By Sarafa Ibrahim
Lately, Waheed Adekunle has shown a disturbing pattern of obsession. Apparently exhibiting what a famous American journalist, Norman Mailer described as “the most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer”, Adekunle has formed the habit of throwing up issues against the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke, no matter how ludicrous.
In his most recent piece titled When will Governor Adeleke Unveil Foreign Investors, Return to the State?”, Adekunle showed how dangerous an unrestrained obsession can be. In one breadth, he was questioning the import of the Governor’s trip abroad, but in another breadth, he has an answer to the same question posed. Confused? That is what unreasonable obsession does to people.
I can understand the frustration of Adekunle. Like his party, he was so desperate to be right that Governor Adeleke’s trip overseas was for medical purposes and not the purpose stated in the communication released by the Spokesperson to the Governor. It is not surprising because the APC has shown Osun people through underserved pains for 12 years that it is all about evil thoughts.
Anyone who understands the rudiment of wooing investors will find the observation of Adekunle laughable. Convincing investors is a serious work and not about photo ops as Adekunle mischievously suggested. He may not know this because the government he served in made no attempt throughout its four years to encourage investment into the state.
By now, Adekunle and his ilk in the opposition camp should have seen the futility of baseless assumptions about the Adeleke administration. Governor Adeleke has shown to be beyond the pettiness of the main opposition party in the last one year of his administration given the monumental progress recorded so far.
This is why it is so funny to read Adekunle’s fallacious claim that the overseas trip of Governor Adeleke was not to give an account of his stewardship in his first year in office. The question for Adekunle or whoever shares this ridiculous assumption is, why would a Governor who has achieved a lot in 365 days be afraid to face the people? The achievements of Governor Adeleke in his first year in office are widespread and visible for all to see or feel.
If Adekunle is feigning ignorance of an event we all witnessed, it would not be out of place to cast his mind back to the fact that Governor Adeleke cash-backed promotion given to civil servants in 2019 by Gboyega Oyetola administration where Adekunle served within his first year in office. This is in addition to the payment of three months out of the 30-month half-salary debt within the first year in office. He paid the fourth month a few days ago. For four years, Adekunle’s principal, Oyetola, did not attempt a single month in the owed debt wage in spite e being a part of the government that accumulated the debt.
Within the first year in office, Governor Adeleke expended over N17 billion on the payment of pension and gratuities arrears from the N75 billion liabilities inherited. Within the same period in review, Governor Adeleke enrolled the entire retirees in Osun state in a healthcare insurance scheme, becoming the first state in the whole of Nigeria for such a comprehensive healthcare plan for senior citizens.
In terms of infrastructural renewal, Governor Adeleke constructed about 90km of roads across Osun state within his first year in office. From Iwo to Ikire, Ede to Osogbo, and Ife to Ilesa, the road projects are spread unlike the experience in the past when infrastructure projects were concentrated in a few location, hence, denying other parts of the state noticeable government presence. A total of 31 public schools across the state saw their infrastructure overhauled, equipped with furnitures and other essentials that makes them conducive for both teachers and students.
In one year, no fewer than 50,000 people across Osun state have benefited from the Imole Surgical and Medical Outreach. The medical intervention availed citizens with medical conditions, including surgeries for cataracts, pterygium, hernia, and some swelling on the body, to have it resolved free of charge. Yes, you heard me right. Some other beneficiaries received treatments for eye problems and even got free glasses while basic ailments like malaria also got treatments.
All of these and many more impactful services rendered by the Adeleke administration in the first year in office were highlighted by the government to the public on the day of the anniversary. In a press briefing anchored by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Oluomo Kolapo Alimi, the scorecard of the Adeleke administration in one year was laid bare to the satisfaction of the people.
In what was a clear demonstration of transparency, Oluomo Alimi provided detail description of the achievements of Governor Adeleke in one year and the locations of the visible projects for the purpose of verification. It only amounts to nothing but a fallacy for Adekunle who served in an administration that could only commission a rehabilitated PHC funded by a grant inherited from predecessor, to dismiss the noticeable developmental strides of Governor Adeleke in one year in office.
So far, Osun people can see the difference. They can see Governor Adeleke’s commitment to upturning the damages of the past, which Adekunle is a part of, and putting the meagre resources of the state for the collective good. They can see that, unlike the bitter politics of the past, Governor Adeleke is focused on what benefits the people, the reason why he is paying owed debts and working to complete abandoned projects.
While Adekunle and his party waste time on baseless assumptions, Governor Adeleke and his team will concentrate on the work of making lives better for citizens who have suffered so much from the APC’s misrule. And just as we have seen in Governor Adeleke’s first year in office, Osun is on the right track to overcoming the challenges of the past and charting a future of hope and prosperity.
- Ibrahim Sarafa is a Special Assistant to the Osun State Governor on Print Media