Prince Wole Oyebamiji is the Secretary to the State Government of Osun. A thoroughbred broadcast media practitioner and administrator who rose to the peak of his career in the civil service as a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information before he retired and joined active politics.
In this interview with osunnewsroom.com by
Bukola Aderibigbe and Moshood Suleiman, Oyebamiji, a prince of Iwoye extraction, explains the magic wand behind the three year success story of Oyetola administration with a declaration that everyone in the state has tasted the beneficial impacts of progressive governance like never before. It is a must-read .
Congratulations Sir on your 71st birthday. We wish you good health, long life and more fulfilling days ahead.
On behalf of the Osunnewsroom.com ably led by the state Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, please accept our best wishes on your birthday again.
Oyebamiji: Thank you so much as I say amen to your beautiful wishes and prayers . My prayer is that you will also grow old in good health and find fulfilment in your journey through life.
As one of the respected voices in the cabinet of Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, who has the Governor’s ears, how will you describe him?
Oyebamiji: Objectively speaking, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola is a man very dear to my heart and by extension, the generality of the people of Osun who in the first instance entrusted him with their votes. By the special grace of God, he is the governor of our dear state today.
Osunnewsroom.com: Specifically what are the salient attributes in him which you have seen and learnt a lot from in the last three years you have been a member of the State Executive Council ?
Oyebamiji: Quite a lot . They are uncountable depending on which perspective one views his person and personality as an omoluabi and as a governor.
In the first instance, his faith-based background as the son of an Imam in the Muslim religion makes him to be a very measured and godly man.
Oyetola is not a man who reneges on promises. He keeps to any agreement reached with him. He doesn’t double speak. His yes is yes just as his no is no.
His gentle mien is another selling point that makes him a likable personality . He is calm, cool and kind. Even the way he talks and relates portrays him as a perfect gentleman by all yardsticks. He radiates kindness and humility in the way he governs the state and its people.
To know Mr Adegboyega Oyetola is to love him. This might not be unconnected with why in the last three years of assuming office as the Osun C.E.O, he has been using his person and personality to make a difference in the lives of over four million people of the state .
A good listener with a listening ear he is also . We are blessed with a boss who will not make a promise that he will not fulfil. Oyetola’s word is his bond .
Three years down the lane of his leadership , how will you prove this assertion of Mr Oyetola being a man who does not renege on his promises?
Prince Wole Oyebamiji: Thanks so much for this question.
During the electioneering campaigns to all the cities, towns and villages including hamlets of the state, he promised in each of the places visited that if by God’s grace he became the governor, all their yearnings and expectations
for a better life in Osun would be given the needed attention. Has he not lived up to the expectations of the people in this regard? The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Please go round the state to see developmental milestones made and still being made.
Shortly after his election, he embarked on a thank-you tour to all these cities,towns and villages where he had earlier made promises and pledges to again reaffirm an earlier commitment and pledge made to them. The thank-you tour provided the needed compass with which he is today carrying out a yeoman’s job in terms of bringing dividends of democracy to the people.
Oyetola is a development- oriented governor who makes no pretence about it at all. Oyetola is working and Osun is moving . To God be the glory
Osunnewsroom.com : Can you shed more light on the strides so far made by him in the last three years ?
Oyebamiji: Road rehabilitation and construction has today made Oyetola the long expected governor of the people . Virtually every part of the state is gradually feeling the impact of this administration. The roads that had long been abandoned for decades today have been brought back to life by Oyetola. The people of Asipa/ Yakooyo will not in a hurry forget Oyetola’s impacts on their lives with the new lease of life given to their road for over four decades.
Or how else does one explain the hitherto long abandoned Kelebe-Iragbiji road or Ada-Igbajo road which today enjoy fresh lease of life.
In all the nine federal constituencies of the state, it is now life more abundant as people are on a daily basis enjoying the much sought dividends of democracy.
