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Adeleke: The Echoes From Vanguard's Award By Sarafa Ibrahim - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Adeleke: The Echoes From Vanguard's Award By Sarafa Ibrahim by CityMirror: 2:44pm On May 25
It was a recognition that not only echoes the reality of the infrastructural uplift that Osun state has seen under GovernorAdemola Adeleke to the local population, but also the national audience. Vanguard newspaper, a leading national newspaper, conferred the Personality Of The Year Award– Infrastructure on Governor Adeleke.

The Eko Hotel, which hosted the event was filled to the brim, and conveyed the import of the recognition more better. No fewer than four Nigerian Governors, including the host Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu won different categories of award on the night I personally dubbed as #NightOfHonour. Business tycoons and accomplished entrepreneurs, like the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace, Dr. Allen Onyema picked up awards too.

Sure, those who have chosen to sell a wrong impression about Osun under Governor Adeleke would be disappointed. But fact, as English writer and philosopher, Aldous Huxley opined about two centuries ago, "... do not cease to exist because they are ignored." The fact about Governor Adeleke monumental strides in infrastructure was the attraction for Vanguard Newspaper in considering him for the award.

And you do not have to take my word for it, just take a moment to listen to one of the country’s leading newspaper on why it settled for Governor Adeleke as its Personality Of The Year on Infrastructure. At a visit to convey the award letter to Governor Adeleke in Osogbo, Mr. Jide Ajani who led the top management of Vanguard Newspaper said the interest of the medium was triggered by a viral video of the open commendation of the Governor's infrastructural upgrade at the Osun State University by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Clement Odunayo, and upon an independent assessment, it "discovered what the Vice Chancellor said the video was a tip of the iceberg."

He went on to note that "Osun is indeed a huge construction site. You (Governor Adeleke) have continued to complete abandoned projects. You have completed many inherited projects from your predecessors. We have your records on roads, bridges, water, school and health centre upgrades among others. We read your multi-billion naira infrastructure plan and its ongoing implementation. You did not play politics with the development of your state."

Looking at Osun and the pace of infrastructural renewal happening, one will have no reason than to go with the assessment of Vanguard Newspaper because it was apt. Since coming to office in November 2022, Governor Adeleke has prioritized changing the face of Osun's infrastructure in a bold drive for industrialization and improving the quality of lives of residents.

And just as Vanguard Newspaper noted, Governor Adeleke is not playing politics with the development of the Osun people. This is why, unlike his predecessor, Governor Adeleke is not abandoning inherited projects because doing so will only hurt the people. Within his first 100 days in office, Governor Adeleke mobilised contractor to complete the 10.5km Osogbo-Ikirun dual carriage road, hence, bringing to an end the years of pain suffered by road users.

Only recently, a former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, commissioned a VIP lodge in the Government House, which was left to rot by the previous administration but completed by Governor Adeleke. And as we speak, the construction of the final phase of the Osogbo circular road, popularly known as Ona-Baba-Ona started by the administration of Rauf Aregbesola is ongoing as we speak. Just like those before it, the road will soon be open add to the list of the state's road network and benefit citizens.

In-between all these, Governor Adeleke is also constructing new roads to address the mountain of road infrastructure deficit met on ground. Within his first year in office, Governor Adeleke constructed about 90km of roads in Osun, and unlike the experience in the past, it was spread across the nine federal constituencies that made up the state. In October last year, Governor Adeleke unveiled an ambitious multi-billion infrastructure plan, which not only answers the infrastructural needs of today, but also cater for the infrastructure of tomorrow.

Overhead bridges, dual carriage roads, among other road projects are ongoing in Osun as we speak. This is in addition to the 58.5km stretch of road, ensuring that at least a 1.5km road is constructed in each of the local governments in the state. And it is not just roads that is getting the attention of Governor Adeleke as public schools and primary healthcare centres infrastructures across the state are receiving major upgrade.

In his first year in office, Governor Adeleke undertook a total overhauling of 31 public schools in Osun state and equipping them with furniture and other essentials to improve the learning environment. The second phase of the infrastructural renewal in the education sector is ongoing at the moment as efforts by the Adeleke administration to reposition education in Osun intensifies. The same physical transformation is happening in the state's health sector as a total of 346 PHCs are undergoing major rehabilitation to enhance output to the public. He's also investing in upgrading water infrastructures to make clean and drinkable water available to the people.

So, it was not surprising to see Vanguard Newspaper recognised Governor Adeleke alongside other distinguished Nigerians in various spheres of life with an award. What the national newspaper did was to affirm what is obvious to all about Governor Adeleke's infrastructural strides in Osun state, except for those who have chosen politics at the expense of reality.

To cap it all, Governor Adeleke is not just building infrastructures but also investing on the welfare of the people. From the time he assumed office and now, Governor Adeleke has taken pragmatic steps in defraying inherited salary debt and implemented the payment of the financial implication of promotion received by civil servants under the previous government. In terms of pensioners welfare, Governor Adeleke has expended nearly N28 billion in payment of inherited pension liabilities and for the first time in Nigeria, enrolled the entire retirees in Osun state on a healthcare coverage.

In short, Governor Adeleke is doing excellently well in the governance of Osun state and this is what the Vanguard Newspaper echoed. And mind you, there is no sign he is stopping and Osun is definitely moving forward.

● Sarafa Ibrahim is the Special Assistant to the Osun State Governor and writes from Lagos, Nigeria. He can be reached via neyoclass09@gmail.com and Twitter @SarafaNgr

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