Veteran journalist and former Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi, has commended Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the State of Osun for the soon-to-commence construction of the Olaiya flyover.
He added that Oyetola’s proposal to construct the bridge was a bold step in the right direction, one that will not only solve contemporary problems but even future ones.
Farounbi, in a statement released at the weekend, also described Oyetola’s decision to construct the flyover as one that puts him in the class of great leaders who get ahead of challenges long before they become problems. He went on to give instances of past leaders who conceived solutionsthat came in handy years later, stressing that what Oyetola was doing at the Olaiya Intersection should be applauded.
In his words: “L.K. Jakande wanted to do a metro-line in Lagos in 1983 but it was cancelled because someone argued it was not priority. Now Lagos State is in dire need of metro line and the Government cannot afford it.
“In 1954, Chief Obafemi Awolowo announced the introduction of free education and the payment of 10 shilling tax to fund it. NCNC opposed it vehemently, and the people supported the NCNC by rioting all over Western Region. In the 1954 Federal elections, NCNC defeated Action Group because of free education. Yet Awolowo persisted. Today, Yoruba is proud of the heritage given us through free education.
“In 1959, the same Awolowo announced that they would start the first TV in Africa. NCNC criticised it vehemently and some people supported the views of NCNC that TV wasn’t a priority. They said that it was a waste of money, given that many European countries didn’t have TV then. Awolowo persisted and gave us WNTV. Today we are proud of the first in African heritage.
“Same thing when he started the Liberty Stadium, at a time Nigeria didn’t have a national stadium. Yet he persisted.
What am I trying to say? Leaders don’t only solve contemporary problems. They also solve future problems which they can see, but their followers can’t see.
“What if Oyinlola didn’t start UNIOSUN, for which he was criticised, and LAUTECH was taken over the way it has been taken over?”, Farounbi stated. He enjoined every well meaning citizens of the state at home and in diaspora to join hands with the Oyetola administration to build a greater state.