May 29, 2011 was a day many Nigerians looked forward to with a lot of expectations. And for various reasons too, the main reason being the general acceptance of the conduct of the elections that ushered in a new set of leaders across the country. The people of Ogun State, in the South-Western part of the country were no less ecstastic about the wind of change blowing across the state.
May 29, 2011 was a day many Nigerians looked forward to with
a lot of expectations. And for various reasons too, the main reason being the
general acceptance of the conduct of the elections that ushered in a new set of
leaders across the country.
The people of Ogun State, in the South-Western part of the country were no less ecstatic about the wind of change blowing across the state. And this is
understandably so, for while many of the other states can be said to have
savoured the dividends of democracy under a peaceful atmosphere in the last
eight years, the people of Ogun State have not been so lucky.
It has been one crisis after the other, so much so that the same Ogun State
that produced the likes of Obafemi Awolowo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Tai
Solarin, MKO Abiola and Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka now became synonymous with
lawlessness and other anti-social behaviours.
The entrance of Senator Ibikunle Amosun was, therefore, a refreshing breather
from the pollution of the last eight years.
Following his landslide victory, Amosun immediately hit the ground running
towards actualising his mission of rebuilding Ogun State through a well
articulated five-point programme which addresses the basic needs of the people.
A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Amosun soon embarked on
on-the-spot tour of facilities in the state with a view to determining the cost
of fixing these facilities which were in a sorry state.
Hospitals no longer dispense drugs due to lack of funding over the years.
Children roamed the streets instead of being in the classrooms as schools have
now been commercialised.
Even government agencies could no longer generate any revenue as most of them
have been given to private concerns at give-away prices, all in the name of
In spite of this mountain of challenges, Governor Amosun set about delivering
his electoral promises meticulously.
The roads were first to receive the attention of the government with the
rehabilitation of some township roads across the 20 local government areas of
the state, as well as some federal roads that fall within the state, including
a portion of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway and the Abeokuta-Lagos Expressway. The
hospitals also got a boost with the on-going refurbishing of 47 health care
health centres across the state.
Given the premium placed on education by the Amosun administration, the
government has begun the construction of modern school blocks in 100 schools
spread across the three senatorial districts of the state. Civil servants in
the state are still basking in the euphoria of their new minimum wage of
N18,250, which is above the amount recommended by the Minimum Wage Act. In
addition to that, the government is about completing the process of creating
10,000 new jobs for unemployed youths in the state.
By the time Governor Amosun came into office, residents of the state were
groaning under the scarcity and resultant high cost of kerosene.
The Governor promptly moved in by flooding the state with kerosene through
collaboration with some independent petroleum marketers. Although, I personally
believe that one year is a good time to measure the success or otherwise of any
administration, it is noteworthy that Governor Amosun within his first 100 days
in office has started well.
As laudable as these achievements are however, they are by no means the
greatest achievements of the Amosun administration in the last 100 days. The
greatest achievement, in my reckoning, is the return of normalcy to Ogun State.
Normalcy here is taken to mean that citizens can now move freely in any part of
the state without any fear of harassment from any quarters. This normalcy is
manifested in the cordial relationship between the executive and legislative
arms of government.
Now that normalcy has returned to Ogun State, the citizens can now sit back and
watch as Governor Amosun unfolds his developmental programmes which in four
years time should have changed the entire face of the state, given the
Governor’s almost infectious zeal and commitment to rebuild the state.