Legacy is the only thing that outlives every human being. Though, the type of legacy one leaves behind determines how the person will be celebrated, remembered or otherwise. And for a legacy to be etched in the minds of the populace, it has to be enduring and driven towards the enhancement of well-being of the people.
Today, people in the southwest and beyond, still relish and cherish the legacy of free education, socio-political and industrial development of the late sage and Premier of the defunct Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo. Even, generation yet unborn, will be regaled with how Awolowo took the western region to higher pedestal above its contemporaries.
Though many, particularly political adversaries of Papa Awo, as the late Premier was fondly called, made futile attempt to rubbish his achievements and legacies, but because their impact is still felt, campaign of calumny against Awolowo fizzled out in no time.
Ditto for the architect of modern Ogun State, the incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Like Awolowo, he had a vision and mission to rebuild Ogun, and he pursued this with passion and vim, the mission demanded. Prior to his ascension to leadership position in the state in 2011, Ogun was just like any state with the cognomen – ‘civil service state’. And the state capital, Abeokuta and other major towns, were like glorified districts of yore.
Though his predecessors tried their best to ensure the state live up to its sobriquet – The Gateway State – by espousing infrastructural facelift, but the infrastructural development revolution approach of Amosun, remains the numero uno.
Determined to follow to the letter, his 5-Point agenda of Mission to Rebuild, Governor Amosun, immediately after he took oath of office, swung to action and commenced implementation of the state master plan. As the state capital remains the unique selling point of any state, the governor began expansion of roads and construction of flyovers in Abeokuta, to give the city a befitting outlook.
It was with fanfare and applause that the Ibara-Ita-Eko-Sokori Road and flyover was inaugurated in 2012. Even his political enemies thumbed him up for his ingenuity.
With this first achievement in infrastructural development, other roads in the metropolis were rebuilt to the admiration of all and sundry.
Pained by the deplorable condition of Ijoko-Oke-Aro-Akute-Alagbole road, the governor, despite the huge resources the road construction required, mobilised contractor to site. At at now, more than six flyovers have been erected on the road and even ready for use. Save for the economic recession which crept into the country shortly after the 2015 election, the road would have been completed and inaugurated for use.
In Ijebu Ode, the construction of a flyover on Lagos-Benin Expressway has eliminated auto crashes at the junction, while the flyover at Lagos Garage in the town, has not only eased the traffic congestion in the axis, but added to the aesthetics of the ancient town. What about the reconstruction of roads in the town? Potholes riddled roads are fast vanishing in the town. Even in Ijebu Igbo, Amosun’s infrastructural development is evident. Sagamu and other towns in Ogun East are not left out of the governor’s mission to rebuild.
In Ogun West, the dualisation of Toll-gate-Ilo-Awela road, had changed the face of Ota and its environs.
Another legacy of Amosun is the construction of Model Schools, which everyone agreed represent standard of secondary education. The construction of the schools across the state, has no doubt, reinforced the number one spot of the state in the area of education.
In agriculture, Amosun’s administration has successfully written the state’s name among the comity of states that produce rice, with planting, processing, packaging and launching of the popular MITROS Rice.
In the area of health, primary health centres, general hospitals and the Olabisi Onabanjo Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu, received adequate attention under Amosun’s watch, while Totoro Health Centre, where the governor was born, had been rebuilt and well equipped to provide qualitative healthcare for the people.
In the area of housing, the incumbent administration is not found wanting. Orange Valley estate, for the well-to-do in the society, is there for everyone to see.
Other low cost housing schemes, courtesy Ministry of Housing, sprang up in the state. Makun New City and other highbrow housing projects, under the purview of the Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC) are ongoing.
For the civil and public servants in the state, AAK Degun Workers Estate, was conceived and birthed by Ibikunle Amosun’s administration. President Muhammadu Buhari Estate, along Kobape road and the adjacent Judiciary Complex, are beauty to behold.
Also, the Abeokuta City Centre, which has Shoprite, an amphitheatre and other world class recreation centres, is almost completed.
In the same vein, a 250-bed hospital complex and the Block D of the secretariat at Oke Mosan, are being done at fast pace to meet completion date. Not satisfied with the construction of a skywalk pedestrian bridge at Panseke area of Abeokuta, Amosun, mobilised contractor to begin work on Panseke-Onikoko-Adigbe road, with a marching order to complete the work before May 29.
The governor’s score card in the area of security, industrial and economic development, good governance and increase in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is not in contention. Residents of the state always thank the governor for ridding the state of insecurity, cultism and ritual killings, that characterised Ogun, before he mounted the saddle almost eight years ago.
With the unprecedented feats recorded by Amosun as Ogun governor, the chroniclers of history, will no doubt, etch SIA’s name in gold. Like Awolowo, his legacies will endure and stand test of time.
Now that the elections have come and gone, and another governor that will take over the saddle has been elected, it will amount to a disservice to Ogun State, if lofty projects yet to be completed by the outgoing governor are abandoned.
Amosun, as any human being, had his own preferred candidate whom he thought and still thinks could carry on from where he would stop on May 29, the incoming governor in the person of Dapo Abiodun, should not in the name of political vendetta, rubbish or jettison Amosun’s legacies.
No doubt, the governor’s initiatives in governance, has further opened up the state to the world. This trend should be continued. Cultural initiative such as the Drum Festival, which has been added to festival and cultural calendar in the country, must be sustained.
Roads that are yet to be completed should not be abandoned in the name of politics. Amosun coined ‘Ogun Standard’ to ensure quality in project conception, construction and delivery, for the benefit of Ogun people. This tenet must be upheld by the next administration.
As no governor can finish all projects in his or her tenure, continuity of Amosun’s projects and ideals of good governance must be ensured in order for the state to actualise the dreams of its founding fathers.
As the governor is heading to the Senate to continue to serve his people in Ogun Central, the good work he espoused as governor, will continue to serve as a signpost of good governance.
And to our dear incoming governor, preserving and building on Amosun’s legacies in Ogun State, will serve as the beginning of building his own legacy as the 5th elected governor of our dear Gateway State.
Olusegun Adeleke is Ogun State based public affairs analyst.