By Olumuyiwa Jimoh
RECENTLY, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola became the former Governor of Osun State; he completed his eventful and impactful two terms in office. He left office before November 27 in a blaze of glory and glowing legacies that would be hard to match though we pray that his successor in office would be able to perform as much as he did.
It is one thing to have left marks on the governance plane of a state but it is another to have laid foundational structures that would grow the economy of the state in the near future, setting the state on the path to accelerated development. The difference is that where a governor may have delivered on some acceptable projects, these projects may not serve as drivers to future growth. However, some projects are so critical and fundamental that once achieved, the development of such a state becomes a matter of time.
This is what Governor Aregbesola has done in Osun State. He has sown seeds and planted trees which form the foundation for the future development of the state. That is why we describe his legacies as glowing. They shine the light and serve as beacon to any other incoming administration to follow towards the development of the state. His development markers litter the state and form a trajectory that is unmistakably progressive.
He spent the first four years in his eight years of assiduous and diligent work crafting the master plan necessary for building a great future for the state and its citizenry. This was having realised the infrastructural deficits that was bequeathed to him by the previous administration.
Osun was turned into a frenzy of construction work. Thousands of kilometres of roads were either reconstructed or freshly built with bridges and flyovers that added huge aesthetic values to the state’s skyline and ambience.
New hospitals were built while old ones were renovated. Hospital equipment and personnel were procured and health service for the citizenry was delivered with panache. It was such that citizens of neighbouring states began to patronise Osun State hospitals as the state’s health facilities were better than you can get within the environment.
Schools were built with standard facilities matching what is obtainable in any other state in the federation. Equity devoid of discrimination on any grounds at all became the watchword in the educational sector. Free and compulsory education was reintroduced while pupils were provided with kits and school uniforms free of charge.
Has Osun State changed for the better in the last eight years? The answer is, of course, yes. Is Osun’s future brighter than before? The answer is yes. We were in a hurry to say yes to the questions because for anybody that knew the state before 2010, Osun of 2018 has become greatly transformed. If you left Osogbo in the last ten years and you visit now, you will need an escort. You will thoroughly need the services of a guide to lead you around the state given the numerous new landmarks that Aregbesola has constructed in the state. He has changed the structure, texture and essence of Osun State.
Nigerians gathered on Tuesday, November 27, to mark the transition in Osun from Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to the new governor; Isiaka Oyetola. Today, we urge other lesaders to emulate the giant strides which Aregbesola made in the state and replicate them in their respective states. His successor has inherited a glowing legacy and we know that he will keep the torch handed over to him glowing even more and more. It is important that he remains focused on the markers that have been laid and by all means aspire to excel beyond what the departing governor has achieved. Lofty heights shall be attained. We are sure that Governor Aregbe’s prayer will be that Governor Oyetola does better than himself.
We salute Aregbesola and doff our hats for the great works he has done for his people and for the standard he has set for governance in Nigeria. He has demonstrated leadership in both character and judgment in Nigeria and we believe that this would provide a sound model for effective governance in Nigeria – investing in the people! Aregbe’s hallmark! Aregbe’s legacy even as he leaves in blaze of glory!
*Hon. Wahab Jimoh is the Deputy Majority Leader Representing Apapa Contituency II In Lagos House of Assembly