Human beings are instinct animals who respond by stimuli to the actions generated by environment. Thus, on many ocassions when human environment dictates positive actions, except by envy, humans will first give positive response. Even if human impulse is directed by sentiment and envy, human responses to positive actions at first will still be positive, pending the time the envy and sentiment take over their thoughts through biased rationalization. But for reasonable humans, no matter the differences, responses to actions from environment is based on fairness, justice and objectivity. No positive thinking human would see ongoing Olaiya fly-over project and not pass positive comment on the present government and the Governor Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola of Osun state for a good job done.
When the project was flagged off, I was one of the skeptics who believed that the fly over project at Olaiya junction was not needed because it should not be the priority in infrastructural renewal of Osogbo, our state capital. My concerns were multiple. One, that Old garage- Oke fia- Lameco constituted more difficulties to commuters than Orita Olaiya and that road must be of higher priority than Olaiya junction. Secondly I was of the opinion that going by the experience of Mokola fly over in Ibadan, which was then a threat to commuters, will Olaiya fly over project not be a threat also? Thirdly I considered the lean purse of Osun state government as incapable of successful completion of that project. More importantly I was also of the opinion that should the project be elongated in completion, would it not constitute great danger to the busy economy of that axis of the commercial city of Osogbo? Finally and more importantly, I was of the feeling that the project will end up like Gbogan- Akoda road or Ikirun- Ila Odo road or Ido osun airport projects, which the former governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola begun with no end in sight.
It should be noted that my pessimism and skeptics were not based on any sentiment but primarily based on development analysis being my scholarship interest. Of course Governor Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola and I are of same political affliation, and so I know that his good deeds are credits to my party on which any member of the party can stand honorably tall before the public in the state. Nonetheless as a development expert I raised those concerns out of passion for sustainable development. But today those pessimism and skeptics are rendered impotent going by what I saw at Olaiya junction on Monday morning, January 31st 2022 when I visited Mosodun veterinary shop at Akindeko to buy some drugs for my pigs. I was exceedingly marvelled and wholesomely appreciative of the ingenuity of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State on Olaiya flyover project.
I commended the dexterity and commitments coupled with hardwork put on the project by all the stakeholders involved in the project. Firstly the unscheduled nocturnal inspections of the project by Mr. Governor are well appreciated. And the official commitment of the young and dynamic Osun State Commissioner for Works and Transportation also needs be recognized and commended. The sleepless project handlers who ensured that all aspects of the projects were delivered to time should also be applauded.
Olaiya fly over project has opened a new vista of socio-economic development for Osogbo and it remains an historic edifice for Osun state in general. Commotion often witnessed in Olaiya will definitely be a forgone experience. And the project has added significantly to the environmental aesthetics of the commercial city of Osogbo.
Above all, ease of economic engagement along that axis of the city will be remarkably improved. And as the governor has also mandated the Ministry of Works to speedily complete the design of dualization and modernization of Old garage- Oke- fia- Lameco junction, my joy knows no bound and I quickly wish the governor well in his desires to turn Osogbo and Osun state in general to a beautiful commercial entreport of southwestern Nigeria, the position which Osogbo had established since the early 1920s with the construction of train terminal that attracted PZ, CFAO and MDS merchants to be located in the city. I am of the hope that these new giant development drives from Governor Oyetola will further deepen commercial interest in Osogbo and provide seamless socio-economic interactions in the city.
Olaiya flyover is not the only giant project so far undertaken by the governor of Osun state. The first projects in the serials of excellent project deliveries in Osun state were the speedy and timely completion of Osogbo-Iragbiji road, the longest abandoned Ada- Igbajo road project and Ede-Ara- Ejigbo road project. All these projects are very strategic to economic growth of Osun state. In addition was the standardization of all primary health care centers in Osun state and commencement of Osun Health Insurance Schemes through which the governor provides free health care access to old age people in the state. In addition, one cannot but mention the reversal of certain education policies such as common uniform and school nomenclature introduced by the previous governor. And exit from the sharing liability of ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso. One definitely has to commend the insights of Governor Oyetola not for spitting the previous governor, but by commending the positive tendency of Mr. Governor, which suggests admission of policy somersault and humility in reversal.
Being the responsibility of the government, Governor Oyetola has demonstrated uncommon will and capacity to deliver. Surprisingly, Mr. Governor has pegged the loan profile of the state, meeting the loan obligations, regularly paying public service salaries and emoluments including pensions with arrears; yet still delivering heavily financed infrastructural projects for the state. I guess, what makes this possible is cutting down to the bearest minimum the prolifigacy in governance and Governor’s ability to control the corruptive seepage of funds amongst his political officials.
While congratulating Governor Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola on the successful completion of Olaiya flyover, I hope that the new projects (Osogbo-Ilobu-Ifon road and Old garage- Oke fia- Lameco projects), which the government is embarking upon will also enjoy speedy and seamless delivery. Thus, trusting All Progressives’ Congress and Governor Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola for another term of office is a deserved priority, which must be accomplished to ensure more delivery of strategic sustainable development projects. Of course stability and commitment in government provide quality development in public services.
Prof. Aderemi Suleiman Ajala is a Professor of Archeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan. He is a former Special Adviser to Rt. Hon. Lasun Yusuff.