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Adeleke has survived political landmines APC planted – PDP chieftain



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Diran Odeyemi once served as the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party. Odeyemi, who is currently the Chairman of the Governing Council of Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke, in this interview with , speaks on the first anniversary of the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke

The government formed by your party has been in office for about a year, how will you describe the experience of returning to power 12 years after it was ousted by Rauf Aregbesola of then Action Congress?

It has been pleasant and challenging; pleasant in the sense that the Peoples Democratic Party has a good track record of administration with a human face. If you recall, the party was voted into power in 2003 when Osun was on the precipice. Workers were sacked by the then AD government. Tension was already at its peak when the PDP government came in. The situation in 2022 was similar. People were simply fed up with the Adegboyega Oyetola administration. Workers were not promoted. The one done by the governor who was leaving office at the time was not cash-backed. No tangible developmental project was done for four years. So, the PDP was brought in by the people of Osun to rescue the state. Coming back to power, as I said earlier has been interesting because we have our track records and style of governance which put people first. All that our governor, His Excellency Ademola Adeleke did was to run on the track of massive infrastructural development without killing people who would use those amenities.

I mentioned that because of the size of the problem inherited by Adeleke’s administration. Imagine a governor facing 36-month outstanding modulated salaries of workers, mountainous unpaid gratuity, workers not promoted, and roads across the state in poor shape, among other wicked problems. Also, the government that exited deliberately planted landmines. After losing the election, Oyetola recruited indiscriminately into the civil service. Imagine, someone who was in office for about four years, and didn’t appoint permanent secretaries, on the eve of his departure, appointed over 20 PS, and chose monarchs against the traditions, all in a bid to create problems for the incoming administration. But to the glory of God Almighty, Governor Adeleke has done well to navigate the delicate situation created by his predecessor.

I disagree that not much has been achieved. If you go by what Oyetola achieved in one year of his administration, then Adeleke has done excellently well with the array of projects executed. If you were in this state during Oyetola’s first anniversary, can you recall any major project he was able to accomplish within one year? Don’t go outside Osogbo, the state capital. Think of any he did in one year within Osogbo. Can you recall any?

Good, I will give you just a little because five pages of newspapers cannot accommodate all that this governor has been able to achieve within one year. Within three months, Adeleke completed the Osogbo/Ikirun end of the Osogbo/Kwara boundary road. That one is of standard obtainable even in Europe. The stretch that Adeleke completed within his three months in office, Oyetola didn’t do as much as that in 4 years in office. Within Osogbo, the current administration fixed major roads. Some of those roads are located mostly where the indigenous Osogbo people live. They were in deplorable state before this administration intervened. Some of the roads are; Oja Oba (Iso Isu/Iso Ata/Iso Eran/Iso Ewe) – First Baptist Model Academy with Spur to Oba Oyetona Street, Osogbo that road is completed, rehabilitation of Osogbo/Ilesa Road (Gbeja Jct) – John Mackay (Oke Ayepe) – Costain Osogbo/Ilesa Road, completed, construction of Bolorunduro Street – Ifelodun Street, Oke Agunbelewo, Osogbo almost completed, rehabilitation of Oloruntedo Community (Costain) -Oba Adesoji Aderemi East Bypass, Osogbo. The road is completed Dualisation of Osogbo – Ikirun – Ila Odo (KWSB) (Completion of 10.5km section from Machine Tools – Ikirun. As I mentioned earlier, the road is completed. We did more than what I mentioned here in Osogbo. But let me leave it to those I listed.

Oke Oye- Oke Ita with Spur to Ogodogbo and Temidire Road, Ibokun, my hometown is completed, Ita – Ofa – Oromu – Araromi (Market Gate), Ilesa is completed, Atakumosa Market Road; Obiteni – Omo Ofe Road, Ilesa is completed. Also, Ademoroti Street, Oke Opo GRA road, Ilesa is completed, Enuwa – Oniyangi – Itaasin – Oke Atan with Spur to Egbedu – Ilode Junction, Ile-Ife is completed, rehabilitation of Otutu Road, Ile-Ife is completed. I will stop at that. I can go on if you want me to. Schools were renovated. 332 boreholes were provided across all wards in the state. The backlog of modulated salaries paid. Promotions done by Adeleke’s predecessor were cashbacked. Pensioners were paid their retirement benefits regularly. All of them were also enrolled in the State Health Insurance Scheme. Many more projects have been captured in the state’s over N100 bn infrastructure plan.

I like that question. Adeleke became governor about a year ago. Oyetola and his men were in office for four years before us. That administration retained at the state level some of the resources that should have been used by the local government to perform and yet those roads that Adeleke executed were left undone by that administration. Local Governments, under this PDP government, are having a new lease of life. But despite that, our, governor will still want to ensure that strategic roads are not left in a bad state regardless of which tier of government is in charge. Are those roads you referred to as local government roads located outside Osun? The answer is no! Should the governor have left them in a bad state? The answer is no! People who are using the roads appreciate Adeleke’s efforts and more such projects should be expected because this governor will not leave anything undone in as much as the welfare of the people is involved.

This issue you touch on is before court already. I will not want to comment so as not to run foul of the law. But my reaction briefly to it is that Adeleke has done everything bearing in mind his constitutional responsibilities and the fear of God.

It is not. He is the governor. He can’t just stay in Oke Fia and expect Canadian or German investors to bring money. He will have to build trust and create relationships. He can stop government officials from travel because of the lean purse of the administration but that doesn’t mean he can’t go out and do whatever is necessary to keep the state moving. Check how many times your President has travelled between May 29 and now. As far as I know, Governor Adeleke has not travelled out of this country since winning the election in July 2022. If he chose to go now, it is for the good of the Osun people.

What is good needs prayers to be better and what is better needs prayers to be the best. I want to commend the governor for being a selfless leader. His administration is not in office to ‘grab’ like the other people and that is why he could achieve so much under one year. I expect the governor to keep working hard to clear the mess created by the APC. He must not relent. He has done well and we will keep praying for him.

I really don’t get what those saying such want. If the governor has state assignments and personal issues to deal with outside the state, will they say he should not attend to them? We should not just listen to certain insinuations again. I believe Adeleke has not done badly handling the demands of his office as the governor. Interestingly, those of us working in the administration have seen him in his office in Osogbo, whenever we have need to. So, I don’t really understand the claim that he is not staying in the state.

Massive developmental project. They should expect more projects that will have direct positive impacts on the populace. This is not a wicked governor. Osun is having a happy governor and only a happy man can make the other happy. This governor paid severance packages to the APC state lawmakers who worked with Aregbesola during his second term and those who were in the House during Oyetola’s administration. Imagine a PDP governor paying APC lawmakers severance allowances. What was the last governor doing that he could not pay even his own party men their entitlement? People should draw the line and see who is who.