Seven Months of Abiodun's Administration In Ogun - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Seven Months of Abiodun's Administration In Ogun


Governor Dapo Abiodun took over reins of power as the fifth democratically elected governor in Ogun State on May 29, 2019, amid high expectations. In this report, Daily Trust takes a look at how far the governor has gone, barely seven months down the line.

For keen watchers, 2019 electoral process in Ogun State was, perhaps, most sophisticated in this history of the state. Political actors crossed the line of decency and embraced violence, all in an attempt to occupy the Oke Mosan seat of power. In the end, Governor Dapo Abiodun won and the rest is history.

Abiodun himself admitted in his inaugural speech, that 2019 political environment was toxic and full of uncertainty. However, the citizens of the state have put the controversy behind them and yearned for a qualitative leadership as promised by his leadership.

In the speech titled “Building Our Future Together: A Task For All,” Abiodun said his government was poised to “give Ogun State focused and qualitative governance and to create the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership, which is fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun.”

He specifically assured that his “government will be our government, not their government.” He equally promised his co – contestants and opposition parties to run “all inclusive government.”

Daily Trust recalls that Abiodun’s first office assignment, 24 hours after assumption of office, was inspection of some key offices like Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Civil Service Commission. Same day, he held a closed – door meeting with the heads of security agencies in the state as well as the body of permanent secretaries.

And the next day, the governor met with members of the then eighth State House of Assembly led by their Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi. Few hours after the meeting, the lawmakers were locked in an emergency sitting where they hurriedly passed bill, reversing immediate past Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s last minutes appointment of 75 traditional rulers and civil servants as well as promotion of permanent secretaries.

Amosun’s last minutes appointments and contracts had received huge criticism from stakeholders and it equally constituted a thorn in the flesh of Abiodun’s government. A number of committees were set up by the governor to look into those appointments and some controversial issues like the upgrading of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) into university status. Through his intervention, academic activities hitherto suspended at MAPOLY has been restored and the institution now enjoys its bustling.

However, the governor’s first major bashing came due to delay in appointments. For instance, he did not announce a single appointment more than a week after he took oath of office. It took Abiodun six months to release names of his 18 – man commissioner – designates who are awaiting inauguration.

Some stakeholders also knocked him over his alleged slow approach to governance. A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Segun Sowunmi, who reviewed Abiodun’s government, challenged him on the need “to inject some speed to governance in his own interest, in the interest of our dear state and her good people.” 
But some APC chieftains closed to the power told Daily Trust that the governor “is not in a hurry to take any decision.”

Former Governor Gbenga Daniel agreed with them when he said the governor possessed required temperament to govern a sophisticated state like Ogun.

“People should not forget that Dr Dapo Abiodun is not a baby. Apart from the fact that he is quite an experienced politician, he is also a business man and he is very cool and collected.

“I don’t have any doubt in my mind, he is painstaking and he doesn’t rush to do anything. When you want to govern over Ogun State, you must be somebody with that kind of temperament and so far, I’m quite impressed,” Daniel said recently shortly after he met Abiodun behind closed doors.

Also, Abiodun’s mantra of “inclusive government” was questioned after he released the list of commissioners. Some party stakeholders and a group of women who felt marginalised, protested against the appointments.

However, how has the governor fared in areas of the campaign promises? Some areas that have enjoyed patronage under Abiodun’s seven months are education, job creation, security, health and road infrastructure.

He had vowed that Ogun State under him would not become “a Banana Republic.” In September, the government donated 100 patrol vans and 200 bikes to aid security agencies in the fight against criminality in the state.

In his new year broadcast, Abiodun used the opportunity to roll out his achievements in the last seven months of his administration, saying he had restructured education sector, improved on healthcare delivery and promoted workers’ welfare.

He hinted that negotiation for the implementation of new minimum wage was in the final stage and would be completed soonest.

“In the last seven months, we have been able to restructure the education sector to a functional level. Critical issues relating to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology; Moshood Abiola Polytechnic; Tai Solarin College of Education, have all been resolved.

“We have also embarked on the rehabilitation of our Public Primary and Tertiary facilities across the State. We recently promoted over 10,000 teaching and non- teaching Staff for the year 2016 and 2017, and have restored the payment of running costs in our schools. We have commenced the evaluation of suitable ICT tools in the school administration and management of curriculum,” he said.

Foregoing forward, Abiodun asked people of the state to work harder with stronger discipline as “there are hard choices” to be made in the new year.

These choices, Abiodun explained would give the state a solid foundation for a better tomorrow.
“My fellow citizens of Ogun State, Year 2020 brings us stronger hope. We are committed to ensuring that individual prosperity of our citizens is clearly manifested and the status of our dear State is enhanced in the comity of States.

“We are determined to leave Ogun State much better than we met it. We must remind ourselves that there are hard choices that we will have to make. These choices will give us the opportunity of a solid foundation today for a better tomorrow,” he said.

Just on Friday, Abiodun appointed the Transition Committee members for the 20 Local Government Areas. They are to fill vacuum created when tenure of the elected officials expired last year. The transition committees would be in place until the state umpire conducts election to pick new council chairmen, a statement from the government, said.

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