“Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men and men are greatly only if they are determined to be so”—Charles De Gaille.
A philosopher once opined that every fool can make history, but it takes the genius to write it. What he left unsaid is that every virtuous genius (We have Machiavellian geniuses, including self-declared evil geniuses among us) will write the history of those that will inspire and elevate humanity, teach the society the redeeming options to their lives and show them the way out of the woods. We have the history in our archives of history makers who carried trucks to the Central Bank to load dollars out of the bank, carried it into waiting planes and flew it to foreign banks while the citizens over whom they are supposed to govern wallow in criminal and needless abjections. Those same history makers stifle opposition and send the opposing voices into their early graves either through bomb parcels, poisoning or gunshot wounds. No genius will devote his/her time to the narration or documentation of such bizarre and unedifying history.
There are non-contentious challenges in fixing fundamental errors of the past. It is easier to pull down than to rebuild. The horizon is bleak and gloomy, even in the perception of incurable optimists. This is the sole reason why positive thinkers always seek out the silver lining in our horizon and amplify it in order to keep hope alive among disgruntled, disenchanted and disillusioned populace. Any where we find a speck of light, a glimmer of hope, we highlight it so that our humanity may clutch into the fact that in the darkest of times, there remain possibilities of progress, of change; that if it happened in America and a Osama came to light the touch for the depressed humanity in America and the rest of the world, then it is possible yet in our nation that the fulfillment of the dream of democracy may yet come.
That is the essence of this piece, which is to re-appraise the value of the contribution of Rauf Aregbesola, the Executive Governor of Osun State, for us and for those who dream dreams for this nation. It is only an example that things can be done to make our democracy yield positive values for our people instead of raging poverty, unemployment and the physical and spiritual decadence that envelope our world today, no thanks to PDP better forgotten era. Let detractors continue to criticize or abuse Aregbesola. That is the sacrifice a true leader must be ready to absorb. Though he might not be perfect (only God is perfect), his leadership foresight is undeniable. After all, Awolowo with all his legendary feats that lifted the South-West region to developmental front burner had political conflicts with regional challengers and adversaries. The good thing is that he outlives and overcome all his adversaries. Awo, the leader of leaders left his foot prints indelibly on the sand of times to the extent that he is still being celebrated till today, thirty years after his demise.
Though Aregbesola has his own short comings (only God is infallible), his larger than life resolve to guard his hard-earned integrity by fulfilling his constitutional assignments and social pacts with the people of the state deserves commendation rather than condemnation. It would be foolhardy for any one not to recognize that the man, Aregbesola that have been at the helm of affairs in Osun state in the last seven years has demonstrated the capacity to solve problems and make positive changes in the lives of the people. He has proved that he is a man of mission and vision. The innovations and ingenuity he brought into the business of governance have translated into increased performance in all sectors.
Undoubtedly, there are marked differences in the approach to government and the style of leadership different from that of his predecessors in office, especially his immediate predecessor who turned the serious business of governance to a huge jamboree. While the head of the immediate past administration relied solely on his own arbitrary ways of doing things, many will agree with this writer that the head of the current government, Aregbesola relies on team work and systematic delivery of democratic dividends. The proactive moves of Aregbesola-led APC administration in terms of infrastructure and structural development of the state that had hitherto not witnessed any meaningful development since inception should not be ignored. The area of emphasis extends to road construction in all the major towns and rural areas where the farm gate culture is way of life for the people and redesigning of the state capital Oshogbo to wear the face of a modern state capital. Some of the many positive actions Aregbesola has taken can be seen on the internet as well as on the streets where the result of the actions are manifest.
It is to be found in the investment into education, health care delivery, agriculture, housing and environment and so on. It is to be found in humble and intelligent utilisation of expertise and competences on the ground rather than playing God and divinity by men in power. Before Aregbesola came on board, many people in the state had looked on with gloom concerning the state of affairs in that state. Indeed, people are not happy at all with the administrations of his predecessors in office. The level of arrested development of the state in addition to the rot and decadence he met on ground was totally unacceptable to him. The foregoing explains why he was too much in a hurry to develop the state for it to be at par, if not surpass his contemporaries. In the light of the foregoing, many will agree with this writer that Aregbesola administration is bearing the scars of the woeful failures of the administrations that came before it. Consequently, not a few will agree with this writer that his traducers must be taken refuge in the cocoon of self-delusion to think that pure political revisionism can detract from his land mark achievements.
Aminu writes from Osogbo, Osun State