By Denrele Animasaun
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” — Plato
“Those who profess to favour freedom and yet depreciate agitation are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” — Frederick Douglass
My father was not too pleased when I wrote that I wish I was from Osun. For those that read my page you know that I find the Ogbeni’s leadership inspiring and refreshing. Ogbeni puts his opinion of leadership so well when he said, “Indeed, it is my belief that leadership offers a golden opportunity to serve the people and bring improvements to bear on their lives and existence. I also do hold onto the view that leadership is a core pillar upon which a viable and successful human society can be built. And that “Indeed leadership is all about rendering service to the people and this”.
He continues to create opportunities for all the people of Osun to access education, health and employment. He has laid down a strong foundation and the people can see and feel the difference. This is not a party politics but a call to other states to emulate the Aregbesola’s administration. I have always nailed my colours to the mast.
When something works and works well, it is important to admit and admire the process and that is what I do.
With well over half of the Nigerian population unemployed, poverty is higher than it has ever been, administrations and the government have promised to improve our lot and they have consistently let us down and not delivered.
The administration has employed the highest number of civil servants in any other states in the country. So, here is an administration that does exactly what it set out to do. It did more and beyond to improve the lives of its people.
One of the few in the country that has consistently improved and laid down solid structures and sound governance. This is essential in order to get the country working again.
Margaret Thatcher was once asked what was her government’s top priority, without hesitation she said “Education, education and education”. Education is the key. That is exactly what Ogbeni’s administration has done. Making education free at the point of entry means more children are educated. This means that the future of Osun is brighter as more children are given the opportunity to better their lot. They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the people bear witness to the changes in the state.
In the Ogbeni, the people of Osun have witnessed a committed and hard-working governor who is willing to work for the interest of its people.
He has single handedly transformed his state and its people. He has produced results for all to see. The feeding programme is a master stroke after all the army matches on its stomachs they say.
No point sending children to school on any empty stomach. So they offer free nutritious meals so that the children’s bodies are optimise for learning and development. The programme’s sublime quality is that it considers every aspect of the health of the children as the programme also includes the de-worming programme and distribution of free uniforms and school materials. This means that every child is equal at the point of entry.
As a result of all these innovations, the school attendance has improved exponentially and more teachers are recruited to deal with the demand, Osun government spends more than N3 billion annually on its home-grown elementary school feeding, O’Meal. N600 million was spent on about 3,000 community caterers as well as transportation fare to the various schools.
As result of the feeding programme, there has been an increase in the enrolment of children and decrease in absenteeism. The meal programme employs local people; farmers, butchers, fishermen and trained women meal supervisors. You raise the most vulnerable up then everyone benefits. Osun has made big strides and other states should take a leaf from the Ogbeni’s book. Over the pond, the O’Meals programme has been recognised and earned the international recommendation and support of the London-based Partnership for Child Development (PCD). And so it should be.
The O’Yes youth programme has trained young people by providing and equipping them with employability skills. The standard of instilling good work ethic is highly motivational because it again espouses pride, confidence, self-esteem, motivation and respect for the environment, good health and ownership in their state.
The young people now have a promising future; they are equipped and are able to actively participate in nation building. Unlike, other parts of the country, in Osun the young are part of the planning and at the core of the programme. They are not excluded and disenfranchised. The distribution of OPON IMO (Tablet of Knowledge) to high school pupils is now established and this will bring the young to compete with other young people in the world.
So what motivates the Ogbeni? He said: “The improvement of the lots of the people of Osun was therefore a strong motivation for my seeking office and a paramount object of the deployment of my talents. Thus, as a leader I constantly seek for ways of bringing about progress and advancement for my people in every area of their lives”. We can no longer use our young as political hoodlums, thugs and professional vagrants and unemployable. We should not allow our young to be ignored for the selfish ambition of the seasoned political kleptomaniacs.
With August 9th governorship election approaching, I know that the people of Osun will follow their conscience. They cannot afford to do otherwise as their future and that of their young depend on it.
I do hope that we get the American style public debate going with Aregbesola and Senator Iyiola Omisore; it will be interesting to hear both out and let the people of Osun decide.
Happy 75th Birthday Dad!
Here is wishing my father, Kolawole Adio Animasaun a happy 75th birthday. I am wishing you joy, good health and contentment. Whenever I ask my dad, why he is content, he answers; it is the love of Allah. You cannot argue with that, can you?
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” — Socrates
*Denrele was not very sure that I said she wished she was from Osun. Because my forebear was from Iwo. I made sure of that in my biography- 1939. My great, great grandmother was a princess of Iwo. She was from Yafoye compound.