No doubt, the era of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, the current Executive Governor of State of Osun, shall soon come to an end. As a patriot and realist, who is very conscious of this reality, I am sure he must be busy by now writing his handover notes from day one of his second term in office. But after all, is said and done, Aregbesola will, without doubt, go down in memory as one leader, whose tenure would leave fond memories in the mind.
Posterity will judge him as an uncommon governor, who worked despite limited resources and performed so well regardless of several opposing forces. I do not think if any state has ever witnessed the rate of daily public protests, which have now become a regular occurrence in Osun State.
Against such impossible odds, Aregbesola challenged the limitations imposed by the financial status he inherited and has grappled with since inception. It must be said that his ability to keep Osun running in a season of recession, a hard fact that any lily-livered leader would have buckled under, clearly marks him out as a politician with extraordinary resilience and definiteness of purpose. To those, who may not know, the birth of Apc’s victory started from Osun State. He was the one who led the strategic team that stopped the tsunami coming from Ekiti State.
He is one of the most talked about governors ever, whose fanatical and dogged commitment to his people-oriented leadership is sometimes misread as religious bigotry. He may not be a welfarist as his counterpart in Ekiti, he believed in laying good foundations for a better tomorrow. Aregbesola has proved soothsayers wrong by standing tall to make many positive leadership statements.
There are many feats that would continue to linger in the memory of his people among which are the many road projects, the “ona baba ona” highways giving a new face to Osun, and his visionary educational advancement facilities. Even his opponents would not deny that since he mounted the saddle, he has conscientiously pursued his renaissance missions. There are many futuristic things he has put in place today that the children of tomorrow will benefit from.
At the moment, his worries should not be too big. He may not be opportune to hear his songs of praise while in government but, certainly, his praises for all his wonderful achievements would live after his reign.
His task and responsibilities by now must be to get a befitting successor. A big task indeed! He must naturally be busy laying good foundations for his successor and praying for someone, who shall sustain the tempo and ensure continuity, an economic wizard, and articulator, who is capable of sustaining all his noble achievements.
To sustain Aregbesola’s lofty goal of rapid transformation in many spheres, we need a successor, who would toe the governor’s progressive line despite that his huge shoes are dammed too big for many of the gladiators to wear.
Osun 2018 of our dream should, therefore, be a simple contention for only those with a reasonable call to serve and someone with sound ability, not only sustain the tempo but also to surpass the present lofty records in many fronts. Osun, at this moment, is not operating in an isolated economy. This position can only be shared by the progressive club who believes in probity and accountability.
The nation’s economy is not palatable at present and Osun State is facing a similar fate as many other states of the federation. We are at this level victims of the past misrule and this fact can only be appreciated by core progressive mind from any of the party. We shall, therefore, need a go-getter, an economic expert and not just a politician and noise maker.
The task ahead is certainly not a tea party. His Excellency, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Akanbi Aregbesola, while taking stocks of his life, his achievement, relationship, reconciling and appreciating his ancestor, must be very proud within his heart that God has been so merciful to him.
He is today doing his best and still counting. No doubt, his successor will have little or no business or any challenge in some areas, which includes school structures, roads, agriculture, security, infrastructure. In setting good structures to jerk up the state’s revenue, Aregbesola has also improved security in the state considerably and so his successor shall also enjoy the relative peace while pursuing policies to further rejuvenate the state economy.
Aregbesola is now above 60 years. Not many were so lucky to have their mother piloting them to that level, he is still waxing stronger. Having come, seen and conquered, we cannot but wish him many more years of greater services to Nigeria and the Yoruba as a nation. He would leave behind very remarkable leadership qualities and footprints that will certainly have a place in Osun history and, indeed, in Nigeria.
Live is turn by turn, one by one by one by God.
HOW TO REPOSITION ILÉ-IFÈ TOWARDS A GREATER HEIGHT ECONOMICALLY
Adam Smith the famous economic wizard was the first to realize that the Wealth of a community was not in the accumulation of commodities nor in the resource reserves that such a community may happen to possess.
But rather a wealth exists in the productive knowledge of its people. The ability to efficiently transform resources (factor inputs) into desired goods and services represents the true source of a nation’s wealth.Without exaggeration, I have not seen a Yoruba town that has mass land compared to Ile Ife, the ancient town shares boundary with Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State. Until recently, another border spot was up to Asejire river.To say the naked truth, the community reserves the honour of being the largest contributor to the revenue purse of the state of Osun.
Now let’s ask ourselves; to what extent are we as a people turning that into potentialities to change the fortune of our people positively, what is our attitude towards farming, how mechanized are we towards agriculture.
How are we positioning our local council towards tapping the so-called potentialities as stated above, which of the council’s decision is towards an aggressive creation of wealth or do we as a people have to wait until an indigene of this great city become the governor of the state of Osun? These and many other questions are what I think we should begin to ask ourselves without sentiment and without apportioning blame to any individual or office.
For instance, in the early 70s, some of us can attest to the fact that commercial activities were booming in our society better than the present scenario.Commercial Vehicles, such as taxi and other commuters were feasible at their best, the famous Oja Tuntun, Garage Oke, Idi Omo, General Hospital are places Taxis could ply to make their daily lives.Today is all gone, not just because Okada took over but because we failed to create further avenues to prolong such activities.
Physical and human capital represents the true embodiment of wealth. This wealth is used to generate factor income as a payment for the production of desired goods and services.
This can either be generated automatically, artificially and purposely with serious intention to create wealth.Let’s think in this direction and begin to do the needful. What is wrong in Ife east and Ife central working together in creating enabling an environment for the betterment of Ife people.There are precedences for such, Oodua investment company was a creation of late Obafemi Awolowo where states of like mind sat and contributed to making life meaningful for the people of Western State, it gave birth to Epe plywood, Wema bank, and others.Such noble effort is possible within similar nuclear families like Ife east and Iife central.It will not be wrong if we create another Oja Tuntun for the people of Ife and in such a place that taxiOkadaa and bus could ply to deliberately creating jobs for transportation business.
We can also create a great location for all inter state transportation outside the residential area to further boost commercial activities, physical therapy and people’s movement of our citizenry.As it is now, the present Oja tuntun is so choked and infact I doubt if people all over the town need taxi or bike to get to the location, so also garage oke and others.
Motor Parks now litter every corners in ile ife making it extremely difficult to control and police for security purposes.How good would it be if we as a people and as a community are working unitedly with our local council, present to the state government exactly what we want as a people, back it up with provision of land and in good thinkable location for those things we think can better our community….
I would like to see our council working in consonant with Ife development board, the palace to ensure we have in our midst agricultural equipments for the use of our farmers in rented capacity even as we embark on aggressive enlightenment campaign to our people to develop interest in farming, and we encourage them with land in tandem with state policies, to be so doing is to reposition this community for a better future of our dream.
Hon. Rotimi Makinde represented Ife Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, between 2011 to 2015.