Ogun State And The Challenges Of Leadership

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Ajibola Bakare

Bordered to the south by Lagos State, Oyo and Osun States to the North, Ondo State to the east and the republic of benin to the west. Ogun state is one of the south west States in Nigeria with Abeokuta as the capital and Largest city in the State. Ogun State was created on the 3rd of february 1976 and made up of over 4 million people. Ogun state has 4 different tribes vis a vis : Remo, Ijebu, Yewa and the Egbas. It also has 3 major senatorial districts which include : Ogun Central, Ogun west and Ogun East senatorial districts.

Ogun state since creation, had been governed by 14 different governors, the last being Otunba Gbenga Justus Daniel who got elected on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in 2003. He was at the helms of affair till May 29 2011 when he handed over to the incumbent Senator Ibikunle Amosun after serving for 8 solid years. Otunba  Gbenga Daniel fondly known as OGD in the political circle remains the Longest serving governor ogun State ever had.

Several Political Players partook in the political activities in 2011 when senator Ibikunle Amosun got elected as the 15th governor of Ogun state on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). So much were said as promises just to get the mandate of the people by the incumbent governor, but we are but such promises remain so as we  mark the first year anniversary of ibikunle led administration. Many would have thought so much would have happened in the state in the area of infrastructural development, employment opportunities, provision of basic amenities and of course, dividends of democracy. But unfortunately, we are celebrating empty promises, several pregnancies as well as mediocrity.

Rather than settling down to office and face governance squarely with rapt and undivided attention, Senator Ibikunle Amosun proceeded to the Golf resort, a popular relaxation center for indigenes of Ogun State owned by an Egba Chief : The Apogunpote of Egba land, late (Chief) Oluwole olumide. The big question on the lips of many was the rationale behind the governor’s action as he personally supervised this act of wickedness and destruction. The simple answer was because the Egba chief was a consultant to the government of Otunba Gbenga Daniel (Amosun’s number 1 enemy). This ofcourse as well as the fact that the multibillion naira Golf resort belonging to Chief Olumide was also confiscated by Senator ibikunle amosun’s government. This, now doubt, led to the untimely demise of the accomplished architect as he committed suicide . This was the begining of Doom in Ogun state.

Part of the promises of Senator Ibikunle Amosun was the provision of free education as well as free health care system as clearly evident in his manifesto. But one year after, pupils in the government schools who ought to have ben enjoying free education still go to school with their personal desks and chairs. Amosun could comfortably while sitting  in one grotesque corner of education universe , celebrating the sharing of textbooks at how much? #4.5billion naira and expect such pupils to compete in the global labour market with pupils brought up and trained with latest technologies ? your guess is as good as mine. Should we say the governor is bereaved of what free education really is. He aslo talked confidently about free health care but we still pay for as little as hospital card in our hospitals and charged exhorbitantly for drugs. Indeed this type of health care is the freeist. one thing that I have come to observe is that no promise is too sacred to break or reverse as long as senator ibikunle is concerned. Also when a business is ineffective, it shuts down or it is shuttered, but when a government is ineffective, it makes promises it cant keep, and when a government makes promises it cant keep, the people suffer and dont get a fair shot.

How can a man who promised to create employement opportunities retrench over 2,000 government workers who were employed through the policies of the OGD’s administration? Why should a man because of politics deny several bread winners of several families job opportunities? He successfully sacrificed the future of several citizens on the altar of politics. He promised 10,000 jobs within his first 100 days in office, but the same fate that  other promises suffered was what the job promise also suffered. Any figure less than what was promised is rergarded as a disappointment. And you begin to wonder if truly this was a mission to rebuild Ogun state or to destroy the legacies and values which Ogun state was known for.

One of the numerous Achievements of Otunba Gbenga Daniel in the educational sector was the establishement of the first University of education in Nigeria, the second in Africa and the eighth in the world : TAI SOLARIN UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION (TASUED) situated in the Ogun east senatorial district. But why would Amosun want to destroy such a brilliant initiative which other states in Nigeria today are emulating? We are tired of the governor playing politics with everything including the future of leaders of tomorrow as well as several bread winners who earn their pay in the insititution. Senator Ibikunle Amosun as a way of justifying his actions blamed the decision on the fact that much funds was needed to effectively run the institution annually in #732 million , a mere 7.2% of the governor’s personal spending this year. As far as this government is concerned, the comfort, well being and funding of the executive capacity of governor Amosun is almost 20 times more important than the education of 15,000 students of TASUED and the well being of 900 members of staff of the institutionand their families.

