By Waheed Adekunle
The current situation in Osun has become a focal point of attention, while juxtaposing the impact of the present administration to its counterparts especially in the southwestern Nigeria.
It is crystal clear that the snail-pace of socioeconomic and infrastructural developments has become a serious topic for discussion among residents of the state who had hitherto vested their much-cherished trust and confidence in the present administration.
The concerns bother more on the journey that culminated into the emergence of Governor Ademola Adeleke, and of course, the effect of the much-desired change, which was part of the electioneering promises made by Governor Adeleke while seeking votes from the electorate.
By November 27th, 2023, the incumbent government will be marking a year in office and this has brought about the need to evaluate the performance of the government in the last ten to eleven months of being at the helm of affairs.
Recall that the Adeleke-led People’s Democratic Party PDP’s government started on the template of socio-political vendetta, campaigns of calumny and political sophistries, viciously pursued out of desperation to wipe the opposition out of the circle. The strategies adopted were to discredit the ground breaking successes recorded by the ousted administration with intention to send members of the opposition on expedition of political oblivion.
To actualize this, immediately the PDP government assumed office, the Governor started maligning members of the main opposition, APC, impugning on the integrity and dignity of the party’s notable personalities and as well, discrediting the monumental achievements of his predecessors particularly the giant strides of former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
The government continued in its usual way to package lies as the PDP’s stalwarts did while seeking voters’ support in the 2022 Osun governorship election.
As part of the efforts, they accused the erstwhile government of indebtedness, maladministration, financial recklessness and impropriety. They went as far as fabricating lies to hoodwink the innocent citizens, but today, all their lies and innuendos had fallen flat on their faces.
They alleged that Osun was indebted to the tune of #400billion but failed to provide data-driven, fact-based statistics and empirical evidence engraved in the state’s financial records to support their spurious allegations.
When they were challenged and confronted with facts and figures by the opposition, to prove that the allegation was a scam, they became dumb and buried their heinous heads in dungeon.
In their usual style, Governor Adeleke and his loyalists further alleged some members of the opposition particularly those that served under the Oyetola’s administration of fleeing with governments’ properties and carting away government’s vehicles worth billions of naira, an allegation that was busted, proven to be fantasy and fallacy, and not based on any reasonable statistics.
They even stooped so low to the extent that they employed media propaganda to push their diabolical and mischievous narratives in order to portray the erstwhile administration in bad light. But when the opposition equally challenged them to unveil the names of those involved in their self-estimated and imaginary malfeasance, they became muffled.
Their media handlers, whose activities portray mediocrity in media strategies and refined public engagement, further went on air to promote emptiness with ignorance, claiming that some members of the opposition who allegedly carted away government’s properties had started returning them. And this was swiftly and squarely tackled by the opposition, asking their half-baked media handlers to make public the list of those that had returned same. But till today, no name was made public.
The incumbent Governor even went as far as showcasing falsehood to the revered monarchs alleging that the erstwhile Governor borrowed money from financial institutions and left nothing in the state’s coffers while exiting office.
To the embarrassment of all, the accusers couldn’t provide a single evidence to backup the claims when the opposition brought out torrent of documents containing facts and figures to dispel their grave allegations.
Part of the questions raised then premised on moral standard as to the need for Governor Adeleke and his media handlers to mention the names of the financial institutions that borrowed the state the alleged loan since it is practically impossible for a state to borrow money without proper records and documentation knowing full well that government is a continuum.
Corroborating the defence, the then Assembly equally challenged the governor to unveil the names of the banks that loaned out funds to Osun government without the consent of the House, alas, Governor Adeleke and his stooges couldn’t provide any name till today.
The first step of setback the state witnessed under the current administration was when the then Governor -elect now the incumbent Governor, at the transitional period, said that he had setup several committees to oversee the state of things in major sectors as to the need to reel out some of the plans of his administration. This statement was considered to have suggested the palpable ineptness in the incoming administration then, as this alone, subjected the state to the shackle of ridicule and high level of unpreparedness on the part of incoming administration.
Some discerning minds and political analysts then, predicted what may be the outcome of the administration, since it had, from the word go, displayed maladroitness showing that the man at the helms of affairs had nothing reasonable in stock for the people in view of the fact that ‘he who fails to plan, plans to fail.’
However, the first project to be unveiled on the assumption of office was the execution of the phoney 332 boreholes across the existing wards in the state, an ‘audio project’ that was overblown out of proportion.
