By: Blessing Adegbite
When the history of Osun State is written, it will be recalled that a true navigator of the Adeleke political dynasty upstaged the ruling party, winning against the incumbent party’s candidate by 403,371 votes to emerge as the 6th Civilian Governor of Osun State. It was tagged a victory for the people, as it was generally agreed that the people voted with their feet. One year after, is Osun State progressing?
On the campaign trail, Governor Adeleke spoke about his five point service agenda that captures human existential realities that is focused on taking the people from poverty to prosperity through clear focus on Health, Education, Infrastructural Development, Security and Improved Economy through Agricultural value chain on which his Roadmap to Accelerated Development in Osun State 2022-2026 will stand.
Before Governor Adeleke took over the mantle of leadership of the State of the Living Spring on the 27 November, 2022, It is worthy to note that the Adeleke administration inherited a debt of N407.32bn as of November 30, 2022,
N20bn half-salary debt as well as over N50bn in entitlements to retirees. Although, the figures are frightening, and capable of stirring concerns on how to go about it considering the economic situation of Osun State, Governor Adeleke was unwavering which is clearly the hallmark of true leadership.
Former Governor Oyetola, despite being in the same party as his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who initiated the Osogbo-Ikirun-Kwara boundary road project and completed the first phase before leaving office in 2018, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola abandoned the continuity of the project during his four years tenure at the detriment of the entire Osun populace.
Mr.Oyetola left a legacy of anti-worker policy, one of which is the unpaid 30-month arrears of half-salaries and half pensions. Oyetola, despite his campaign promises, refused to pay the arrears, misappropriated money belonging to pension and gratuity scheme.
The claim of lack of funds by the then Oyetola government does not hold water. This is because aside the government committing billions to political appointees and jamborees, Oyetola government received more than 11 billion naira from federal government as refund for federal road projects undertaken by Osun State. But most of these projects were abandoned and the fund was misappropriated by Oyetola government.
The same gory tale goes for pensions whereby government is owing each pensioner several millions of Naira as gratuities, aside the 30-month arrears of half-pension, many of them were living like destitute, while many others have been medically incapacitated as a result of inability to pay for drugs. Many have also died due to government-induced poverty during Mr. Oyetola led administration, In spite of advanced age pensioners were protesting for their legitimate rights all to no avail before Governor Adeleke took over leadership in Osun State.
The primary health facilities during the last administration was poorly equipped and the state hospitals were in sorry and shambolic conditions, with most of them overtaken by lawn bush. The workers were also poorly remunerated.
Typical of a leader who meant well, Adeleke accepted the challenge posed by the half-salary debt, and as a way out, released a template to follow in the payment of the owed monies. In the template signed by the Head of Service, Mr. Samuel Aina in February, the Adeleke administration committed to paying the salary debt every quarter.
Just as outlined, Governor Adeleke, paid two months of the half-salary to workers and pensioners in the first quarter of the year. And also paid another month of the half salary in the second quarter of year 2023. This brings payments of the half-salary to three months, in line with the template put up by the government in February.
In short, unlike his predecessor, Governor Adeleke is showing what commitment can do. While Osun finances is in distress due to gross mismanagement of the past, Governor Adeleke has demonstrated fiscal discipline to ensure that the meager available resources of the state truly serves the benefit of the people.
This is not so different from the cash backing of promotions of civil servants done by the past administration by Governor Adeleke. Oyetola had in 2019 approved promotion for civil servants but it was Governor Adeleke in May this year who made sure the benefit doesn’t end on paper but truly reflect in the salary of workers.
The impressive thing here is that, these kind of gestures is not limited to active workers but also senior citizens, who were also largely abandoned by the previous administration. Between November 27, 2022 and now, Governor Adeleke has released billions in bonds to clear entitlements of retired personnel of the state. Governor Adeleke also approved nearly half a billion to settle the pension claims of 734 pensioners on the old pension scheme in the state. This is in addition to the ambitious plan to enrol retirees on health insurance scheme to cater for their health needs at old age.
Many political observers who saw the landmine on the path of the IMOLE administration are shocked at how Governor Ademola Adeleke has succeed in navigating the path expertly and leaving many in awe of his political and administrative prowess.
In the last one year in Office, there is no doubt that the Governor Ademola Adeleke led administration is a huge relief for many people of the State who are genuinely desirous of a change in the narrative. However, the Governor fondly called IMOLE DE by his teeming supporters and the people State, was not carried away by the euphoria of the victory as he was well-prepared and ready to hit the ground running from the first blast of the whistle on the 27 November, 2022.
In his inaugural speech delivered shortly after he was sworn-in, Governor Adeleke did not mince words in articulating his direction for good governance and humane disposition to the people’s plight.
A deep dive into his achievements in the five- point service agenda created the scorecard by which his administration’s one year in office was accessed laying a solid foundation for Osun State transformation.
Completed and Ongoing Projects:
- Provision of portable Borehole in each of the 332 wards in Osun State.
- Construction of 20km road across Osun State.
- Presentation of #518M to 40 communities in Osun state for infrastructural developments.
- Rural Electrification Projects across Osun State. Provision of transformers and other electrical materials to ensure that communities without electricity can have light.
- Construction of broken bridge at Bókùsọ́rọ̀/Adẹ́kẹ́ in Iwo to forestall loss of life on the bridge in the bridge due to erosion.
- Resumption of the construction of the Osogbo/Ikirun Kwara boundary road abandoned by the past administration.
- Launched Osun on Tech Revolution through New Tech Innovation Policy, ICT Policy, Domestication of Nigeria’s Startup Act and Osun Google Mapping Project.
- Osun is the first state in Nigeria to domesticate the Nigeria Startup Act.
