Osun 2022: An Open letter to the Governor-Elect By Femi Alafe-Aluko

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The euphoria of the July 16th victory of the PDP in the gubernatorial election seems to be dimming. Baring any legal abracadabra, it has dawned on the good citizens of Osun State that a new Sheriff will be in town from the 26th of November 2022. The election was adjudged to be credible, fair, free and transparent by most stakeholders hence the outcome is credible. Much as the APC have the democratic right to seek legal redress if they feel cheated, the general opinion is that the voters have spoken, hence the defeated party should be magnanimous enough to exhibit some spirit of sportsmanship. Approaching the tribunal is Christmas come early for the legal teams. They should be graceful in defeat and stop looking for technicalities.

In the words of the American businessman, Gil Atkinson, “Change is inevitable, it is the direction that counts”.

By now, you must be preparing to move from Ede to Oke Fia and Abere. How prepared are you? According to the late Sage, Statesman and Philosopher, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who your late father, Senator Ayoola Adeleke was a loyal disciple of, I quote “l have never regarded myself as having a monopoly of wisdom. The trouble is that when most people in public life and in position of leadership and rulership are spending whole days and nights carousing in clubs or in the company of men of shady character and women of easy virtue, l, like a few others, am always at my post working hard at the country’s problems and trying to find solutions for them. Only the deep can help the deep”.

You have started positively by setting up a transition committee(which was inaugurated on the 27th of July 2022), comprising of 37 wise men and women headed by a distinguished Government College, lbadan, Old boy, Dr Muyiwa Oladimeji, who are to set the template for your ascension to office. You charged them to be creative and innovative in discharging their duty, in with the terms of reference. You equally admonished them to be practical and down to earth in approach.

You want them to come up with facts and figures about the general state of the State and the financial health of the State. This includes the IGR, monies from the Federation Account , level of indebtedness and terms of repayment to banks, financial institutions, their contractual and external debt obligations. It is a very comprehensive and engaging terms of reference. I have no doubt that the committee will present a well detailed and practical report. I hope the out going Government will collaborate and cooperate with the team. A seamless transition process will be for the benefit of the State.

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As the saying goes ‘Talk is Cheap’. It does not cost anyone to say and write something, the real difficulty is in doing it. Actions speak louder than words. It will be a thing of joy that when the report is submitted and accepted, they will be religiously adhered to and implemented.

A sacrilegious columnist like Sam Omatseye of the Nation Newspaper should be put to shame. The Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu lap dog, ‘e rat’ and praise singer in his July 11th write up titled Clown vs Crown did not give you the slightest chance of victory at the polls. He was abusive, derogatory and condescending to you as the PDP Candidate. It will be interesting to know what he feels now that the Clown has clinched the Crown. In any case , with his OBItuary write up on the 1st of August, the OBIdients are already calling for his head.

I am sure you are aware that Osun is a State with vast natural and agricultural resources. It is endowed with a rich cultural heritage but facing an underdeveloped industrial sector and a high debt portfolio. Its lucrative gold mining sector in ljesha land is being exploited by foreigners especially the Chinese that come in with dodgy approvals from Abuja, aided by the ignorant and greedy locals who are rewarded with peanuts. The rate of degradation of the land should give your incoming administration some concern.

You definitely know the State is suffering from an economic and financial crisis. Glaringly, it is in a financial Dire Straits. It will require an ingenious financial engineer to get it back to shape. You will need to boost the State’s Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) without placing unnecessary burden on the people of the State. Presently the IGR hovers between #1.7 to 2 bn per month. According to the Nigeria Data Portal it has a GDP of $7,280m and an over bloated civil service work force.

According to the American entrepreneur and writer Max De Pree, ‘We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are”. To achieve this your incoming administration should invest heavily in education. Education in primary and secondary schools should be free and qualitative, with emphasis on information technology and science. Tertiary institutions should be well funded and enjoy autonomy. Skill acquisition should be embedded into the education curriculum, so that each student will learn and graduate with at least a skill useful for setting up a small business. Welfare and training of teachers should be given utmost priority.

The farmers should be educated and helped to create wealth through the exportation of their produce. Your government should make access roads available, provide farm impliments at subsidized rate, cheap and affordable loans should be available to the Farmers. Cooperative Societies should be encouraged. Above all you should establish a counseling center for farmers on best practices on mechanized farming.

Much importance should also be attached to the health sector. An educated mind is an informed and healthy mind. Osun citizens should be educated on how to maintain a healthy living. Medical centers should be localized, well equipped and stuffed with basic medical drugs. The welfare of the medical staff should not be taken for granted.

The potential of Tourism in Osun State is enormous. This cannot be achieved in a chaotic and unsecured environment. Amotekun should be well equipped and motivated.

In short, you should stick to your campaign promises. The buck stops on your table. There is no room for excuses or failure. Government is a continuum and you should assume you are starting from ground Zero. I do not know whether to pity or congratulate you, as there is so much work to do in a heavily indebted State with dwindling funds from the Federation account. How do you intend to fund them? You have to start the job running. With a hostile opposition at State and Federal levels, you will need the prayers and guidance of the Almighty God to succeed. Honeymoon in Osun does not last for long.

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