The government’s media handlers and their syndicate were preoccupied in conspiracy and took over the media space on the project that an ordinary Ward Councillor would consider too insignificant to publicize let alone a council chairman. Till now, less than 50 per cent of the boreholes is functioning, while many were not even completed let alone being put into use for the benefits of the public.
The outer laying and asphaltic works done by the Adeleke’s government on Osogbo-Ikirun-Okuku-Ila-Odo Kwara boundary road, which represents less than 25 per cent of the Osogbo-Ikirun portion of the stretch, but was celebrated out of moderation remains partly the only thing the government had done in the last eleven months of being in office.
Recall that the road project was initiated by the former Governor Rauf Aregbesola and consolidated by his successor, Adegboyega Oyetola who continued and took the portion to about 77 per cent completion before leaving office.
It is quite unfortunate that since the road was fixed, no other tangible infrastructure initiated by the administration can be identified, rather, the ‘seat of power’ has been navigating up and down doing nothing reasonable but jamboree.
It is almost a year in office, the Governor seems to have forgotten his promises to the people of Osun particularly the indigenes and residents of Osogbo that were politically and electorally manipulated, and hoodwinked into believing in nonexistent miracles and magics.
It is on record that the Governor promised to turn Osogbo to small London within six months of assuming power but regrettably, the same government has been in office for almost a year now, nothing has been passionately done capable of heralding change let alone a total facelift of development as dubiously claimed.
The workforce that was used to ride to power has been stylishly dumped as no measure was put in place to support them at this time of temporary hardship occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy inspite of the huge resources that accrued to the state from the Federal Government for same purpose.
While some states that are not as rich and as financially buoyant as Osun are putting workable measures in place to ameliorate the plights of the people and their workers, Osun is revolving on emptiness ever since it got its share of the money.
Aside the wages and salaries payment, a legacy bequeathed by the immediate past government, no other life-changing mechanism in place to up the standard of living and welfare of the state proletariats let alone the general wellbeing of the masses by the current administration.
Instead, both the active and passive workers were needlessly subjected to avoidable hardship by the government, all in the name of Staff Audit exercise, which was unprofessionally and abysmally handled by the consultant employed by the state government.
As widely reported in the media, ‘the life-threatening exercise’ had been earlier condemned by members of the Civil Society Organizations due to the way and manner it was handled.
The height of it was the untimely death of a civil servant who traveled from his base purposely because of the exercise, as well as the ridicule with which the senior citizens were subjected to in the hand of the handlers as some of the retirees reportedly collapsed in the process, a situation that further exposed the incompetence in the system to the entire world.
It is disheartening to know that inspite #9billion in the coffers of the state as special funds from the Federal Government purposely released to cushion the adverse effects of the subsidy removal, the state government had not executed any meaningful project to rekindle the collective hope of the masses.
There is no doubt in the fact that the state government had resolved to paint the federal government in bad light in view of the current transient hardship for cheap political gains.
The recent public enlightenment programme held in Osogbo, which was tagged ‘Ipade Imole’ was indeed a good riddance to bad rubbish, as it exposed the rots in the system and the level at which the public finances entrusted in some hands had been channelled on needless projects such as boreholes.
Aside the fact that the composition of the attendees of the programme was politically motivated, the whole thing was evaluated to be a political jamboree designed to celebrate failure in disguise by the sycophants and party loyalists as the governor could not even read the responses already prepared for him to some of the questions asked. What a shame!
It is quite unfortunate that throughout the period the programme lasted, no reasonable poser, other than a few ones asked by the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists.
A keen observation of all that transpired that day would give one an insight into the emptiness of the administration, as no reasonable project was mentioned to have been successfully completed.
As part of the highlights of the event, the most shocking part was the disclosure of #7billion that Osun received from the Federal Government as her share from the pool of savings of the fuel subsidy removal which is entirely different from the initial #2billion out of #5billion that the state received for palliative from Federal Government to lessen the excruciating effect of fuel subsidy removal on the masses.
But the questions agitating minds of the citizens were, why the state waited till the day of the programme before disclosing that such a huge amount accrued to the State? Some were asking why the state government had failed woefully to expend the #2billion palliative funds on pro-masses policies?
Some were asking why Osun was the only state that has not come up with reasonable plans of what to use the funds for? While some were keenly interested to know where the state’s #9billion relief funds are, and in which accounts, knowing full well that any account that such humongous funds domiciled would have earned tangible interest?
No doubt, the words of a political philosopher that says ‘no government feasts on vendetta thrives and lasts long’, has come to pass in the case of our dear state. This aphoristic postulation is not only appropriate to describe what Osun is going through at the moment but the bleakness in the future of the state is calling for noble concerns.
May God heal our land!