Though the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun did not go without its flaws, we cannot humiliate a man because of political differences.
I came into political consciousness during the era of Senator Ibikunle Amosun as governor spanning my early secondary education when unified secondary school examination was introduced, through my tertiary education. He did things that stand him permanently in good stead. Even his worst critics would admit to this in their closet.
He came in at a point when the security situation in Ogun State was porous; thuggery and cultism were rampant. This situation drove investors out of Ogun State.
As secondary school students, you could experience violence anytime. I recall several occasions when terrified teachers would run into our classrooms and tell us we couldn’t go home yet because violence was ongoing at some axis. Sometimes schoolchildren would be caught in the midst of the fighting.
For someone who witnessed that era and also saw the total end of that period, the governor would permanently be an achiever, and going forward, a relapse to that period is the greatest fear of many.
Having solved the security challenges and being able to woo investors to Ogun State, the governor also made giant strides in increasing the internally generated revenue of the state from N750 million to seven billion naira per month. This is obtainable from the fact that Ogun state is the most industrious state in the country with the highest number of factories in Nigeria. He drove Ogun State to a point that it attracted 75 per cent of Foreign Direct Investment in the country (according to the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria).
It’s worthy of note that prior to the emergence of Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun State was just a civil service state. The investments by the government in security, road, power and ‘Ease of Doing Business,’ which earned the state recognition by the World Bank, have clearly yielded salutary results.
His tragic flaw was not respecting party leaders/elders and imposition of candidates on party members, which has made people to forget the good things his administration recorded. He stepped on many toes in his eight-year tenure and they’re coming back to haunt him immediately his governorship candidate lost the bid to succeed him and his party’s candidate emerged as the governor.
His inability to humbly accept defeat is another mess that has refused to go away.
I pray the new governor does better where his successor did not. I hope he forgets the sin of his predecessor and inherit the abandoned projects of the last administration as his own.