April 17, 2024

Media, economy, politics and policy are intertwined fields at the heart of democracy and national development. From the Osun state Governor’s office christened White House, it is a privilege to start a column on those fields combined, using the subnational model of Ademola Adeleke governorship as a springboard. The first piece is to highlight why this endeavor is desirable as a contribution to governance discourse.

The question may be asked as to how qualified I am to write on these wide fields with desired robustness and intellectual depth. Let me humbly submit that I was privileged to have traversed and operated across the identified professional fields for more than four decades, gaining deep wealth of experience very hard to dispute or contest. Such a multi-dimensional, cross cutting career path shaped one’s mind to operate at multiple levels of action. One is proud to assert that this writer’s grasp spread across local, national to international levels.

Politically, my politicking predated my journalism career. From the pre-SDP days to United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) to the foundation processes of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), one has played critical roles at state and national levels. One is a tested horse in the political space as an operative providing much needed think tank support for many leaders.

As a journalist, my active reporting life from Ibadan to Lagos to Abuja was full of eventful episodes as the Tribune family afforded me rare privileges of operations in frontline positions, leading to editorial appointments as Abuja Bureau Chief , Group Politics Editor, Northern Region Editor and later Deputy Editor of the oldest private newspaper in the country.

In terms of governance experience, the writer is lucky to have also been around for long. A lot of experience has been accumulated as to how bureaucracy works as well as the intersection of policy making and implementation. As a student of public administration after an initial degree in Arts and Education, the blend was easily established. It is rewarding to have served as Special Assistant to two separate federal ministers in the Federal Ministry of Youth Development and later at the Federal Ministry of Power for almost eight years combined.

Then the career switch deeply encouraged by multi-talented Prof Adesoji Adesugba; President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Emeka Obegbolu; President of NACCIMA, Otunba Dele Oye and a really, really big boss, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, the former defence minister and Attorney General of Nigeria, was indeed a game changer. I joined the business chamber movement and became a Council member and Chairman of the Transport Trade Group of Abuja Chamber of Commerce. Today, one is the 2nd Deputy President of Iwo Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice President of Osun State Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Aside from one’s business within Sahel Media group, I became a railway policy advocacy professional running my own firm, African Railway Consulting Limited. We did a lot of work at continental level for the African High Speed Railway project as well as the African Railway Agenda project of the Union of International Railways(UIC). We run the African Railway Roundtable which is a robust non-governmental platform for African rail policy reforms. The Federal Government indeed appointed me as one of the three private sector members for the Committee for the unbundling of Nigerian Railway Corporation(NRC).

The most interesting part is the present position as the Spokesperson to the Olosun of Osun, His Excellency, Governor Ademola Adeleke ( the Imole of our time), a position in which one is honoured to work with global business champion and father, Dr Deji Adeleke; an unrivaled political mobiliser and enforcer, Yeyeluwa Dupe Adeleke- Sanni; and a master political strategist, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Kazeem Akinleye among other top leaders, many of whom are allies, associates and leaders from the SDP days. This writer is clearly tested enough and deeply equipped to shed light on happenings within and outside the White House as a platform for discourse on good governance as typified by the policies and programmes of Governor Ademola Adeleke.

That Governor Adeleke is delivering on good governance is no longer a matter of debate. Top opponents have acknowledged that verifiable facts. Stakeholders in the Osun project accepted the sterling performance of Mr Governor. Many are still at loss as to how the Governor and his team are managing state power to deliver so much with little resources. Many are even searching everywhere for the magic wand to see what details are therein.

The magic of good governance in Osun state is simply people’s welfare as first priority, purposeful leadership, listening and consultative model, unorthodox approach to governance, due process, rule of law and fear of God. To get this clearly, I urge readers to read through the inaugural address of Mr Governor here- https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/567781-for-the-record-ademola-adelekes-inaugural-speech-as-osun-governor.html?tztc=1.

An overarching style of Mr Governor is his deliberate consultative approach and consensus building on critical decision making. As democracy is not about dictatorship , Governor Adeleke intentionally subjects state decisions to contributions from within and without. I wrote a piece on his approach in this respect. The link is here-

Many are far from Osun Osun. Today, the Boss Newspaper declared the Governor as the Governor of the year 2023. That was after Champion newspaper did the same few months ago. I invite readers to read why the Governor merits such honour despite being just a year plus in office. The link is here-https://thebossnewspapers.com/2024/01/06/ademola-adeleke-2023-governor-of-the-year/ .

For a more grounded overview, I invite those interested in governance innovation and leadership foresight to read the Governor’s speech when he unveiled a multi-billion Infrastructure Plan for Osun state. The plan now under implementation is a practical demonstration of an ambitious goal of getting state leadership. The link is here- https://www.osunstate.gov.ng/2023/10/viewpoint-osun-multi-billion-naira-infrastructure-plan-long-overdue-governor-adeleke/

I will stop here. This maiden piece is mainly to lay the foundation and introduce the focus. It promises to be enlightening and educative with practical examples of public governance issues and solutions.

Thanks for reading

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