Government at all levels of the society attains power to govern through the instrumentality of the Electorates, based mainly on the manifestos of the parties which clinch electoral victories at various times. Thus, elections are won through the votes of Electorates, based on their acceptance of the socio-economic and political programs of political parties or the superiority of one party’s manifesto and electoral promises over the other, as well as the uniqueness of the candidate(s) put forward. It is an outcome of mutually beneficial agreements between the people and representatives of political parties.
The existence of government is basically to ensure the security of life and property of citizens; ensuring that the living condition of citizens improve socially, economically and politically, more than before the government in question assumes position of authority. The present government of APC in Ogun State, under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR was willingly voted into office by the people of Ogun State in 2019, with various strategic electoral promises, which made it preferable to the electorates, compared to many other political parties which were then in contention. These were further boosted by the pedigree, credibility, leadership acumen and other sterling qualities of Prince Dapo Abiodun himself. For clarity, some of the election promises made by the APC and its then gubernatorial candidate – Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR in 2019, upon which victory was earned are epitomized by the acronym ISEYA and they include the followings:
- I Infrastructure development
- S Social Welfare and Wellbeing
- E Education and Human Capital Development
- Y Youth Empowerment and
- A Agriculture and Food Security, among other commitments.
It is over three years now, that the government of Prince Dapo Abiodun took over the administration of Ogun State and it is only good and proper at this material time, to assess its performance vis-à-vis its electoral promises; whether or not the promises precedent to his emergence as Governor have been fulfilled, so that the electorates in all areas of the state could take appropriate steps to protect themselves; by ensuring that their welfare and interests are not mortgaged in the future. Not that alone, Ogun State like any other state in Nigeria has now got to a very critical situation, when actions and decisions to be taken by the people at critical times, such as when the General Election is approaching, must enhance its growth, development, peace, progress and stability, hence, my resolve to take retrospective, introspective and prospective views of the contemporary situation within the state. Haven done these, I am convinced that certain critical things must be done, to salvage the present precarious political climate in and around the state.
From the fore-going, I have elected to take a panoramic view and assess the performances of the present state government of Prince Dapo Abiodun, in Ogun State, particularly in West Senatorial District, in line with its avowed promises to execute the key programs highlighted above and most importantly, accord the West district a just and equitable patronage with other districts in the state, assuage the marginalization which the people had suffered over the years and give them a pride of place in the state. Without any equivocation, the government has treated every division and senatorial district of the state fairly and impartially, without allowing any part of the state to lag behind in the scheme of things. As a matter of fact, West Senatorial District is enjoying a sense of belonging and renewed hope, more than ever before.
Ogun State had experienced various political administrations since its creation in 1976, especially since the return of democratic form of government in 1999 and the Governors that had served at various times made great impacts in various areas of human endeavours: they all scored pass marks. However, after considering what West Senatorial District enjoyed till today, it could be averred without any equivocation that it feared better under the current administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR, given the fact that he has just governed the state for three years out of its first constitutional four year term; his administration has performed creditably well just within a short period of time.
It should be recalled that immediately Prince Dapo Abiodun assumed the reins of power as Governor in 2019, he deployed all in his arsenal full blast, but in subtle ways, to administer Ogun State purposefully, to make significant impact in the socio-economic life of the Gateway state. All the promises which he made during the electioneering campaign have virtually being kept. Some of the wonderful development activities of the Dapo Abiodun’s administration in West Senatorial District, in the last three years include:
- Construction and rehabilitation of six major roads within Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government area, including the long-awaited Atan-Lusada-Agbara road, which leads to the main Industrial Estate of Ogun State, but which was abandoned and allowed to become deathtrap over the years.
- Construction Oke-Ola road in Imeko
- Construction of the Long abandoned Imasai-IganOkoto-Ayetoro road.
- Re-construction of Ilaro-Owode road.
- Rehabilitation of Papalanto-Ilaro road.
- Reconstruction of a section of Idiroko-Ipokia road.
- Reconstruction of Ilase- Koko-Alari road
- Duplication of Ilaro township road.
- Construction of affordable Housing units.
- Supply of Classroom and office Furniture.
- Massive rehabilitation and construction of Classrooms.
