Opinion by: Adesoji Omosebi.
I stumbled into a discussion by a group of three few days ago saying “Gbongan bridge tagged, “Bisi Akande Interchange” is not necessary, it was a waste of money.” I could not interrupt because I was not invited into their discussions but almost impossible for me to resist the temptation. Honestly, I didn’t know which of the divide they belong but I took solace in the fact that Hon. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has become an issue in the State of Osun. It is either you are for him or you are against him.
I have been attacked severally on social media for the fact that I showed my support and tribute of affection to a man many people misunderstood. I have traversed through the South West states, I have not seen any governor who is closer to his people under the present dispensation than Ogbeni Aregbesola.
My affection for the one time Comrade was not far-fetched, it dated back to the time he was the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructures under the civilian government of Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu. He was an epitome of hard work.
Coming to the State of Osun, his prolonged battles at the Electoral Tribunal showed a man with a dogged fighting spirit. How he won the battles at the tribunal would be a story for another day.
Ogbeni as he is fondly called is a dogged fighter, a man with a political will, a strategist, a humanitarian, a welfarist, a grassroot mobilizer, a man of the people, a man many love to hate and above all, here is a man with a large heart who forgives and forgets.
I have never met Ogbeni one-on-one but my first impression of him was my first visit to the State of Osun at the APC Secretariat in 2013. I was strolling along Gbongan Road towards Olaiya, I discovered a retinue of crowd at the Secretariat. I decided to have a glimpse of who was in the midst of the crowd, alas! It was the Chief Executive of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola addressing the people with little or no security. I was wondering if this was the same governor who changed the name of the state from “Osun State” to “The State of Osun”. A man who created a local national anthem for the state that the opposition accused of planning a Republic within a Republic?
He looked so simple. You can hardly differentiate him from any other person in the crowd. I had it at the back of my mind that “this is my man.” What is in this life that you cannot humble yourself before your own people? His entourage was without intimidation, no blowing of siren like others would. I have never witnessed any form of thuggery in any of his gathering even when it was held in the night. He is a man of peace, he is one of the people to whom late Bob Marley chorused “whom that cap fit, let him wear it…” He deserves any accolades anyone can give.
The last time I noticed such simplicity in a leader was the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Pa Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, Senator Bola Tinubu and Chief Olusegun Osoba just to mention but a few of them.
Ogbeni knows his people, his people knows him, he knows their needs and aspirations and they do not shy away from it. Even in the face of recession he still commands their love for him. He is a likeable and a lovable personality.
What differentiate him from the modern progressive governors is the fact that he is closer to the people in the execution of his programmes. His programme is for the benefit of the people in every nook and cranny of Osun. His quality road network transverses the cities, towns and villages. His first term witnessed rural electrifications into the rural areas.
His programmes and execution of it shows the governor who had a plan and readily prepared to make Osun great unlike some governors who distanced themselves from the people they governed. In spite of owing some months of salary arrears, he was able to carry the workers and its leadership along through persuasion and diplomacy. In every opportunity he had he always appreciate the workers for enduring the attendant hardships of the economic recession. This is what made him different from others who dished out insults to their workers at any given opportunity.
Development can only thrive where there is adequate security of lives and properties, this, Ogbeni took care of in the first year of his assumption of office till date.
He has given a legacy to the State of Osun by constructing over 1,000 kilometres of quality rural urban/rural road network infrastructures
70 state-of-the-art educational facilities for elementary, middle and high schools with complementary renovation of additional 1,500 classrooms.
O-meals for the little children in primary schools and O-Ýes for the youths are all replicated by the federal government.
In the area of humanity and welfare, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has saved many lives through Osun Special Ambulance Scheme (O-Ambulance) to all and sundry. At least 12,000 lives have been saved from untimely death within four years of operation in which I was a witness of how a victim was saved in November 16, 2013.
His drive to make the state more environmental friendly by rehabilitating mentally deranged persons combed and dumped on the streets of Osun is yielding joy for hopeless families. 160 or more of such have been rehabilitated by the state as declared by Comrade Biyi Odunlade in the stewardship of Ogbeni administration in the past six years held few days ago at “Meet Ogbeni Till Day Break.”
Lest I forget, the cordial relationship between the state legislatures and executive is the hallmark of the governor and the leadership of Osun Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Nojeem Salaam achievements. The perfect cordial relationship between these organs of government is the secret of success of Ogbeni administration. Little wonder the Osun Assembly conferred on the governor on the 23rd May, 2017 with highest honorary award, “Life Membership of the Parliament” to mark his 60th birthday.
The achievements of Hon. Rauf Aregbesola shows that he is a true progressive, a democrat, a true descendants of Oranmiyan and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a progressive, and an ardent believer of welfarism and egalitarian society.
Love or hate him, Hon Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola is a man of the people, a manager of men and resources.
As the charismatic governor of the State of Osun, Hon. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola celebrates his 60th birthday today, here is wishing him happiest, joyous, glorious birthday coupled with sound health, strength, wisdom, long life and prosperity.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR!
www.sojworld.com © June 21, 2017
NOTE: This article was published on May 25, 2017 to commemorate Ogbeni @ 60 but this blog, www.sojworld.com was hacked by unscrupulous elements. All news information and article posted disappeared.
We decide to repost this article for record purposes to honour the birthday BOY after this site was restored on June 12, 2017.