Omipidan: How not to handle the pain of losing an election By Sarafa Ibrahim

Omipidan: How not to handle the pain of losing an election

By Sarafa Ibrahim

I was surfing the internet when I came across a piece by the Spokesperson to Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the immediate Governor of Osun state, Mr. Ismail Omipidan. Although, the piece titled “Alimi: The New PDP Lying Machine in Osun” was intended to deride the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Oluomo Kolapo Alimi, but what I observed was a terrible way to handle frustration of losing an election.

To start with, Osun governorship election held neatly twenty months ago and the feeling of rejection by the people, should by now in my estimation, have receded. But that seems not to be the case with Mr. Omipidan as his recent piece clearly portrayed. This is especially when he misguidedly noted that “… all those who connived to unleash Governor Ademola Adeleke on Osun did not mean well for the state. Posterity will be harsh on them.”

Anyone who experienced the four years rule of Mr. Omipidan’s boss will shrug at his postulation. This is because in the 15 months that Governor Adeleke has been in the saddle, things have taken the turn for the better. If Mr. Omipidan is feigning unaware, it will not be too bad to refresh his memory on the monumental failure that characterised the administration that preceded the Governor Adeleke administration, which he was an active participant.

Under Oyetola, the welfare of the people, especially workers and pensioners, were treated with levity. Even when Oyetola assured workers on two different occasions to clear salary debt which he was part of the administration that accumulated it, not a kobo was paid throughout the forty-eight months that he was in the saddle. It got even worse when Oyetola approved promotion for workers in 2019 but up till the moment of his exit in office, he made no attempt to implement the financial benefits of the promotion.

It took the coming of Governor Adeleke to office for not just the payment of half salary arrears begins, but also the payment of the financial implications promotion of workers done by Oyetola. This is not different for pensioners as Governor Adeleke did not wait until election draws nearer to commence efforts to defray the liabilities as typically the case under the administration that Mr. Omipidan served. Within a year, Governor Adeleke administration has expended nearly N28 billion on pension liabilities, far more than what the Oyetola administration paid in four years.

It will interest you to know that most of this is happening at a time when many states in Nigeria had to resort to banks for loan to be able to pay salaries to the tune of N46.17billion. However, Osun state under Governor was not only paying salaries without taking loan, but also paying salary-related debt incurred by those who preceded him.

This is why it can only be the product of misjudgement to fault the decision of Osun people in electing Governor Adeleke ahead Oyetola when the reality of the impacts of both of them are glaring for all to see. While Oyetola used most part of his administration to incorrectly blame paucity of funds for his lacklustre performance, Governor Adeleke is judiciously spreading what accrues to the state’s coffer for the benefit of the people.

Up till now, Osun people do not know what happened to the billions of naira received by the Oyetola administration for federal road projects executed by his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola. When the state got a N7 billion refund from the federal government, Governor Adeleke openly disclosed it and noted that it would be added to fund to prosecute the multi-billion infrastructure plan.

Across Osun now, there is noticeable presence of government, which is something that cannot be said about the administration that Mr. Omipidan served in. Schools infrastructure are being upgraded and learning environment unscaled for the benefits of young people. Road networks improved to facilitate ease in movement of goods and services as well as attract investments. Healthcare centres getting the needed face-lift to better serve the people while access to clean water is being enhanced.

In an unprecedented turn, Osun is now taking responsibility for senior citizens and the vulnerable, providing a safety net for them. It is imperative to echo the fact that all pensioners in Osun state are enrolled on a comprehensive healthcare, giving them access to healthcare service up to operation, at free of charge. Osun is the only state in Nigeria with such welfare support and Governor Adeleke made it possible.

All of the above highlighted and more are glaring for all to see and easy to feel by all. This is unlike the audio, in this context, deceit that characterised the administration that Mr. Omipidan served in, as can be seen with promotion given to workers, among other failings of that government. So, it is absolutely wrong to vent frustration on the people for rejecting an inept administration for one that has so far prioritize the benefits of the people above other considerations.

Even on the Iree stool that appears to be the basis of Mr. Omipidan’s vituperation, the public know well enough how the Oyetola administration bypassed established procedures, including the appointment of warrant officers when kingmaker are alive to perform legal duties. It was illegalities like these perpetrated under the previous government that triggered a wave of crisis, which unfortunately cost one life and destruction of properties. It therefore amount to nothing but hypocrisy, to live out those who created a problem and go for those who are trying to resolve the problem. That was what Mr. Omipidan’s postulation suggested and it is unfortunate.

  • Sarafa Ibrahim is the Special Assistant on Print Media to the Osun State Governor

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