Osun: Adeleke has done it again By Sarafa Ibrahim

Osun: Adeleke has done it again

By Sarafa Ibrahim

When I opened my WhatsApp this morning (Friday), I saw an unusual message conveyed by just five words: “Adeleke has done it again”. The message came from an unsaved number and out of curiosity, I probed to get the import of the message by asking the sender what has Governor Adeleke done again.

And the follow–up exchanges are as pleasing as intriguing. The message was from one of the thousands of active workers in Osun state who is seemingly impressed with the sustained commitment of Governor Adeleke to their welfare, which was topped with the recent approval by Governor Adeleke for the promotion of civil servants in the state.

In between our engagement, I paused a bit and tried to understand the significance of the Governor’s latest gesture to workers in the state. I was deep in this thought when the bitter experience of career stagnation shared with me by a brother who is a civil servant a few years ago crossed my mind. This brother, although more tilted towards the All Progressives Congress (APC), bitterly lamented the cruel fate experienced under the party, which kept civil servants stagnated for several years as a result of no promotion.

The past was tortuous and horrible, and this clearly explains the message of the excited workers seeing the change in attitude towards their welfare and progressions by Governor Adeleke. The promise of career progression was one of the factors that enticed many to join the civil service and endure the series of challenges they encountered.

But the APC made a terrible mess of that promise, unfairly subjecting Osun workers to emotional and economic pains necessitated by the denial of moving the ladder in the service. Even when Gboyega Oyetola, the immediate past governor in the state, pretended to be interested in the growth of workers in the state by granting promotion to them in 2019, it did not go beyond the papers conveying them as he failed throughout his tenure to implement the financial consequence. In essence, it was an audio promotion carefully packaged to deceive Osun workers.

It took the intervention of Governor Adeleke to end the wait of the workers as he implemented the financial implication of the promotion done by Oyetola in May 2023. So, this latest effort is in continuation of his unwavering commitment to the welfare of workers, and demonstrates the interest of the Governor in their situations, particularly at a time like this.

In a statement by his Spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, Governor Adeleke said the promotion exercise reaffirms the commitment of his administration to workers welfare. He went on to note that the exercise is unarguably in line with the pursuance of No1 of the 5-Point Action Plan of his administration, which is giving the welfare of public servants topmost priority.

But he didn’t stop there as Governor Adeleke was quoted to have said that “I assure all civil servants that the public service reform is on course. We will deliver on a fully professionalized public service. I congratulate the beneficiaries. I urge you to show deeper passion for public service. Our government will ensure the required opportunity for all to operate and display their spirit of service to the state.”

From the Governor’s words, it was clear that he’s not stopping in making sure that civil servants enjoy every due benefit so as not only to make them comfortable but also to motivate them for increased efficiency. No doubt, a happy civil service will translate to improved outputs, which will in turn benefit the people of the state and its economy.

Since assuming office, Governor Adeleke has shown sincere efforts at addressing past maltreatment suffered by the active workers as well as the senior citizens. Between when he assumed the mantle of office and now, Governor Adeleke has paid five months out of the 30 months half salary owed to workers. This was something his predecessor found so hard to do all through his 48–month stay in office despite serving in the administration that incurred the wage-related debt.

It is also worth noting that Osun is on the list of about 15 states out of the 36 states in Nigeria that are paying wage awards for civil servants and pensioners as a measure to cushion the impact of the removal of fuel subsidy. For pensioners, Governor Adeleke has been somewhat incredible because Osun is the first and only state in Nigeria with comprehensive healthcare coverage for senior citizens in the whole of Nigeria. All thanks to Governor Adeleke, pensioners in Osun state no longer have to worry about the cost of managing their health as it will be entirely shoulder by the government.

But that isn’t all, because Governor Adeleke has been faithfully working to clear the mountain of pension liabilities inherited and bring to an end the long wait for earned entitlements of people who dedicated their most active lives to the service of the state. At the last count, over N20 billion has been expended in bond payments and associated benefits of pensioners, and in a matter of days, some other beneficiaries will join the list of senior citizens touched.

The long and short of it all is that Governor Adeleke is a fair leader whose interest in the welfare of the people can hardly be quantified. And just as the follow–up exchanges of the person who sent the message to me portrayed, he is desirous of improving the situation of not just workers, but the entirety of the people of the state. But before I go, I like to allay the fear of our APC people that this promotion approved by Governor Adeleke won’t follow the ‘audio’ version of Oyetola’s promotion, but one that will be followed to the letters. And it won’t take much longer for workers to begin to enjoy the financial benefits that come with it.

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

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