Governance: Osun Central and Osogbo's stake, By Waheed Adekunle

 


Osogbo is the state capital of Osun, no doubt. It hosts two powerful Local Government Areas, Osogbo and Olorunda, with the prime Council (Osogbo) situated at the indigenous locality of the capital city. 


The city is the Headquarters of Osogbo Federal Constituency comprising Osogbo/Olorunda/Irepodun/Orolu Local Government Areas. It is also the Senatorial Headquarters of Osun Central Senatorial District comprising Osogbo, Olorunda, Irepodun, Orolu, Ifelodun, Odo-Otin, Boripe, Boluwaduro, Ila and Ifedayo Local Government Areas respectively.


The Senatorial District is made up of 3 Federal Constituencies namely Osogbo, Ifelodun and Ila Federal Constituencies and since the creation of the state, Osogbo Federal Constituency and Osun Central Senatorial District have been observed to be the most populous zone in the state. 


Electorally and administratively, the zone is considered first in the scheme of things due to the inclusion of the state capital in the zone.


Successive governments' functionaries had been calling the shots in the zone since the creation of the state. There are former Federal Lawmakers both members of the House of Representatives and the Senate that have served in different capacities for the upliftment of the zone. 


Those legislators had, in one way or the other contributed their respective quota significantly to the growth and development of the zone as seen in what some of them did while representing the good people of their constituencies and district. 


The Federal Constituencies and the Senatorial District have been ruled interchangeably by lawmakers from either the progressive party- All Progressives Congress (APC) or People's Democratic Party (PDP) over the years.


It is on record that the immediate past Senator, Dr. Surajudeen Ajibola Bashiru of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who served the people of the District between 2019 and 2023 recorded unprecedented/monumental achievements in the history of the District. 


As a sitting Senator and first termer who rose to the leadership position at the Senate as the Senate Spokesperson, the position was judiciously and meticulously used to orchestrate development for the District, the state and the nation. 


His tenure, no doubt, brought unparalleled socioeconomic and political gains as well as quality representation and advanced legislations to the District within four years.


Ajibola equally brought to bear his vast knowledge of governance, particularly as it relates to legislation and pool of experiences in public and private sectors while serving the good people of Osun Central Senatorial District. His achievements are too numerous to be stated here but the records are there for whoever is interested to fact-check.


However, the same Senatorial District where Osogbo, its headquarters has been the cynosure of all eyes due to the presence of development is now begging for serious attention. 


In the build up to the election, the incumbent government promised to turn the state capital to a mega city in no distant time of assuming office. Lies were sold to the public and unsuspecting electorate to discredit the immediate past administration's efforts at turning around the socioeconomic fortunes of the state in general and Osogbo, the capital city in particular. 


As part of his electoral promises, the incumbent Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke boasted to have come with local and foreign currencies not only to matchup the oppositions financially at the polls, but to invest in the economy of the state if elected governor.  


Quite unfortunate, some indigenes of Osogbo who were PDP card carrying members and sympathizers openly embarked on campaign of calumny against the then incumbent government of the erstwhile Governor Adegboyega Oyetola tagging it all short of unprintable names to oust it. While some notable personalities went on underground anti-government campaigns at different fora prior to the 2022 gubernatorial election.


Clandestinely, the then government was worked against for no just cause as reasons behind their decisions were neither justifiable nor logical. Though, it became a good riddance to bad rubbish. The erstwhile Governor is now a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Unconscientiously, they voted against the Oyetola's administration forgetting that the same government on assumption of office began its infrastructural development strides in the state capital and other notable towns and cities in the state as many roads that were hitterto begging for attention were fixed in record time.


Alekunwodo network of roads were fixed despite the obvious global coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the entire world as at the time the roads were under reconstruction vis-a-vis other selected roads within the state capital. The then administration didn't only give the state capital due attention but a deserved facelift of development in all strata of the economy and human endeavour.


Regrettably, the electorate were seemingly manipulated to vote massively for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) with a target that the city will earn the largest chunk of government attention in the scheme of things. But where is the attention now? 


The incumbent government while canvassing for votes also promised to effect change on assumption of office whereby Osogbo would become Nigeria's London of England. But the reality is dawn on the people today. 


They overrated themselves. They overblown their capacity. They blew their competence out of proportion forgetting that they lacked political prowess and administrative wherewithal. 


They promised heaven and earth while canvassing for people's support and seeking for votes. They vowed to deliver good governance and meet the people at their point of needs. 


They pledged to uphold the fundamental objectives and statutory obligations in the discharge of their duties. They swore to an oath to champion the collective cause of the masses regardless their socioeconomic, political or religious differences. 


Meanwhile, a painstaking assessment of the government in the last 11 months of administering the affairs of the state has shown the stagnation bitting the state capital with little or no significant infrastructural development to up the game.


The Osogbo-Ikirun-Inisa-Okuku-Ila-Odo Kwara State boundary dual carriage road that was initiated by the past administration of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola which was continued by the immediate past Governor Adegboyega Oyetola in which a section of the road was completed to Ikirun by the present administration remained the only thing one can make reference to as worth beneficial to the state capital not minding the fact that the immediate past government had completed the segment of the road by 70 percent before exiting office. 


One would have expected a rapid development, astronomical progression and monumental development as promised by the current administration but quite unfortunate, the reverse seems to be the case.


It is on record that most of the past administrations began their developmental projects in the state capital and the initiative usually worked for them. We were all alive when Osun was carved out of the Old Oyo State with Osogbo the state capital. From the military administrators to the civilian governors, Osogbo had been the topmost priority not until recently.


Though, the development of the capital city has always been a collective responsibility as legislators from the Federal Constituency and Senatorial District do complement the state government's efforts to meet the yearnings of the people across sectors. Quality representation always play a pivotal role in the development of the city and this has been the experience in the past. Alas, nothing as such at the moment. 


It is pertinent to ask the impact of the state government and the lawmakers representing the good people of the District since their emergence. Are we saying there is no unity of purpose and direction that can bring about the desired development to the city and the people? Are they truly representing us? 


Very bizarre, the pictures taken from the ongoing construction site of the Community Hall (Isale-Osun Multipurpose Hall) were very ridiculous justifying same with what expected to be expended for same purpose.


The indigenous people of Isale-Osun had been promised by their lawmaker to construct an ultramodern Community Hall for their benefit but what is ongoing at the site is far from expectation.


The picture of the #70million ongoing construction of Community Hall (Isale-Osun Multipurpose Hall) is attached to this piece.


Can we say this is a proposed cinema hall or viewing centre in view of its size and architectural design? Can we say it is a supporting building for the main building that is yet to be constructed? Is this what #70million will bring?


These and many more are the questions agitating minds of the discerning citizens and concerned residents of the state capital. 


Indeed, publics are watching painstakingly while the socioeconomic and political analysts are taking notes of events. Another election season is knocking the door. 


May Almighty Allah continue to protect our dear city, Osogbo in particular, Osun State and Nigeria in general.


May God heal our land!

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