Recent political developments in Ogun State, ranging from imaginary to spewed invectives by cynics, detractors, scoffers and sceptics, are dangerously worrisome. The detractors of the current administration in the state have been marauding with scathing criticisms at the slightest opportunity, losing sight of the Abiodun administration’s quantum leap in the provision of qualitative governance since its inception in 2019. The leap has manifested in the ongoing completion of inherited, abandoned projects, initiation and execution of lofty, new projects and programmes in the last 28 months in office. One is, therefore, surprised at the gross display of hostility by individuals who have chosen to close their eyes to the commendable performance of the administration. They instead tread the path of treachery and perfidy as their stock-in-trade.
It is disturbing that the atmosphere of shenanigians created against the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun is unbecoming of such warped minds with their sheer outlandish behaviour. Such acrimonious tendencies, many would have thought, should be alien to genuine critics or public analysts who are truly committed to keeping a government on its toes so as to deliver on its campaign promises.
It is noteworthy that it hasn’t been my tradition as a lover of any responsive and responsible Government in power and also as a political watcher to always respond to concocted wild allegations. It has, however, become imperative to set the record straight contrary to the wild allegations and unfounded claims in an OPINION titled, “How Abiodun’s Aides Hijacked Governance In Ogun”, published in an online platform, THE ENCOUNTER, dated Friday, October 1, 2021. In the piece, the writer, one FOLORUNSHO FATAI ADISA, laboured to weave unfounded allegations, bordering on what he termed, “incompetence” while assessing prejudicially Governor Dapo Abiodun, the executive Governor of Ogun State. This is a Governor whom critical minds with the right frame of mind, sense of judgement and clear analytical lenses would have scored 100 per cent. Using the word “incompetence”, therefore, in the piece smacks of unmistakable bias and blurred vision. It is indeed a misnomer in depicting a performing Governor who came on board at a time when governance in Ogun State was almost brought to its knees before May 29, 2019!
In the Holy Scripture, Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge”.
“Knowledge is power,” so says a popular maxim.
Given Adisa’s warped viewpoints in his piece, he appears to live in another planet and too blindfolded to comprehend the innovative and dynamic governance style of Dapo Abiodun and the landmark achievements in Ogun State that have equally become models to other states in Nigeria.
At its inception on May 29, 2019, the administration came up with its mission-statement that is predicated on the acronym, ISEYA, in driving the economy of the state. Prince Dapo Abiodun has remained the Governor of the entire state, and not of a particular section.
It is mischievous, myopic and self-serving for anybody to allow himself to be cheaply used to distort the realities on ground and deliberately taint the truth for reasons best known to him.
While descending so low, Adisa hurriedly forgot to understand the dynamics of power in an ever-changing clime like ours.
“In other words, waiting for Governor Dapo Abiodun to fix the many problems that are wrestling Ogun State is like waiting for Godot as his government has been hijacked by his aides, most of whom are more experienced in the art of politics than he is.
“From the highhandedness of the SSG, Tokunbo Talabi, the Chief of Staff, Shuaib Salisu, to the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs, Rt. Hon. Egbetokun who have passively usurped the administration from the Governor as a result of his inexperience in the art of governance, Ogun State is currently suffering from the asphyxiation that is a product of powerful tussle and incompetence. Consequently, the government is passive and unresponsive to the woes of the good people of Ogun State – an example of the clamour for help by the people of Ifo and Ado Odo Ota local governments of the state over the impassable road networks of the areas”.
It needs to be pointed out that every principal officer mentioned above has his assigned responsibilities and none has either abdicated or shirked them. All the principal officers are loyal and committed, and they all enjoy cordial relationship with the Governor.
Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Governor, is in firm grip of the administration and has never been found wanting as the number one citizen of the Gateway State. To discernable minds and enlightened people of Ogun State, these spurious allegations must have arisen out of sheer jealousy and vindictiveness because the landmark achievements of the current administration in the various sectors of the economy are there for all to see. Talk of agriculture, health, education, trade and investment, road infrastructure, housing, job creation, amongst others.
Consequently, it could be easily deduced that Adisa is a product of ethnic bigotry whose interest lies strictly in seeing only to the rehabilitation of the roads that connect his abode, Ifo (Ogun Central) and Ado-Odo/Ota (Ogun West), without due considerations for others that make up the state.
As a promise-keeping administration that has lived up to its billing, the last six months (January 2021 to June) under review, there has been the execution of 54 road projects across the state, with Ogun Central taking the lion’s share of 29, Ogun West 10, and Ogun East 15. This commitment to road rehabilitation across the state with clear statistics show the drive of the government to ensure that no section or part of the state will be developed at the expense of others.
It is only the cynics who see nothing good in the various lofty programmes and projects the current administration is initiating and executing that would be economical with the truth. Without mincing words, Abiodun has built trust through good road networks across the state to enhance socio-economic growth and development.
However, from the outcome of the “Report of the Contract Review Committee” chaired by Mr. Adekunle Mokuolu and submitted to Prince Abiodun, on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, it showed that the current administration would need more than N218 billion to complete all the abandoned projects spread across the three senatorial districts, resulting from the various contracts the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel (between 2009 and 2011) and his successor in office, Senator Ibikunle Amosun awarded between 2011 and 2019.
For the umpteenth time, it is the resolve and commitment of the current administration to have an even, fair, just and equitable development of all parts of the state such that no parts will be developed at the expense of others.
The Governor sees the state as a family unit for even development with respect to the interest of the principles of equity, justice and fairplay.
The Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration has lived up to its billing as a responsive and responsible government. The administration’s drive to ensure that its citizens enjoy dividends of democracy is a manifestation of the premium being placed on infrastructural development which is an integral part of the “Building Our Future Together” mantra to strategically position the state for economic growth, improve standard of living of the people and decongest traffic-jam along major roads. Thus, the administration has embarked on projects that would have direct bearings on the people’s well-being.
It must be noted that initiatives and set goals such as road maps for accelerating rapid growth and development of the various administrators differ. We have those that have built on inherited legacies, while others have chosen diametrically opposite paths.
In the last 28 months, it is on record that the current administration led by Prince Dapo Abiodun has left an indelible footprint on the sand of time, in turning around the fortunes of the state for the better. A silent achiever, devoid of noise-making to herald his developmental strides, Abiodun, three days after assuming the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2019, began making waves when he entered into a social contract with the workforce of the state government. Unlike in the era of owing workers’ salaries, that characterised the immediate past administration, the governor made a radical departure from the tradition of his predecessor.
“Omo Baba Teacher”, keep on soaring like an Eagle in your giant strides to make Ogun state great among comity of states, as no amount of scathing criticisms should distract you.
“Igbega Ipinle Ogun Ajose Gbogbo Wa Ni”.
Mr Femi Ezekiel (08185729864) wrote from Abeokuta, Ogun state capital