- Massive rehabilitation and construction of public Health Centers.
- Massive investment in Agriculture, which has made Ogun State the food basket of Nigeria and farmers empowered.
- Electrification of Communities.
- Provision and installation of transformers.
- Provision of Motorized and Solar powered Boreholes.
- Construction of Lockup shops
- Construction of modern toilets.
- Job creation, from which many of our graduates have benefitted, as well as Youth and Women Empowerment, to mention a few.
All these land mark projects are replicated in the other two Senatorial Districts, apart from other mega projects, including the elusive Airport which in nearing completion and the Deep Seaport project, to mention a few, all of which have boosted the socio-economic life of people in and around the state, more than ever before.
Unfortunately, the excellent and scintillating performances of the Governor had been under reported, giving room to some people, especially politicians to under estimate his capacity and then nurse the dream of upstaging him an excellent performer during the next General Election in 2023, instead of encouraging him with another mandate of four years, to do more for the good and wellbeing of the wonderful people of Ogun state.
It is necessary to plead with the relevant agencies of government responsible for information, communication and publicity to do more popularize the achievements of the Dapo Abiodun-led administration intensively and extensively, for more awareness down to the grassroots, so that it could be properly assessed, and appreciated by the electorates in the nooks and crannies of Ogun State, with a view to rewarding the Governor with a new mandate in 2023, being the anchor man of the current performing administration. This would afford him the opportunity to firmly encapsulate and entrench good governance, even distribution of amenities and equilibrium in the socio-economic and political development of Ogun state.
With the overwhelming contemporary socio-economic challenges world-over, the great efforts of government may seem a far cry from what the people expect. It is then wise to spur on a good administrator like Governor Dapo Abiodun, to continue to serve his people purposely; for more dividends of democracy. By implications, it would be inappropriate to toy with an idea of electing a new Governor in 2023, when the state already has a sitting one, who is functional and as a result of which he had won laurels and accolades in various fields of human endeavor in the last three years: Prince Dapo Abiodun is the most decorated Governor in Nigeria in the present dispensation.
At this juncture, it is necessary to mention the fact that from the days of Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, the first civilian Governor of Ogun state (1979 to 1983) till today, the state has experienced a seamless tradition and abiding principle, whereby every Governor that had served in the state is allowed to do his full two terms of eight years consecutively. However, we had an exception in Chief Olusegun Osoba, who could not serve his two terms consecutively due to the disruption of then civilian rule by the Military men. Yet, he had his second term, when he pioneered the return to democratic governance in 1999. Therefore, Governor Dapo Abiodun’s second term should be a forgone conclusion; it does not make any sense to dissipate energy by trying to change a winning team when the game is on and good results are being achieved. The people of Ogun State are enjoined to give the Dapo Abiodun – led administration a fresh mandate in 2023 and after his second term in 2027, the rotation will then move seamlessly to the next senatorial district cum division whose turn it is to have the shot at Ogun State Governorship. This would allow peace, tranquility, rancor free transition and family like from one administration to another to be the hallmark of democracy in the Gateway state.
The incumbent Governor is already acquainted with the idiosyncrasies of the public service in the state, as well as the nitty-gritty of public administration and would just build on the foundations which he had already laid, he wouldn’t dissipate energy or resources on the arduous tasks and time consuming process of finding his bearing like a starter would do. It should be mentioned that one of the banes of development in many countries is the inconsistency in leadership and policies, exemplified by the constant change of political leaders. Therefore, it is efficacious to encourage Governor Dapo Abiodun to serve out his two terms in full, like his predecessors, for a solid and unbroken development activities, in all sections of the state, as it is being witnessed currently. The state will derive maximum benefits from this.
May God grant the people of Ogun State the perception and wisdom to effectively assess and appreciate the giant strides of the present government in Ogun State, with a view to rewarding the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR with another mandate in 2023, so as to consolidate his good performance to-date.
Chief Samson Olu. Oderinde, JP, is Ex – Member, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Governing Council (2017-2021). Former Snr Sp. Asst. Political to Deputy Governor of Ogun State (2003 – 2011) and Former Executive Chairman, Yewa North LG (1997-1998)
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