During the time of Jesus Christ, nobody believed him and nothing that he said made sense to the people until after his death. Even when he performed open miracles like raising a dead person, the Pharisees still doubted and denied him. Today, his death and resurrection have become annual event celebrated with fanfare across the globe because of his lofty ideals and miracles. At the height of their hatred for him, they chose to save the life of Barabbas, a murderer, instead of Jesus Christ, the lover and redeemer of mankind.
It will, therefore, be utterly impossible to convince the Barabbas kinsmen still living among us that the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the builder of the modern Oyo State, the game changer, has turned around the fortunes of the state in all ramifications.
But, be that as it may, we find it expedient to debunk the misleading, mischievous, inciting and infantile write up credited to one Akeem Azeez; the likes of whom will sacrifice truth, unprecedented milestones of their sworn enemy on the altar of politics. It’s that bad.
To disabuse the minds of the unsuspecting members of public, is it not preposterous for anybody living in Ibadan and five other zones of the state to claim that he has not seen the roads, bridges either completed, ongoing or rehabilitated by the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration. How do you help such person? Even if you list them or ask him to take a tour with you to see such roads, the Barabbas kinsman in him will take control of his thinking and reasoning faculties.
It is rather sad that, and at any rate, it shows the level of exposure and the educational background of these charlatans parading themselves as spokespersons or social critics. That the said Azeez could not decipher the difference between the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics for Q1 (First Quarter of 2017, meaning just three months) on the state-by-state Foreign Direct Investments and cumulative figures of six years, is a sad commentary. How do you help such person?
“At the last count, 36 new companies have been attracted to the state in the last six years, with close to 4000 direct employees, according to figures obtained from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. Further proof of this upsurge in industrialisation is the rating of Oyo as the fifth most investment friendly state by the National Bureau of Statistics, which also credited the governor as having attracted more than $61m (N22.4bn) foreign direct investment to the state so far.
“The governor recently opened a new vista of industrial development with the acquisition of large expanse of land on both sides of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway to accommodate the Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone and an Industrial Park. The free trade zone is one of the dividends of Ajimobi’s many shuttles to China, where Oyo State is now very popular, because of the governor’s relentlessness and spirited efforts to attract investors into the state. Exuding confidence at a recent event, the governor enthused that seven of the more than 157 companies expected to populate the free trade zone would be inaugurated by the end of this year.” is there any ambiguity in this, except when deliberately misrepresented by a mischief maker?
On flooding, he again missed the point. How do you address a problem that had bedeviled a state for several years, due to neglect by past administrations, under four years in a city as vast as Ibadan? For the records, it took courage and determination by the Ajimobi-led administration to embark on a comprehensive dredging of major rivers and streams in Ibadan and other parts of the state to combat the perennial flooding that had caused havoc in Ibadan and its environs. Should Akeem and his sponsors care to know, such dredging was last done more than 30 years before the advent of the Ajimobi administration. But for the proactive and spirited efforts of the present administration to contain the menace, the flash flooding being experienced today would have caused monumental damage. Even in developed countries flash flooding still occurs once in a while. Akeem should go and ask those much older than him about the history of flooding in Oyo State and he will realize his folly.
That in one breath the pseudo champion of the course of the masses said there was no road project visible to him across the state and in another breath he whimsically declared that “the (Ajimobi’s) road revolution” will not be completed in 18 months revealed a man just seeking attention. So, indeed there is a road revolution? Interesting!
Again, Akeem exhibited crass ignorance or maybe he was simply being mischievous in his comments on the Ibadan Circular Road, which are in four phases. The state government had made it abundantly clear in several publications that it only awarded contract for the first phase, which the contractor will finance entirely through a loan facility they sourced from the China Exim Bank. So using the N70bn earmarked for the project as basis for criticism is sheer bunkum. The remaining three phases of the Circular Road, which was conceptualized by visionary and forward-looking minds, will be completed by successive administrations that may share similar vision with Ajimobi. Not the dreamers, who only visualized.
Sadly, the poor state of the economy has made regular payment of salaries and pensions a challenge, not only in Oyo State, but across the country. Only the likes of Azeez and his ilk will fabricate lies that the last six years have been hell for workers. The same workers who received 100 per cent 13th month salaries for three consecutive years under the Ajimobi administration before the country’s economy relapsed into recession; a luxury that previous administrations had denied them? Was this character called Akeem in another planet when one administration paid 50 per cent of the 13th month for just one year, only for his successor to deduct same from workers salaries when he took over? Workers who ride in comfortable free buses to and from their homes in the last four years and had their salaries increased three times under the Ajimobi-led administration cannot be said to be in hell, except there is another definition of hell.
And this is not to gloss over the fact that even our pensioners gave Ajimobi award as the most pensioner-friendly governor of all times in appreciation of his milk of kindness as exemplified by his implementation of the 142 per cent increase in their pension. For the records, governors before him refused to implement same to the extent that the hapless senior citizens were forced to stage protests. The governor feels for the workers and pensioners and is, therefore, making frantic efforts to clear the arrears, which is one of the least when compared with what even oil-producing states owe their workers and pensioners.
This element called Akeem is either a comedian, a confusionist or plane pathological liar. The Scout Camp market and several neighbourhood markets were built across the 11 Local Governments of Ibadan by the Ajimobi-led administration to accommodate those evacuated from the roads for their own good. It is a verifiable fact that these modern markets were allocated free of charge to these traders. But for the vision and compassion of the governor for the traders’ wellbeing in this regard, the unfortunate Molete tanker fire incident would have consumed lives and property of roadside traders hitherto evacuated from the area. I think this ill-informed guy called Akeem should just shut up.
Yes, there are challenges instigated by paucity of fund in the education sector today, which was not the situation during the first four years when the economy was buoyant. Akeem was quick to say that Oyo placed 26th in the last WASSCE result, but cynically concealed the fact that the same state came second in the last NECO exam when the results of the governor’s reforms in the education sector began to bear fruits. We can confidently say that the ongoing reforms in the education sector will equally culminate in improved result in subsequent national examinations. So, Akeem and his cohorts should stop spreading falsehood.
Sadare is Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC.