For Oyetola, nothing has changed

For Oyetola, nothing has changed

Saliu Nofisat Opeyemi

I was surfing the internet when I came across a notification that a former governor of Osun state, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, will be launching a SMEDAN scheme. It was unfathomable, and out of curiosity, I looked deeper, and volla, it was true.

What could have prompted Oyetola to be the one to launch SMEDAN scheme was the question that followed up. And the reason for this question isn’t farfetched. SMEDAN, which means Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria, is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Oyetola is a Minister for Marine and Blue Economy.

It is therefore not in doubt that the activities of SMEDAN doesn’t fall under the purview of Oyetola as a Minister. The only feasible explanation for Oyetola’s unassuming role in the launch of SMEDAN scheme is the politics of 2026, which is largely seen as a way to warm himself to the heart of Osun people. And this is at the detriment of his core mandate, which is unpalatable.

When President Bola Tinubu got Oyetola, who happen to be his cousin, a seat at the federal executive council meeting, the expectations was that he would have something to offer in turning things around for Nigeria. But nearly six months in the saddle, Oyetola has not lived up to expectations, and disturbingly, taking a turn for the worse.

Just as we saw while he was Governor of Osun state, Oyetola appears to be driven by the lucre of power and not the responsibility that comes with it. This was exactly what Oyetola’s action to leave his point of work to pursue his personal political objective, which the launch of the federal scheme in Osun clearly portrayed.

Nigeria, at the moment, is in a fix. And to get out of the situation and bring about a better experience, there is a serious work to be done. This means that ministries, like the Marine and Blue Economy which Oyetola is presiding over, will have to be optimal in the discharge of their mandates.

This is why many find it awkward that Oyetola preoccupation at a time like this isn’t delivering on the mandate of his office but rather leveraging it for his 2026 governorship aspiration. Because nothing else can explain why Oyetola will leave his job and be in Osun to launch a scheme by a ministry other than his.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing is wrong with Oyetola having interest in governing Osun again after failing to secure re-election in July 2022. What seemed wrong, which must have agitate minds, is the unpleasant attitude of Oyetola to the service of the people.

Public office is generally seen as a platform to offer service to the people, but with Oyetola, as we can see for far, it is being treated as a mean to power and nothing more. Otherwise, the focus at this moment will be about delivering on the mandate of the office he’s currently occupying, not clandestinely leveraging the office for personal political aspiration.

The Marine and Blue Economy holds a lot of promises for Nigeria’s economic revival but hardly will anything happens when the head of the Ministry have his sight set on something different other than the job he was actually brought to do. This, perhaps, explains why there has been nothing cheering from that ministry so far in spite of the high hopes that trails its creation some months ago.

Osun governorship poll is more 60 months away but before then, there is the job of delivering on the current mandate. If Oyetola will need to lobby another ministry for the launch of a scheme to warm himself in the mind of the people in a state he was governor for four years, then it is simply confirming what many people in the state have been saying about him– he was abysmal in office.

The truth which can no longer be hidden about Oyetola is that, he is only after power not because he wants to use it for the benefit of the people, it was only to satisfy his lust. No wonder, he continues to fail to make the right impact impact. Whether as Governor or Minister, Oyetola has showed what really matters to him and unfortunately, the people weigh very less. That is sad!

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