holds for us. For this reason, I hold that certainly the future is assured for Ileri-Oluwa, a political star with panache.
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Aanu Adegun is a politics and current affairs content editor at Legit.ng with over 7 years of experience in both digital and traditional media. A graduate of English Studies from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state, Aanu started his journalism career as a features writer. Aanu, who is also a creative writer has written books and children magazines. He once anchored some specialised pages of a national newspaper. Aanu is also a satirist.