By Babatunde Afolabi
Viewpoint in Brief: Hope in Osun State
Almost 8 years ago, the self-styled Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, a political graduate of the acclaimed Bourdillion political academy took the oat of office amidst high hope and expectations. He fought gallantly against a known General Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a war veteran and military administrator from the ballot box to the bench where his ultimate victory was sealed.
Hope was rekindled in Osun as many eagerly hoped to see that Bourdillion magical touch that made Lagos State an envy of sort. The new governor soon metamorphosed into a political god of reckon. Many will easily predict that many of those controversies and battles will consume Aregbesola, but on all occasions he came out stronger. Many will never forget the unprecedented labour crisis that engulfed the state Mid 2015 which seems unsolvable considering the poor revenue status of the state of Osun. Today, normalcy has returned to the Bola Ige complex which housed the state civil service. How he managed through remains a mystery till date.
I was filled with emotional ecstasy reading and watching from the press the expression of interest declaration on June 19, 2018, of one of the contestants jostling to succeed Ogbeni Aregbesola. The man is no other persion than Engr. Lere Oriolowo, one of the finest and well exposed public servants I have ever come across. An experienced Bretton Wood agencies’ expert in Agro and infrastructural development, Oriolowo’s impressive career progression and achievement send my spine into a deep emotional excitement about how lucky the state of osun will be with a man like Engr. Lere Oriolowo succeeding Aregbesola.
I came across the brilliance of Oriolowo on one of the world bank projects where he works as the project coordinator. Two things I found out about him that seems a permanent trait. He has a superb self confidence and an enviable on-the-job competence. He works almost round the clock and he is readily accessible to all the consultants working under him round the clock. You can challenge and approach him on any intellectual issue and he will be ready to listen and prove his case. He is a passionate farmer and will always encourage anyone that comes across him to invest his agriculture most especially cash crops. He is a firm believer of agro cash crop over petrol dollar and some of us have seen him prove this practically over time though while watching him from afar.
Engr Oriolowo, had international development project experience when he served as the focal point officer with UNDP. He was a successful facilitator in charge of water control in the national food security project a federal government/FAO assisted project. In the words of former US President, Barrack Obama, confidence and competence remain a major pre-requisite for success in public service. The two above qualities depict Engr. Adelere Oriolowo.
It is exciting to see hope gaining more strength in the state of Osun, the rays of light is shining brighter. God bless Nigeria, God bless the State of Osun.
Babatunde Afolabi, an indigene of Osun State. is resident in Lagos.