…Says Gov Adeleke knows nothing than merry-making


From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former member of the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye has claimed that some people are determined to destroy the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He, however, stated that President Tinubu would disappoint such fellows as efforts are on top gear to make success of his administration. Excerpts:

Ahead of subsequent elections in Osun State, how far has your party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), gone in reconciling aggrieved members? 

The All Progressives Congress in Osun State is currently embarking on bringing in new members and to reconcile existing ones to further strengthen and make the party a more solid unit that can give us victory in the next election. The pragmatic efforts of the leadership of the party in bringing all the aggrieved members together through conflict resolution and mediation are now yielding positive results. In a couple of weeks, the party will start welcoming large number of defectors into APC in the state. In addition to that, the party, under the leadership of Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, is not leaving any stone unturned through engagements and consultations with major stakeholders. Just recently,  there was a state-wide tour led by the party chairman in the state, Alhaji Tajudeen Lawal  to review, appraise, and evaluate the strength of the party and to know its  challenges across the local government areas with the aim of repositioning it through critical analysis of areas of strength and weakness to further brighten its chances at the poll. Efforts are also on to implement the recommendations of the reconciliation committee for the APC to remain a formidable party in Osun State. Additional step taken by the state leadership of the party is to constitute three committees, namely;  reconciliation, appeal and disciplinary committees in order to address critical issues affecting the party. With the reconciliatory steps put in place, which is ongoing, all members of the party will see reasons to be united in the pursuit of progress and oneness of the APC in the state.

How prepared is the APC in Osun State to take over the reins of government from the PDP?

Like I just highlighted, APC leadership in Osun is working assiduously to reclaim the state from the PDP. APC has gone back to the drawing board, taking stocks and has developed a strategic framework that will be used to implement our plans in taking over the reins of power come 2026. This strategic  framework will serve as a guide in defining our vision and goals. Therefore, we are more than  prepared to wrest power from PDP in 2026 and people of the state are eagerly waiting to see that happening.

The internal wrangling within the APC in Osun State was said to be one of the factors that paved the way for the emergence of PDP. Will similar thing not repeat itself in the next governorship election holding in 2026?

As mentioned earlier, the leadership of the party is working on how to strengthen it,  accommodate new members and reconcile existing ones to build a stronger team that will give us victory in the next election. I strongly believe that with the ongoing  efforts of the leadership of the party  to reconcile all aggrieved members, the party will  definitely go into the next election united and I can boldly say that it will be a sweet victory for the party come 2026.

Governor Ademola Adeleke’s administration is in its second year in office. Are you impressed with his style of governance?

(Laugh)  I always say this time without number that you cannot compare progressives style of good governance which is people-oriented and full of impactful programmes and policies with that of the conservative, who do not  have any sense of direction and focus other than merry-making. Anyway, Osun people have seen the two sides of the coin and come 2026, they will not miss the opportunity of voting for the progressives.

How will you describe the tenure of former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola?

The administration of former Governor Gboyega Oyetola witnessed tremendous advancement in terms of  good governance that impacted on the social and economic lives of the people of the state. During His Excellency’s four years in office, there was unprecedented transformation in areas  of health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and rural community development, among others. Despite the fact that the federal allocation at that time was meagre, Oyetola, due to his rich experience gathered from both private and public sectors, was able to utilize the meagre resources in such a way that every sector was touched. That affected lives of the masses in the state positively. The former governor also ran an open and participatory government through creation of Civil Engagement. He appointed me as the Special Adviser to run that office. The idea was to bridge the gaps between the people and the government’s policies and programmes. The civic engagement created a window where citizens were regarded as stakeholders in decisions making and execution. The policies and programmes of government had human face, well appreciated and embraced by the people of the state and that is why till today, the achievements of the immediate past administration are still standing tall for all to see. In a nutshell, the administration of former Governor Oyetola was eventful, impactful and witnessed a total transformation of all sectors of the economy for the benefits of the masses.

How will you describe your experience working with the former governor of Osun State and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr  Oyetola?

Mr Oyetola  is an  epitome  of creativity, a model  of good leadership, that  nurtures value, skill, knowledge and always ready to build capacity so as to prepare the upcoming generations in taking up higher challenges. Due to his years of experience in both private and public sectors, Oyetola always encourage individuals to show competence in the area of their responsibility. So, working with him was a good opportunity for me. Although I came in barely two years to the end of his administration, as a Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, I was able to make notable impacts in areas of public engagements and enlightenment of the populace in respect to government’s  policies and programmes. In a nutshell, working with him was a pleasant experience.

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You were a lawmaker, who represented Obokun State Constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly. Can you recall the relationship between the legislature and the then executive arm of government?

As the Chairman House Committee on Information and Strategy working with other liberal, productive and experienced legislators in the sixth Osun State House of Assembly, I can say unequivocally that the parliament had harmonious relationship with the executive.  Although we used to have strong disagreement based on principle, the situations were managed by matured elected stakeholders, who knew their onions.They did not allow our disagreement to get noticed by the public. Being a high-performing assembly members,  issues were rather resolved through dialogue and negotiation. We reconciled all differences that existed between the executive and the legislature. Such disagreement is necessary for the development of our dear state. As a representative from my constituency  in the sixth Assembly, I contributed my own quota in the areas of good representation, lawmaking and community development. I made myself abundantly available to my people, I gave hope to our teeming youths, ameliorated poverty, created opportunities, built confidence, empower rural farmers and inspired change, which up till now I am still sustaining.