Amosun is celebrating the totoro-sokori road that leads to the his ancestral home as his achievement in a year even though the road is yet to be completed. Yes, the same existing 4 laned sokori road. Many wondered why the governor would want to further expand a 2.4kilometer dualised road that attracted no economical value to the state with such a huge sum of #1.3billion which amounts to #541.67million per kilometer. This is nothing but a collosal waste of fund in comparison with the immediate administration dualised 40 kilometer road (with 999electric poles) with #1.9billion, Not to mention that Amosun did not believe in the competence of the people that voted him in power as demonstrated when he had to invite a private company handle the construction(major and minor) of the road that leads nowhere.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun is also today as part of his one year in office celebrating the purchase of Armoured Personnel carriers which he said he procured with #4 billion tax payers money all in the name of fighting crimes. In as much as we all know that crime is a national problem and not peculiar to a state, much an idea is of course a good one. Need I also say that the major cause of crime in any clime , state or nation is unemployement. If that is the case , why wouldn’t an Amosun invest in job creation that would prevent crime than invest in APC that would stop crime as it is much more easy to prevent a thing than to cure it. The effective use of these armoured Personnel carriers may be hindered by anything when it is most needed. what explanation would be given if the tyres got punctured on its way to curb a crime or any other mechanical fault develop hitherto. It is very germane to also say that even after the procurement of the APCs, several robbery operations were successfully carried out : one of which was the burgle of the internal revenue service office in Okemosan where over #20million tax payers money were carted away.

It was glaring that a would be governor of a state was not well conversant with the state of affairs when he was campaigning. A statement credited to the governor indicated such. He said ” we knew it was bad, but we did not know it was this bad” . As at one year in office, the government has accumulated so much debt. Yet it criticised the last regime whose debt profile for the whole 8 years reign was estimated at #49.2 billion, an amount lesser than the debt senator ibikunle amosun has incurred in just one year. Who then is after the treasury of our dear state? Days after becoming governor, he sought and got the approval of the state house of assembly for a #25billion naira loan and later another #40 billion naira foreign loan. Whether loan, bond, contractor financing , the fact still remains that Ogun State is still going to repay with interest rate, leaving us in debt especially Considering the fact that the governor during his campaign tour before he was elected governor said he was going to rely majorly on the federal allocation and the internally generated revenue, but today, the story has changed when in actual fact, the Federal allocation has tremendously increased from what it used to be in the last administration. Ogun state is headed towards anarchy if necessary measures are not taken.

What more could confirm the cluelessness, ineptitude of the governor if not the statement credited to the permanent secretary in the ministry of information who asked government workers to do away with anything OGD which include the Etu cap that is identified with the ‘OGD FAMILY’ . Why would a governor think what you wear on your head determines your loyalty and productivity. I thought it was what was present in the head and not what you wear on the head. If Governor ibikunle Amosun could re-write history, maybe he would have removed OGD’s name from the history of Ogun state, but unfortunately that is the last thing he can ever do. even after one year in office, this man is yet to settle down to governance as the governor of Ogun state but rather busy chasing shadows of his predecessor. Is Mr governor going to keep doing this till he exists the highly exalted seat of the governor come 2015?

When some governors like Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa ibom state have completely built a state owned international airport,  a state like Ogun state under the leadership of senator Ibikunle Amosun is still distributing textbooks and notebooks in the name of free education. What a shame? When a governor begin to list projects that can be credited to a council boss as part of his one year achievements in office ,then you are rest assured that something is wrong somewhere. Recently, the federal government gave the approval for 7 cargo Airports, a vision seen a long time ago by Otunba Gbenga Daniel and got approval from  the then late President , Umar Musa Yar’adua,but today the cargo site had been turned to a dumb site by the incumbent governor who refused to carry on with the project even when they say Government is continuum.

Democracy without opposition is like a bicycle without pedals. The rate at which Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s cyber warriors decend on whosoever have differing views on the way and manner with which the governor is ruling is so alarming.  I am specifically allowing myself to be a peeper of senator ibikunle Amosun’s gubernatorial days in ogun state, how would historians describe him tomorrow as a governorship character or need we again remind him  that power is transient and he will not sit on the governorship throne till eternity.

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