GOVERNOR Adegboyega Oyetola came into the saddle after a hard-fought election.
Oyetola, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was able to triumph at the end.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him the winner; a decision affirmed by the Supreme Court, following the PDP candidate’s refusal to accept the outcome of the poll.
After assuming office, Oyetola has taken some political steps that are different from that of his predecessors.
Observers said some policies did not sit well with residents of Osun State, which explains why the last poll was challenging to the APC. Oyetola had promised during the governorship debate and the ‘Thank You’ tour to review some of the policies.
After two years, the Oyetola-led APC government appears to have assuaged the feelings of the aggrieved members and supporters who had turned their back on the party.
The governor has been paying the monthly stipend of party executives across the state on time. Unlike the past era, they regularly receive their monthly stipend. This has helped in keeping the party together from the ward to the state level. As a result, the opposition that ought to be challenging them is faltering.
Two years after the pact between the APC and the SDP, Oyetola has been oiling the machinery that favoured him during the supplementary election. The SDP nominated, at least, two representatives to the cabinet of Oyetola.
The governor has also been engaging the elite, seeking their advice on the development of the state without making noise about it. This has elicited some citizen-driven policies. There are lots of underground consultations to bring grassroots politicians on board and ensure that they build a strong pillar around the governor.
Oyetola is a good crisis manager. When President Muhammadu Buhari directed all the ministers to go to their respective states and join hands with the governors in tackling the #EndSARS protests, some party chieftains never identified with the governor. Not even iwhen Oyetola was attacked in Osogbo during the protest, which was later hijacked by hoodlums.
Oyetola has reviewed some of the policies that did not sit well with the people. One of them is the Education Policy Review. In this regard, Oyetola abolished the single uniform introduced by his predecessor. He also restored the old names of the schools among other things. Oyetola gained the confidence of the people through the review of the policy. Despite the huge debt profile and the paucity of funds, Oyetola has been able to undertake some 22 kilometres road projects in Ede and Ejigbo, 13.5 kilometre Ada/Igbajo road, Ife North Road, Aagba road, Ara/Awo road among others. The above projects are however still under construction, while the Alekuwodo road network, the biggest ward in the state, and Ilesha roundabout, Irojo, Sabo expressway has been completed.
Some of the developmental projects that he is currently embarking on are the Awo/Ara road, Ejigbo road, and Ede township road.
However, there are complaints about the appointment of party members. The Ada APC members in Boripe Local Government Area said they are not getting enough slots. They said Oyetola appointed about six people from a neighbouring town that does not match up with their town in terms of voting capacity and left their community with none.
Pensioners are demanding for regular payment of their entitlements.
Political Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations Commissioner, Taiwo Akeju said Oyetola has achieved much within two years in the area of agriculture, education, infrastructure, health, and other areas of state concern.
He stressed that he reversed the education policy after the recommendation of the committee he appointed to look at challenges that is been faced in that sector. “The main opposition party campaigned seriously against the education policy that was in operation before Oyetola. But, when he came on board, he reversed it to 6-3-3-4, restored the schools to their original names, and abolished the policy of single uniform, based on the recommendation of the committee.”.
On infrastructure, he said Oyetola will still do more nothing because he will soon commence the project of Overhead Bridge at Ola-Iya to ease the traffic and prevent the incessant accident from the spot.
Akeju said members of the Oyetola cabinet have been working towards securing grassroots support for their principal. He said those that complained of marginalisation will be attended to by the administration. He said: “More appointments and tasks are still coming that party members will benefit from.”
Oyetola’s loyalists across the state have launched several campaigns for his re-election in 2022. The campaign is witnessing low turnout, but they are optimistic that it will definitely deliver his second term.
At inception, there was a rift between him and Aregbesola. Their supporters had not been hiding the feud; many of them have taken to social media platforms to express their grievances.
Contrary to the way Oyetola was undermined politically by party members during the 2018 election, he has since won them over with his infrastructural projects across the state.
He has also not reneged on the agreement he had with Omisore to secure his backing during the supplementary election. Omisore’s running mate in 2018 contest, Yemi Lawal was made the Commissioner for Youth and Sport. Others agreement reached have been fulfilled, not minding the difference in party ideology.
Many factors were responsible for the votes against APC among them was the Osun West agenda that led to the defection of the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, from the APC to the Action Democratic Party (ADP). There were also protest votes against some policies introduced by Aregbesola.
Adeoti, who contested the election on the ADP platform, left the party two months to the election. He secured 49,742 votes, which ordinarily would have boosted APC votes in the contest. This affected the vote that the party would have scored at the first ballot. After the election, Oyetola and other leaders of the party have succeeded in wooing Adeoti back to the fold, after promising that they will ensure justice across the board.
Source: The Nation