How has it been in the last one year since Governor Gboyega Oyetola came to power?
It has been very eventful. Of course, if you look around now into all the major cities we have in Osun and you make enquiry from the traders, artisans, market women, from civil servants, from the religious and traditional rulers, they will tell you that Osun has witnessed a tremendous change which is spectacular in the last 365 under the able leadership of our Governor, the hardworking and creative governor in person of Mr Gboyega Oyetola.
He has been able to pilot the affairs of the state in such a manner that everybody is happy. Salaries are being paid promptly, infrastructure which is very key to the economic buoyancy is in top gear. Within one year, he has rehabilitated eleven roads, which spread across fourteen local governments. He has been able to light up Osun (light Up Osun project) which has returned night light back to the state. He has been able to also stabilize the polity which is very important; if you go round, the testament of the administration abound.
Many of the ongoing projects that were not completed in the previous administration; all of them, as I speak to you are all ongoing and more importantly in the area of health, which is key to the heart of the Governor. 332 Primary Healthcare centres are being revatalised. And when we say revatalisation, we are talking about the physical infrastructure, the personnel and equipment in 332 PHC in all the 332 political wards we have in Osun. Well above 100 have been completed and of recent, the Governor commissioned well above 25. So, if you go to our general hospitals as I speak with you, the general hospital in Ejigbo is 95% completed, the one in Ifetedo nearing completion, that should be around between 80% and 92%.
We just awarded the contract of 30 rooms’ quarters for doctors and another 120 bed-space in ward complex at Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro. So by and large, I think it has been a memorable 365 days. Like he said during his inauguration that it is an era of continuity and consolidation, I stand here to tell you that it is indeed a worthwhile event that we have towed the part of progressive to return an APC Governor to continue on the giant stride initiated by the previous government of Ogbeeni Rauf Aregbesola.
In March this year, the election tribunal upturned the election of Governor Oyetola before the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court gave their rulings. What was on your mind then?
Like the Governor said immediately after the judgement of the tribunal, that he was not disturbed, he was not moved and if you look at it very well, based on statistical analyses now, three judges sat, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sirajo gave a dissenting judgement, which in turn was what was upheld at both the Appeal and Supreme Courts. In essence, what has happened at the tribunal, the Appeal and Supreme courts, challenging the victory of Mr Governor shows to us clearly that the slogan which heralds the coming of the Governor which is Ilérí Olúwa – the promise of God cannot be shaken, cannot be challenged and as you can see Ilérí Olúwa at last finally came to pass.
So, from day one, we knew and we are confident, judging by the election of September 22, 2018 and supplementary election of September 27, 2018, Mr Gboyega Oyetola won the election. He defeated his opponent, Senator Nurudeen Adeleke. Election was won by APC, that was why INEC declared him as Governor. The governor was not even bothered by the Tribunal judgement. That is why we proceeded immediately to the Appeal, and as you can see the Appeal and the Supreme Courts judgements gave justice to the mandate that was freely and voluntarily given to Mr Governor in 2018.
The Governor recently appointed his commissioners and special advisers, after sending ten months in office. What would you say on the cabinet?
If you ask me one million times, I will tell you square pegs were inserted into square holes. The cabinet is composed of both political juggernauts and thorough-bred professionals. We have professional politicians, and men who are of timber and caliber. Those who have read their careers path in a most successful way. Let me give you an instance, look at the Commissioner for Information, somebody who rose through the rank as a journalist to become a president, the National President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors who is now the Commissioner for Information and same applied to other members of the cabinet.
If you look at the 35-man cabinet, I tell you most sincerely, they are people who will bring the expected turnaround the people of Osun have been yearning for since 1991 that this state has been created. This set of cabinets members, I’m confident will bring goodies and good governance and dividends of democracy. We have quite number of them. Like Engr Remi Omowaye too, he has worked in the private sector before he was appointed too. So of course, these are professionals; they are skilled practitioners in everything they have laid there hands upon. We have great minds coming now to work under a great leader. Osun people, especially the citizens and the electorates should not expect anything less. This is an administration that will keep to every of the promises they made in the electioneering period. So, in essence his cabinet is well composed.
Succinctly, where do we see the government in the next three years?
As a Christian and somebody who is not a pessimist, I’m very optimistic that if today this government is on ground 10 out of 100, in the next three years, this government of Mr Gboyega Oyetola if we are not, I’m very sure we will be at the promised land. The State of Osun fate would have metamorphosised into another garden of Eden. This state will be a centre of attraction to other South western states and will be a focus point for Nigerians as a whole. I can assure you with the template administratively, politically, financially and economically that the Governor is presently running, Osun will be the most sought-after state in the whole of Nigeria.
This is one of the confidence we have in the administration because if you look at the profile of the Governor, he has worked in the private sector for 28 years. He is a owner of company; he has thousands of people working under him and coming in to public service, bringing to bear his wealth of experience, you cannot expect anything less. And also, the foundation has been laid; he is only building on the solid foundation of his predecessor. So, Osun is aiming for the sky, and I can assure you, we are getting there.