By Ademola Orunbon
Ever since the attentive world rose to its feet to applaud Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s virtuoso performance in 3 years after in office, the dogs of war seem to have been let loose and they are baying for his innocent blood. Amosun and his beautiful wife have become the punching bag of miscreants on social media whose mercantile instincts mark them out as cannon fodder in the hands of aggrieved and out-of-favour politicians. Everyday, they concoct lies and tasteless falsehoods to nibble away at his soaring popularity among the long suffering people of Ogun State who are beginning to finally see that indeed, Ogun can be better. From all indications, the mission of the people who are sponsoring the endless calumny campaign against Amosun and his wife on social media is quite simple- to distract him from actualizing his dream of a new and better Ogun State and whittle down his rising profile as a promising leader of Egba. They figured that with his squeaky clean technocratic background and soar-away performance in over three years in office, he would dwarf so many wanna-be leaders if no muck was cast on him sooner than later. But what in concrete terms has Amosun done to earn their fear?
Close observers of Amosun’s over three year’s administration can attest to the fact that for the first time in a long while, Ogun State is witnessing a structured approach to governance. Amosun’s philosophy of governance is inclusive and open. Bringing his years in the commanding height of the private sector to bear on governance, Amosun had outlined his vision and mission in the Government House from the outset. Right from the election campaign days, Amosun had told Ogun indigenes that his vision was for Ogun State to become the 1st Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities while his mission was to create a socially stable, business friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Ogun State. So, he knew where he was going and how to get there. Again, it may not be certain but it would seem that Amosun is probably the first governor of Ogun State to articulate a vision and mission statement that would guide him in office. At the moment, Amosun has done a good job of keeping his eyes on the prize. And that is why they are kicking…..
Again, in full appreciation of the security nightmare that had bedeviled Ogun State through the years, Amosun had divined that his leadership goals had no chance in hell if he failed to tackle the security challenges in the State. So, he went after the kidnappers, armed robbers and secret cultists who had made Ogun State inhabitable with a figurative sharp knife. And what exactly did he do? Quite simple- he spent the Security Votes on providing security for the State; something that some past leaders either kept for themselves or shared with their godfathers. In three years, Amosun proved them wrong; cleansed Ogun State of violent criminals and restored sleep to the eyes of the masses. And that is why they are kicking…..
As a corollary to the success recorded in fighting criminals in Ogun State, Amosun’s Vision and Mission Statements are being realized in less than three years of his administration. Ogun State has become the new investment destination in West Africa. And once more, what exactly did he do? Again, quite simple- he set up an investment agency/ministry known as Ministry of Commerce and Industry and appointed some of Nigeria’s most brilliant investor to run it. The ministry quickly knocked down the bureaucratic bottlenecks that discourage investors from moving into new territories and opened the state up for a candid assessment, it worked like magic. From inception, Ogun State never had it so good in such a short spate of time. And that is why they are kicking….. Again, leaning heavily on his technocratic background, Governor Amosun realized that for him to have enough money to find what he calls the ENABLERS that support the five cardinal programmes of his administrative strategy, he could not continue to depend on the hand-downs from the federal government; that something had to be done in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). So, from an inherited IGR of N700m, he multiplied Ogun’s Internally Generated Revenue in some months, bringing it to the threshold of N5bn. And what, in fact did he do? Ogun State is home to some of Africa’s largest markets with numerous investments that generate instant revenue. Ogun hosts quite a sizable chunk of Nigeria’s manufacturing firms as well. Amosun simply opened bids for the investors and handed them over to competent hands, re-organized the various markets and opened an enlightenment campaign on the importance of tax compliance. The people began to see the use of the taxes they pay in keeping Abeokuta, Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Oja-Odan and Agbara clean and in the sudden return of sanity to Igesa and they responded in kind. And that is why they are kicking…..
Again, before Amosun’s coming, Ogun State had existed as an extremely fractious state. Its many illustrious citizens, some of whose private wealth surpass the GDP of some West African countries, had been polarized by the utter lack of cohesion at the center. The state needed a bridge-builder with deft social skills; someone who would climb down the moral high-horse to share a meal and a laugh with anybody. They found that in Amosun’s natural gregariousness. Before long, all the hitherto disparate forces from the maverick billionaire Buruji Kashamu to Mike Adenuga and even opposition figures like Otunba Gbenga Daniel as well as former President Olusegun Obasanjo among others have all found one reason or another to believe in Amosun’s approach to governance. They have seen a consummate consensus builder who truly loves his people. And that is why they are kicking…..
The final reason why they won’t stop kicking is because they had told people that Abeokuta and other town in the state was beyond redemption; that Abeokuta indigenes were anti-progress and had always stood in the way of plans to turn the town into a befitting capital of Nigeria’s most distinctive state. But now that four to five flyovers are springing up at the same time and changing the landscape of Nigeria’s most rustic state capital, they have come out kicking and punching. With the security votes that they could not spend to secure Ogun State, they have armed a band of youths that they could not employ and turned them loose on the social media.
- Orunbon writes from Federal Housing Estate, Olomore, Abeokuta Ogun State. He can be reached. * Via: firstname.lastname@example.org
These men have made it a habit to incite the people against Amosun’s three years administration with brazen lies and photo-shopped images. Their solitary mission is to derail Amosun from the path of progress by keeping him busy fighting real and imagined enemies. And just in case you still don’t get it, their vision is to ensure that Ogun State remains at the rungs of underdevelopment; perpetually aspirating for greatness and never attaining it.
Unmoved by the wisdom of our fathers in couching the timeless philosophy of Egba Omo’lu sabi, they see themselves as the political Sirius; the brightest star in earth’s sky in whose company other planetary bodies pale into mere fireflies. And because Amosun’s political star dared the rise so soon, they are desperate to dim it or at least cast a thick cloud across the face of the sky to shield its dazzle. And that is the tragic streak that has held Ogun State down for years. But will Ogun indigene allow that? Time, as they say, will tell……..
Orunbon writes from Federal Housing Estate, Olomore, Abeokuta Ogun State. He can be reached. * Via: email@example.com