Osun 2018: Why The Noise About Aregbesola’s Chief of Staff By Ibraheem Hussein

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The recently resolved brewing crisis between the government of the state of Osun and all the labour unions in the 27year state is a cogent testament to the ingenuity and the uncommon zeal at which the state helmsman, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has steer and paddle the canoe of government passionately. His determination and commitment for the rank and file of the workers and most importantly to the entire citizenry in his resolve to leave behind enduring legacies wrapped in a transformed state is commendable as the eyes can behold his little wonders in road construction, education, agriculture, peace and security, urban renewal etc.

Just recently, during a deep conversation with a middle and senior civil servant, working within the premises of the Bola Ige house, they paid glowing tributes to Aregbesola and his giant strides for raising the standard and gauge of governance and administration, as he has booked for himself a place in the history of Osun for generations yet unborn. However, considering the deep financial mess, owing to the inability of government to meet her statutory obligations as and when due since 2013, they absolved Ogbeni as he is fondly called and cast all the blame on some of his chosen lieutenants for their gross insincerity, who are now at the arrow head of blackmailing the governor after falling out of favour with him lately.

“One thing stands out distinctively in this administration,” said the middle officer, “if you interact with 10 of us, 8 will tell you that Ogbeni made the right choice in the appointment of his Chief of Staff COS, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, do you want to talk about his level of meekness and humility, level of sincerity and loyalty which remains till date immeasurable, his unassuming posture and strong dedication to duty which makes tower above all political functionaries. Indeed, he is an administrative stabilizer, yet not lousy and known for any flamboyance whatsoever despite his influence and affluence.”

The conversation became more interesting when the Level 15 officer whose only bitterness is the 50% salary accrued to him on a monthly basis, lambasted the false alarmists and political rabble-rousers for peddling unsubstantiated report that Oyetola appointment was a Lagos instigated motive into Aregbesola`s cabinet is solely for one reason, to take over from the latter after completion of his 8year tenure, as the COS is believed to be the cousin of the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And the need for a strong agitation that a Lagos made politician must succeed Aregbesola.

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As providence will have it, in less than 9 months to the gubernatorial election in Osun, Alhaji Oyetola remains the leading contender and conspicuously his preference becoming the anointed candidate is on the lips of all politically conscious persons. Like in every political battle where you blow your trumpet to scare your fellow contenders, the aides and allies of the incumbent Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Sulaiman Olasunkanmi Yussuf have sounded it loud and clear to all, that the Abuja power bloc of the APC is favourably disposed to the candidacy of their principal, as such it is no political fight at all. To buttress this assertion, the Deputy Senate President who is even of the opposition PDP at the full glare of cameramen publicly addressed Lasun Yussuf as the next governor of the state of Osun, what a conspiracy? Against the backdrop of ethnic division branded around, Yussuf and Oyetola are both from the Osun Central Senatorial district, and the winning strategy of the Lasun Yussuf camp is rooted in the manipulative tendencies of the Abuja so-called politicians, like it was in the Olusegun Abraham/Rotimi Akeredolu APC primaries of Ondo state, which will be technically used to defeat Oyetola, a rumoured candidate of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

Political watchers who are conversant with the style and tactics of Aregbesola has affirmed that even in his docile or sleeping state, he cannot be outshined or disgraced in the forthcoming contest on who succeeds him within the APC family: as he will definitely chooses his successor, because he is politically savvy and conscious. One must definitely sympathize with the people of Osun West senatorial district whose sole agitation is for a rotational power shift to their region, having produced Isiaka Adeleke in 1991 and the last occupant of the exalted seat from their axis. The Osun political barometer is adjudged to be measured in ethnic colouration and religious sentiment which negates the ongoing clamour. Like or loathe him, Aregbesola has raised high the bar of democratic governance in Osun which may not give room again for mediocrity, these are exact words of Hon. Wole Oke, an House of Representatives member from Oriade/Obokun federal constituency. So what is the criteria for continuity and sustainability of the Osun vision and projects which Aregbesola has started? CAPACITY…

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The legacies are many, the ambition for the Osun of our dreams are laid bare in templates, the vision are futuristic and can only be pursued by a capacity – driven intellectual, oooh!!!, gone are the days of allocation collection and sharing, goodbye to feeding bottle and ATM aspirants, saddled with the responsibility of administering the lives and future of our people. The present realities in Nigeria is glaring for all to see, we are in a disturbing situation where revenue accrued to the state cannot oil the wheels of governance efficiently, talk less of driving government policies and agenda. It requires creative thinkers who can reason outside the box and maneuver the state into prosperity when he gets little below N2bn and yet offset a wage bill of N3.6bn, one with a strong bearing in financial engineering rudiments and expertise, this is what Osun needs at this time, it is not a job for the boys. The yardstick for the rejuvenated infrastructural drive must not be lowered, and more than obvious, there are more comedians and political neophytes in the gubernatorial race in both APC and PDP.

While wrapping my discussion with my friends in the civil service, whose views transcends politics and bitterness of the structure in place, I concluded that, in the critical analysis of all the strong contenders available, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has demonstrated competence, leverage on his appointment as COS to display genuine attributes of leadership, administrative acumen and decisive policies for the common good of all. One would also think that his unique selling point will be his relationship with Senator Bola Tinubu, but his core strength is his untiring spirit for excellence, capacity and qualitative transformation of the Osun project. The succession plan fashioned by Babatunde Raji Fasola and Adams Oshiomhole of Lagos and Edo states respectively after the massive industrialization of the region, which created the enabling environment for continuity for their successors; Governors Akinwumi Ambode and Godwin Obaseki is the pathway on which the candidature of Gboyega Oyetola will be promoted. He is the best man for the job. Unlike his other contenders, he has impressed everybody with his unassuming status, not demonstrated desperation about his interest and desire to govern, yet without any political structure or affiliation to any political group, he remains the most talked – about and favoured candidate.
Another reservoir of knowledge and financial intelligence is the present Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bola Oyebamiji whose achievements as the top notch of the Osun investment portfolio is unprecedented, a target which will remain unbeatable in years to come. The campaign of rebellion and backstabbing, should Oyetola emerge as the flag bearer among the APC must be keenly observed. Going forward, it should be about competence above mediocrity, capacity above ethnic jingoism. The APC must set good standards and present their best material for the herculean task ahead of the PDP; an accursed party which must not be given a snippet to move Osun backward again. As someone who is apolitical and not too comfortable with the two dominant parties, can`t we begin to think of a third force, pathetically it is not realizable again if the target is the Osun government house come November 26th, 2018. Let us begin to compare and contrast all the aspirants jostling to succeed Aregbesola, assess them based on competence, capacity, strategic thinking, creative abilities, financial and administrative acumen which they have displayed in the last 25years in their personal and political livelihood.
More conveniently, it is easy to conclude that if somebody in the status and standing of Gboyega Oyetola is rejected then we have formed a basis for discussion which is the relegation of the state of Osun in a few years to come.

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Ibraheem Hussein writes from Gbongan, Osun state

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