The one year of Governor Ademola Adeleke’s administration has been successful. Recall the several landmines that were laid by the past administration after the loss of their re-election bid. The governor had to issue some executive orders to restore normalcy in the state, as members of some communities were up in arms against the decision of former governor Gboyega Oyetola’s rush into appointing some traditional rulers in some ancient communities; also, for some last minute decisions that virtually set the state for ruins, the illegal local government elections held barely less than a month to the end of that administration, the knee-jerking, over-bloated employment into the Civil Service without due process, just few weeks before November 27 handover date.
There was also no record of anything to guide and usher in the incoming administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke in terms of proper handover processes. The governor and his team however surmounted it all and began to move steadily. We thank God Almighty because the last 12 months, though challenging, have been successful.
But some people, especially those in the APC felt the governor performed woefully. What is your reaction to such a position?
I will be worried if the APC, being a nest of mischievous elements, will begin to admit and praise the activities of the PDP government of Governor Ademola Adeleke. As the main opposition in the state that is still smarting from their loss of power in the state, it will be difficult and illogical to expect them to praise Governor Adeleke for his laudable strides in one year.
The opposition party also listed 27 infractions against Adeleke. Can you respond to some of those issues raised?
For us, everything they listed was a mere fallacy of a disjointed opposition. I pity them because it is not easy to wriggle out of a bartered image they created for themselves in the state through several obnoxious policies and wicked reign. So, they have to go as low as they can to appear to be alive in their confused state.
Take for instance, the bogus amount of over N130bn claimed to have accrued to the state from the federal allocations in one year was a mere beer parlour talk carried too far. Perhaps they forgot that the world is now becoming smaller by the day when it comes to information, and I advise that they should stop disgracing themselves with their mental laziness.
Data from a recently published document of Osun State budget performance on the BudgIT Openstate website, which can also be verified with publications on the Office of the Accountant-General and Nigeria Bureau of Statistics websites, put Osun’s share of FAAC revenue from Q1-Q3 at N61,791,671,831.96 and Independent Revenue at N27,405,272,559.69. The sum of both revenue sources did not in any way match the bogus figure quoted by the Osun APC and these things are verifiable as I said.
They also claimed that we have spent N2bn on food, refreshments, and entertainment in three months, attributing a paltry sum of N88m to Kwara State, one of their party-controlled states. That also is a sign of some intellectual emaciation as it was against the facts in the recently published document of Osun budget performance on BudgIT Openstate website which put spending on meals and refreshments in the period under review at N456,401,071.13 as against the N2bn misleading claim of the Osun State APC. We must note that the amount quoted above was spent by the entire cluster of government agencies, including tertiary institutions, for meals and refreshments at office and public functions.
You have rated the governor high in terms of performance but can you mention a few of those things he did?
As I have mentioned on different platforms, responding to this question is just a matter of fulfilling the rhetoric of public conversations. Spirited efforts of Governor Adeleke in addressing the need of Osun people is in the open.
The Civil Service which has been in comatose owing to inhuman treatment to the sector by the past government is now being put in the right spheres as the state workforce can now be proud of their dignity in service to their fatherland. The backlog of over 30 months unpaid salaries by the last administration is now being paid gradually. All the election time-induced promotions to various categories of workers are now being regularised and cash-backed as required.
Pensioners are also the top priority of Governor Adeleke, as their entitlements are being paid regularly to lift them off the quagmire of the past. Over 19,000 of them (the pensioners) have been enrolled in the Osun State Insurance Health Scheme where they can continue to access free health care anywhere, anytime, free of charge, using a smart card issued to them in this regard.
The Imole Free Healthcare scheme is another intervention programme that has impacted positively the well-being of over 50,000 beneficiaries. Here, many of the beneficiaries who hitherto, have resigned to fate have been rescued from the jaws of death. Surgery operations that were out of the financial strength of many residents were performed, ranging from hernia, protruding lumps, cataracts, and several old age-associated ailments. Many of those who benefitted from the intervention are still thanking the governor today.
Road infrastructure is also not left out as over 50km of roads have either been constructed or rehabilitated in one year. The road projects are evenly distributed across the nine federal constituencies, in the first instance, as a matter of urgent priority. The tranches of roads constructed so far were suggested by the people in various designated communities. Nothing was imposed by the government as to the location of such roads and several other projects like that.
Another 50km are also on the verge of completion as we speak. This is also the case with the 332 motorised water projects provided by Adeleke’s administration in one year. The people in all the electoral wards were made to agree, approve, and communicate to the government, their unanimous decision on locations of the water projects. This approach has contributed to the seamless delivery of these projects for the good of our people.
The governor has also convened a special education summit to proffer a holistic solution to the dwindling fortune of the education sector in the state with the report already submitted to the governor for implementation. Several schools have been renovated to provide an environment conducive to learning among numerous achievements, in just one year of Governor Adeleke.
Going by the resources available to him, will you still say he has done well?
The administration has done well and has even surpassed expectations going by an avalanche of deliverables within the period under review, as well as people’s assessments here and there. The resources you talked about, aside from being a matter of conjectures, are in the public domain. It is not as if there’s been any significant increase in the liquid inflow to the state from the center but the governor has been operating on the mantra of prudence and accountability, paving the way for these achievements. You can imagine a state having to service a debt of over half a trillion naira, yanking off almost N3bn from the state purse every month in debt servicing.