Osunnewsroom.com : Let’s signpost the impacts of Oyetola in the field of education especially the various reforms made and still being carried out
Oyebamiji: You have said it all and I am happy you used the word reform of the education system in the state.
In the first instance, Oyetola did not just wake up to say that he wanted to change the education normenclature of the immediate past governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.
Rather the decision was informed by the yearnings and agitations of the people who were unhappy with many of the educational policies of the immediate past administration.
For instance, the single uniform policy wherein all the schools in the state had one single uniform. It was seen by people as an anathema as it was only in Osun state such a policy existed in total contrast to the National Policy on Education. Today our children now wear different school uniforms in line with the traditions and history of their schools.
This is another proof of an earlier assertion that Oyetola is a listening governor. He acted on the basis of what the school children, their parents and the old staff wanted .
In addition to the reforms introduced by Oyetola, all schools now bear their original names .
I want to confidently tell you that today in Osun there’s understanding and cohesion in all schools under Oyetola’s watch.
Teachers too on their own parts are saying they have never had it so good with all the necessary incentives being put in place to make teaching profession attractive. In Osun, under Oyetola, the teacher’s reward is no longer in heaven . It is now right here in Osun ( laughter )
The school children are not only happy but their parents and guardians are equally thankful . The heat generated before these changes were effected are better forgotten than remembered.
Let’s take a look at health sector of the state in the last three years.
the risk of sounding immodest, Osun health sector ranks among one of the best in the country today. Tell me a state in Nigeria where government places high premium on health much more than Oyetola’s Osun ?
Today in Osun, we boast of 332 primary health care centres which have all been given the needed modern look . The governor believes that a healthy state is a wealthy state.
As an attestation to his impressive performance in virtually all sectors especially health, education, roads and infrastructure, culture and tourism, commerce , Agriculture among others, Oyetola in the last three years has received quite a number of corporate and institutional awards.
Where are the funds coming from for Mr Governor to execute all these projects which we know run into billions of naira?
Oyebamiji (laughter): The secret is anchored on Mr Oyetola’s resolve and commitment to break new grounds for the people of the state. Like I earlier told you, the background of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola as a private sector player versed in the management of man and resources coupled with his prudent nature is a great blessing for the people of Osun.
This is a leader whose style of leadership is anchored on a template of openness and transparency . He runs a people- friendly government which tries as much as possible to upgrade the standard of living of the people
Were it not for the challenges of humongous debts inherited by Oyetola , the transformational leadership currently being enjoyed by the citizenry could have been greater and higher than what we see now.
The debts are being paid gradually by him and by the special grace of God it is just a matter of time before Osun will be debt- free as Oyetola is not leaving any stone unturned in this regard.
For instance, I can confidently tell you that the hitherto half- salary syndrome for the workforce in the state is now a thing of the past.
Workers in the various MDAs are now collecting their full salaries and other allowances on a monthly basis.
Workers’ welfare is being given full attention by the governor as and when due.
As a matter of appreciation and reciprocity,workers in return recently presented the governor with a Most Worker-Friendly Governor award at a state wide ceremony put together by the umbrella body of comrade Jacob Adekomi-led NLC.
Added to the performance chart of Mr Adegboyega Oyetola is the sharp improvement in the state IGR. We are not yet at the promised land but definitely we are gradually getting there.
Finally Sir , concerning the state owned media house, OSBC , is there any plan by the present administration to improve the lot of the station in terms of procurement of modern equipment for the station in line with industrystandards?
Oyebamiji: I am thrilled with this question because it has to do with my humble background as a media practitioner and administrator until my retirement to join active politics in Osun.
I want to tell you with all sense of responsibility that the present administration is not unmindful of the situation of things in OSBC particularly the facilities and equipment of the station. OSBC as a media house is our heritage in Osun . It is not in any manner being neglected.
However, efforts are in top gear to strengthen the station and make it the media house to beat in the entire south west.