Osun, at the threshold of a new dawn
There is something positive to say for the long association of the government and people of Osun State with their kit and kin in Lagos, especially, with the political tendencies that have controlled the governance of Lagos since 1999. As the Yoruba elders say, when a leaf sticks on to the soap for a long time, it ultimately becomes soap too.
That proverb also exists among the Igbo. It says: if a goat which hasn’t the palate for raw yams continues to graze alongside yam-eating goats, it soon begins to eat yams. Ironically, the last time I did a full article on Osun, goats were in the centre of discussion. It was when, during the last administration, some five or so goats were arrested and detained for ‘wandering’ Having associated with Lagos for so long, a lot of the positives of Lagos are now finding root in modern Osun. Like Lagos, great ideas come out of Osun. Like Lagos, Osun is now blessed with visionary leaders.
The only missing in Osun is that Osun hasn’t any money – but, even that, will soon change. In fact a mentor of mine, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), who is actually an admirer of the development strides that have been taking place in Osun, once joked about how the internally generated revenue of Ikoyi/Obalende local government in Lagos was more than Osun’s total monthly revenue – both federal allocation and IGR. According to him, this paucity of funds was hampering the laudable vision of the then Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for the state. According to him, Ogbeni was eager to push his little but mighty South Western state into the class of Lagos.
There were visions of fly-over bridges, multiple-lane roads, oneof- a-kind public schools, citizen welfare, ICT etc. But there was not a great deal more the lean purse could take on. However, when there is a will, there is always a way.
And when great ideas are allowed to flourish, money would automatically follow. Enter Adegboyega Oyetola, the gentleman ‘new kid’ on the block. Suddenly the ideas in Osun are now on the verge of translating to the money, money that would give that state the much needed leap into the next level. That is exactly what the Osun Economic and Investment Summit which opens tomorrow in Osogbo, the state capital, is all about.
The groundbreaking summit which will run between November 19th and 21st is a platform for this state, with a very rich and proud past, to open its doors to investors in the areas of Agriculture, Tourism, Mining, Infrastructure development and ICT. In fact, going through the plenary topics for summit, billed to kick off tomorrow morning, brought back sad memories of a friend’s unpleasant experience with mining in one of the South Eastern states. Up till this morning, this my former journalist friend still has over N40 million trapped in that place, as a result of insensitive state government policy, problems with the host community, theft and insecurity. To make matters worse, the banks are chasing him about for their