As a former lawmaker, do you think the legislature is doing well in this country and how do you think the legislature can be fully independent to exercise its statutory duties?

Absolutely, there is still a lot of room for improvement. For us to get the best out of them, we need to educate ourselves. Although, the legislative power is derived from the people through representation, but we must not misplace their functions with the executive arm of government. The traditional role of legislators is lawmaking for operations of day to day activities of the government, aside the oversight functions through which government is held accountable to the electorate. To a reasonable level, the legislature is doing well through their oversight functions at ensuring that the executive arm of government is operating within the ambit of the law. However, there  must be clear separation of powers that will reflect independence and autonomy of the three arms of government.

What’s your position on the current economic situation in the country and as a leader of the ruling APC, do you think the country is going well under your party?

With utmost sense of humility, dignity and modesty, I wish to thank all Nigerians who freely gave us their mandate to govern this country. Although, the task is herculean, we are gradually navigating through the storm and challenges the country is passing through. In the real sense of it, this present government is working tirelessly on how to stabilize the economy, foreign exchange rates, inflation and price control. What we are witnessing now on the issue of naira to American dollar is a pointer that we are getting to the coast of self-sufficiency and economic stability. Our people should believe in the leadership of President Bola Tinubu and the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration.

In due course we shall laugh last.

How supportive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration are the 36 state governors in the country?

Some governors are already setting the pace, while others are still foot-dragging in  complementing the efforts of President Bola Tinubu in the process of nation’s building. In December 2023, the Federal Government approved N5 billion for each state and the Federal Capital Territory to enable them procure food items for distribution to the poor in their respective states. Apart from the considerable windfall in revenue allocations, the governors have also enjoyed considerable support from Tinubu’s administration, as they recently received N78 billion and N2 billion each for infrastructure support and fuel subsidy palliative, respectively. Going by what has accrued to states after the subsidy on oil was removed, state governors have been collecting good money that should have been used to make Nigerians happy. My position is that the governors need to support various initiatives of the president in fixing the economy by utilizing their monthly allocation for poverty alleviation in their various states. That is what should be paramount now. What the state governors are collecting from the federal allocation since the removal of the fuel subsidy is enough to put smiles on the faces of the people, if judiciously used. If governors can judiciously utilize what they are currently earning, the impact of inflation will be minimally felt by the people. We have the figures and facts about what these governors are getting. With the aforementioned, the state governors have no reason not to impact the lives of the people because the revenue available to all tiers of government has increased significantly since June 2023. State governors must be ready to give dividends of democracy to their people. They should account for what they are getting. People are displeased already. Citizens are watching and waiting patiently to see what their governors will do. But if they fail to do the needful, then they should be ready to face the wrath of the people at the appropriate time. They should do the needful and complement what the president is doing at the federal level and by doing so, everyone, irrespective of political affiliations, will feel the positive impact of the initiatives introduced by the president. If the governors do the needful, the living standard of the people will improve and there will be less disaffection towards the government at the centre. However, we will continue to encourage them to meet their obligations to workers, pensioners and to the people at large.

Do you share the view that some elements within the country are sabotaging the efforts of Mr President at developing the country?

Yes, there are people who are hell-bent on frustrating the efforts of the president in moving the country forward. And this is expected when there is a paradigm shift  in the way and manner government runs. Individuals who are  benefiting from corrupt system will strive to put a clog in the wheel of progress because they want to continue to milk the country through corrupt practices. I urge the president to forge ahead with his policies and programmes. He should not mind anyone whose ox is gored. This country must rise gain.

Do you think Nigeria is on the right path of socio-economic development considering the current situation in the country?

Yes, of course, with the emergence of the new administration of President Tinubu, government is already developing a framework to significantly  promote social development through tackling of corruption, promotion of good governance and implementation of pro-poor policies that can help reduce inequality and poverty, which will create wealth, improve standard of living of the citizens. The government is also diversifying the economy by increasing  investment in other sectors, apart from crude oil. Government is massively investing in  agriculture, technology and manufacturing which will help to provide economic resilience, job opportunities and reduce poverty as well. You will agree with me that economic activities provide the basis for income generation and wealth creation, contributing to  poverty reduction, improved living standards, thus resulting in social development. With our collective effort, strategic planning and effective implementation of policies, meaningful progress is within reach.

What will you suggest as the way forward to advance the course of democracy in Nigeria and also bring about improved economy?

Government at all levels should promote unity, accountability and inclusivity by implementing policies that promote national cohesion and discourage divisive tendencies. The government should also ensure that every citizen is treated equally, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. Inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogues should be encouraged and civil society groups should be involved in promoting peaceful coexistence among different groups. On the same note, government must work on fiscal and debt management, monetary policy, structural reforms, human capital development, economic diversification, encouraging investors’ confidence,

social safety nets, as well as technology and innovation.