It was a day of that encomium poured in torrents for the Governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola as eminent Nigerians honoured him with a Colloquim for his 60th birthday on Thursday.
At the event organised by associates of the governor, speakers were unanimous in their assessments that Mr. Aregbesola represents the goodness of the future generations.
Lead Speaker at the colloquim and President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud; a university don and newspaper columnist, Niyi Akinnaso; legal scholar, Akin Oyebode, and the Director General of the Office of Economic Development and Partnership, Charles Akinola, all summed up Mr. Aregebsola’s more six years in office and concluded that he has raised the bar of good governance.
In his lecture, Mr. Oyebode, a professor, said nothing is comparable to democracy and that no right thinking Nigerian will want the military to truncate the nation’s democracy again.
He described the governor as an epitome of democracy and good governance judging from the development the state has recorded since he came to power.
The don said virtue permeated Mr. Aregbesola’s transformational policies be it in education , youth empowerment, food security, agriculture, health, rural development, security and other social infrastructure.
Mr. Oyebode noted that what is termed the dividend of democracy is nothing other than welfare of the people which is not only the primary responsibility of any government but also the acid test with which government is measured everywhere.
”In sum, this was an administration that was not afraid to confront head on problems engendered by socio political transformation and which was ready, willing and able to share confidences with the people that put him in office.
”While the jury is still out regarding his scorecard, even the most virulent critics would agree that he has changed the Osun landscape and the rules of engagement such as to rekindle hope and confidence among the people.
”A review of the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola thus far, would reveal no diminution of resolve and commitment to better the lot of the masses and underprivileged, even in the face of dwindling financial resources,” Mr. Oyebode said.
The NBA President, in his lecture, said every leader must possess certain qualities for him or her to succeed among which are honesty , humility, forgiving spirit, confidence and commitment to the cause of the people.
Mr. Mahmoud said Mr. Aregbesola possessed all these qualities, which made it possible for him to achieve what he has achieved in Osun.
The NBA President praised the newly constructed school buildings, road construction networks, innovative e-learning tablet, Opon Imo, and the various welfare intervention programmes of the administration.
Mr. Mahmoud continued, ”Aregbesola has demonstrated what it takes to be called a hero by his sterling performance.
”I commend him for obviously raising the bar of governance in the country today. I have been to Osun and I have seen the phenomenal performance.
“Is it the quality of the schools. Is it the architecture of the schools. The infrastructural facilities scattered across the state. All these certainly cannot be by accident.”
Among speakers who delivered goodwill messages were the former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Bisi Akande; Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole; the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi; representative of the national leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; and member of the House of Representatives, James Faleke.
It was a roll call of who-is-who in the political circles, business and corporate communities and others that gathered to give Aregbesola a befitting birthday colloquim.
Speaking, the minister of health said Mr. Aregbesola had done well in all aspects of human’s life.
According to him, “no government has ever invested in education as being done by Aregbesola’s administration in the history of Nigeria.
“When I went round some of the ultra-modern schools built by Aregbesola’s administration, in fact I was very amazed because I couldn’t believe that a government could be so passionate about education to the extent of investing on education to that extent.
“Your achievements in the last six years have qualified you to be an unusual being whose passion for development seems to be incomparable by all strata.
“With the achievements recorded in education, there is no doubt that you are wiping off ignorance, poverty, unemployment and other societal vices in our state and Nigeria as a whole.
“You are representing the future of this country as you have brought a drastic change to governance.
The Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Sola Adeyeye, said Governor Aregbesola had never disappointed the people of the state.
He commended the state helmsman for turning around the socio-economic fortunes of the state since assumption of office.
Mr. Adeyeye, who recalled the challenges faced by the Governor before reclaiming his mandate in 2010, expressed gladness with the giant strides made by the Aregbesola’s administration.
“Aregbesola has really surprised me. He has proved to the people of Osun what good governance stands for. He brought unusual governance into the democratic system of Osun.
“He is a developer par excellence. He is a builder of sustainable development. He is a man with exemplary quality leadership. An inventor of human and capital development.
“He has changed the face of Osun in terms of good roads, good hospitals, good schools and many infrastructural projects that have given birth to a new Osun,” Mr. Adeyeye, a professor, said.
The Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Najeem Salam, said all the lawmakers in the state identify with Mr. Aregbesola not because he is governor but because he is a leader of leaders.”
He described Mr. Aregbesola as a great leader whose impacts had brought hopes to countless number of people in the state, Nigeria and beyond.
“Aregbesola is a man who has never found it difficult to help even if the circumstances seem to be difficult to do so,” the speaker said. “He is a great being of note that his existence has improved the lives of many.
“He has a way of navigating even when road seems to be blocked as you are always compassionate about human matter.”
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi, said Mr. Aregbesola’s passion for development cannot be measured. He said, “One thing I so much respect Aregbesola for is the fact that he is a virtuous man to the core. He is an Omoluabi par excellence. Aregbesola is a man of peace.
“Aregbesola is a man whose passion for development can never be measured. He was the one that God used to install me as Ooni of Ife and to the glory of God our relationship has been cordial.
“This will be in the records forever that I was installed during his tenure as Governor. It is God that gave us Aregbesola to move the state forward especially at a much needed time.”
The Alaafin of Oyo, in his remark said,”Aregbesola is the first Omoluabi of Yorubaland. He bagged this title through his commitment to human development. He is a good example of all characteristics of a virtuous being. He is hardworking, humble and respectful as these among other qualities earned him many titles ND accolades.
“So, it is obvious even to the blind that Aregbesola has really transformed Osun just a the general well being of hi people had Ben greatly and positively impacted.
“He deserves praises and commendations.”