- Complete renovation of 30 schools, one per local government, including portable water and the provision of at least 50 computers with internet services in each renovated school. LIST OF ROADS AND INTERVENTION PROJECTS:
- Dualization of Osogbo-Ikirun road with street light, 10.5km:, OSOGBO
- Ọja Ọba (Iso Isu/Iso ata/Iso Eran/Iso Ewe) – First Baptist Model Academy with spur to oba Oyetona Street, 200 :, OSOGBO
- Enuwa – Oniyangi – Ita Osun – Oke Atam with spur to Egbedu Ilode Junction Ile Ife:, IFE
- Ibadan/Ife Express Road Junction – Islamiya Okiti junction Ikire 1165 – IKIRE
- Alajue junction, (Ojularede Street) Bode junction, Admus filling station, Ọja Oje Ede. 2890 – EDE.
- Monday Market – Railway Station Road Ikirun, 1200 – IKIRUN
- Iresi Township Road 3000 – IRESI
- Ansarudeen Central Mosque Junction – Kuti Junction – Hospital Road Iwo 1550 – IWO
- Ita-Ofa-Oromu – Araromi (Market Gate) Ilesa 770 – ILESA
- Atakunmosa Market Road, Obiteni Ọmọ Ode Road 400 – ILESA
- Oke Oye, Oke Ita with spur to Ogodogbo with sour to Temidire Road, Obokun 1300 – ILESA
- Rehabilitation of Gbenga Junction – John Mackay ( Oke Ayepe Costain) Osogbo (Phase 1) 1KM – OSOGBO
- Rehabilitation of Oloruntedo community (Costain John Mackay-East Bypass, Osogbo (Phase 2) 1.5km – OSOGBO
- Rehabilitation of Anuolu Hospital – Hamadiya Power line (Ede) 1km – EDE
- Rehabilitation of Ogberin Junction- Akala – Oloki junction, Oluoboni, Iso Ege 2.055- EDE. CRITICAL INTERVENTION:
1 . Spot Patching of Lameco – Station Road.
- Oke-Fia – Dele Yes Sir
- Oke Oni Tea Failed Section
- Owode Failed Section.
- Grading of 10km community road in each of the local government of Osun State.
- Rehabilitation of 332 primary health care centers, one in each of the 332 wards in the State. Access to Health Care at the grassroot is the main objective.
- Enrolment of 3332 Osun indigenes (10 per ward) on the Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS), to ensure adequate healthcare access for the vulnerable for 5 years.
3: IMOLE Surgical and Medical outreach face 1 and 2: Over 40,000 person in each of the 9 Federal constituencies in Osun State, making a total of 40,000 beneficiaries who received free surgeries from within Osun state and from other states.
- Enrolment of 23,000 Pensioners in to the Osun Health Insurance scheme (OHIS).
WORKERS AND PENSIONERS WELFARE:
- Payment of up-to-date workers salary.
- Payment of salaries and pensions arrears from 2016 owed by the past administration.
- Payment of arrears of salaries for retired Judges in the State.
- Payment of the sum of N160 Million naira as severance gratuity for members of the 6th and 7th Assembly in the State.
- Osun State Government rolled out 19 palliative buses to convey Civil Servants, Students and other Residents.
1: Over 2,000 O-Meal cooks recruited
- 40,000 to be recruited under the Imole Youth Corps.
N100 BILLION ONGOING INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECTS:
Governor Ademola Adeleke unveiled Ongoing N100 billion infrastructural projects:
1.Two flyovers would be constructed in Osogbo, one in Ile-Ife, one in Owode-Ede and one in Ikirun town.
- 45 roads across the 30 local government areas in the state have been selected for construction.
- Phase two of the rehabilitation of 345 health centres in the 332 Wards of Osun State.
4.Phase two of potable water provision in 332 wards of Osun State.
- Phase two of the rehabilitation of 31 schools in the 30 mother local governments of Osun State.
- Dualisation of roads in Osogbo, Ede, and Ilesa.
One good thing about Governor Ademola Adeleke is his resolve to fulfill his campaign promises. The soft-spoken and swaggerlicious Ademola Adeleke does not only remind his teeming supporters across the State, he also keeps telling himself at any public function that he is ready to wave his immunity if there is any reason to call him to question that the government cannot really go far in achieving our objectives if we allow corruption to maintain its hold on the system.
Interestingly, many of the challenges faced by the Ademola Adeleke-led administration in the last One year in office have turned to stepping stones and ladders to greatness. His government stabilized by years of thorough preparedness for service, private sector secrets and willingness to do things right.
Virtually all the areas that can make a direct positive impact on the lives of the people have received attention with prospects of Governor Adeleke doing better as time goes on. The only way we can reciprocate his good gesture is by ceaseless prayers to God to endow him more with wisdom to pilot the affairs of our dear State to the Promised Land as he intends doing.
According to Governor Ademola Adeleke, Our future in Osun State is now. We have a government that is accountable, transparent, productive, effective and efficient. We will move from sick care to the Wellness of our people through investment on Education, Health, Infrastructure and Economic prosperity so we can achieve life-changing outcomes.
To say that Governor Ademola Adeleke has, in the last One year of his administration, surprised many is to state the obvious. As it is, the IMOLE DE administration network is spreading and taking deeper root in Osun State. Hope is now rekindled for an increase in the tempo of developmental strides that truly impact on the lives of the People and the State.
After all is considered, the 403,371 persons who voted Governor Ademola Adeleke in, on July 16, 2022 will not disappointed at his first year in office. Of course, there is a lot more that still needs to be done, but all indicators show that he is progressing steadily leading Osun State on the right path.
Governor Ademola Adeleke is off to a good start. And l hope he will do even better in his subsequent years. I wish the People’s Governor a Happy One Year in Office!