By Lanre Aminu
“The care of human life and happiness, not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government”– Thomas Jefferson. To say that the incumbent governor of Osun state, Senator Ademola Adeleke has used sheer brilliant performance to turn our beloved state, Osun to a one party state will merely be underscoring the obvious.
“Great minds have purpose; others have wishes,” says Washington Irvin. Also, in the words of Charles De Galle, “Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men and men are greatly only if they determine to be so.”
It has been established that there is a strong link between leadership and sustainable development. The destiny of any nation or people is inextricably tied to the quality of its leadership. The history of many great nations is basically the history of its leaders, charismatic men and women of vision who led with sincerity of vision and who were not afraid to take decisions, no matter how unpopular, so far, as they believed it is the right thing to do.
Leadership is the only reason, why in spite of our material and human resources, Nigeria remains one of the poorest nations of the world. In his book, the problem with Nigeria, Chinua Achebe submitted that the problem with Nigeria is squarely that of leadership. Not a few will agree with this writer that the problem of leadership is doubly so in my beloved state, Osun.
Prior to Governor Ademola Adeleke’s assumption of office as the governor of Osun state on November 27, 2022, the scandalous performances of successive governments with rare exceptions, should be one of the criteria to be used by the electorate to decide who get their mandate in future elections and not Bashiru Ajibola’s empty boast that Adeleke will be defeated in 2026.
Bashiru must be suffering from a debilitating grandeur called false delusion. It is mere wishful thinking for the likes of Basiru and his co-travelers to think they can use federal might to subvert the will of we, the long-suffering people of Osun state who have used our votes to undo the incalculable harm done to us during the 12 better forgotten years of the APC governments.
There is no doubt that any attempt to deploy the power of incumbency to rig any election in Osun will boomerang, it will have severe repercussions for Nigeria and its democracy. So, for the sake of Nigeria’s democracy and the country, itself, Basiru and his cohorts should perish that thought.
There is no gainsaying that Adeleke, God’s rare gift to Osun, is like Halley’s comet, who appears but once in a nation’s firmament. To the good people of Osun state, Adeleke has too much to show as credentials for a new leadership. In the words of Warren Benni’s, “the new leader is one who commits people to action, who converts followers into leaders, and who may convert leaders into agents of change.”
Today in Osun state, Adeleke has set standards for future governors and most of the Nigeria political class. He has demonstrated that there is nothing as good as a leader writing his name in gold in the hearts of his people by keeping faith with them.
It is indisputable that Adeleke has performed creditably well in the last one year. To live in the age of giants and tower above them is indeed, a claim to greatness, one that is seldom witness in the history of mankind.
It is on record that Adeleke inherited a moribund state and a forlorn citizenry from the APC when he assumed office. After 12 years of dashed hope, the governor has within a period of one year stabilized the polity and consolidated democratic governance by instituting meaningful social and economic progress through the rehabilitation and construction of hitherto ruined rural and urban infrastructure.
Adeleke owed his triumphant success in speedily and effectively developing the state to twin combination of qualities. The development of the state in all sectors is humane and humanitarian. In Osun state today, the saying holds true that salus populi suprema lex, that is, the welfare of the people is the supreme law.
While Pharaoh Rameses was widely noted to have persecuted and oppressed his people, particularly, the Israelites, just like APC did to the people of Osun state for 12 years of the locust, another king of the same nation, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, just like Adeleke, in the last one year believed that the glory of the king is the welfare of his people. As St Christopher once remarked, if you doubt my ability, behold my works! Adeleke’s landmark achievements in all sectors are reassuring testimonies of his greatness.
One major secret of the success of Adeleke’s administration is the prudent management of available resources. He introduced frugality, transparency and integrity in the management of public resources, which invariably distresses the beneficiaries of the old order but gladdens the hearts of the silent majority. For Governor Adeleke, the welfare of the people is the directive principle of government policy. He fervently believed that leadership ought to be about service, comfort and happiness for the greatest number.
There is no iota of doubt that Adeleke symbolizes selfless, sacrificial, visionary, courageous and determined leadership that we badly need to move Osun nay Nigeria forward. It is safe to say that he is service, sympathy and empathy walking on 2 legs! The foregoing is attested to by the peaceful environment, prompt payment of wages and salaries of civil servants, continuation of various government’s programs for youth empowerment, meeting the healthcare needs of the people through renew and massive investments in primary health care and massive investment in education.
The Adeleke led PDP administration has succeeded in restoring faith in government, maintained security, empowered the people, invested in physical and human capital development and ensured due process and attitudinal change. In terms of politics as service, Adeleke has become a model.
One bane of Nigeria’s opposition politicians is their inability and unwillingness to acknowledge and praise the good deeds of widely-acknowledge performers and leaders like Governor Adeleke, rather it is fault-finding, blame and accusations all the way in order to regain political relevance. While one recognizes the inalienable right of every individual or group within a democratic dispensation to freely express their opinion on any and every issue, such a right does not translate into an unbridled and unfettered freedom to promote selfish interest in the advancement of a cause.
It is an incontrovertible fact that constructive criticism is an essential ingredient of a virile democracy, because it is a catalyst to progress. It did not only help leaders that are derailing on their toes, it also helps to promote accountability and good governance. But when criticisms degenerate to the level of reactionary propaganda, muckraking, personal abuse, unabashed falsehood, outright lies, it loose it’s raison d’etre. No right-thinking person can accuse a governor who is spending his N600m monthly security vote on life-changing projects, of spending N400m monthly to maintain the government house he is yet to be living in?
Anyway, in the words of Herbert Humphrey, “The right to be heard, doesn’t include the right to be taken seriously.” Anyone who belief APC lies will believe anything! In the words of Peter Scot, “Comments are free, but facts are sacred.” Little wonder, Oscar Wilde submitted, “In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane”.
Is it not the height of insanity for any one let alone, a ruling party at the centre to claim Governor Adeleke’s ambitious, remarkable and revolutionary N100b infrastructural projects which will touch every sector is a scam? Pray, on what moral ground can a party, APC that bungled all the opportunities it has to make a difference in the lives of the people stand to maliciously criticize a widely acknowledge performing administration like of Adeleke? APC, a natural refuge of scoundrel, soulless politicians and congenital liars have forgotten that the highly intelligent and politically sophisticated people of Osun state are too enlightened to be fooled and brainwashed by politicians without ideal and without conscience whose sole motivation for seeking public office is primitive accumulation rather than service to the people.
Not a few will agree with this writer that their criticism lacks integrity. Very often, we are so blinded by our obsession with finding faults with others that we forget that we do also have our flaws. In politics, opposition parties and figures are guiltier of this vice.
In their bid to win public support, recapture power or explain their failure at elections, they find fault with every utterance, action or programme of the government in power, scarcely sparing a moment for introspection. In the process, they neglect to identify those internal factors that may be responsible for their failure to win the power they so badly seek. And this can be a fatal flaw.
Sound critics believed in balanced criticism: praising the achiever and the upright, and blaming and reproaching the misfit. Where leaders do well and are applauded, it enhances their performance. As noted by a Nigeria professor of political science, Isawa Elaigwu, “the future of Nigeria cannot be great unless she can reward her sons and daughters (no matter what their human weakness is) with thanks.”
Let me end this piece with the words of an American author and philosopher, Booker. T. Washington, “No man who continue to add something to the physical, intellectual and moral well-being of the place where he lives without proper rewards”. At the appropriate time, the good and appreciative people of Osun state will reciprocate Governor Ademola Adeleke’ good deeds.
Aminu writes from Ilobu-Osun, Osun State.