The Amosun Example
“Example is leadership”—Albert Shweitzer
Good leaders will always leave their positive footprints on the sands of time. Such leaders will do projects that will affect positively the lives of the led. They achieve this by feeling the pulse of the electorate, especially in democracy, who brought them to power. The thrust of this write-up is neither of undeserved adulation of any government nor reflect what cannot be verified but to mirror the feelings of many inhabitants of Ogun State currently and encourage good performers throughout the length and breadth of the country to forge ahead.
Once at a political debate between late Engr. Funsho Williams and Senator Bola Tinubu for 2003 gubernatorial elections in Lagos State, on a national television, the two leading candidates were asked to name the most important programme of their manifestoes to the electorate. The former, the late gentleman, did not hesitate to mention unemployment. Yes, a monster that cut across all ethnic divides. But the latter, not also mincing his words, named transportation—a link to every one's destination. It was after further analysis that media audiences were able to pigeon-hole either of the two programmes and put them in perspectives. While it was praiseworthy to tackle unemployment, no one government could totally solve such problem. But whether you are employed or not, good transportation touches the lives of all as it can be a route to one's employment! Traders, corporate workers, industrialists, artisans, politicians, farmers, healthcare practitioners, pensioners, students...all need good transportation network to convey them and their goods and services to their various destinations. So, good road network is key.
The giant stride was then taken by the succeeding government of Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State. At first, Lagosians, especially roadside hawkers, groaned, cursing the government and its leadership. However, with Mr Fashola's resolve to set Lagos Example, the roads started emerging from death traps to the one of a smooth-flow of traffic. It was revolution for excellence! It was a giant leap with determination and courage that transformed Lagos State to the model state it has assumed at present. Within two years of Governor Fashola in his first term in office, it was crystal clear that the Nigeria's commercial nerve centre State was becoming a cynosure of peoples around the world. And by the completion of the first term of Governor Fashola's government, Lagos had been transformed to a mega city!
With the mission to rebuild Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun government is setting another remarkable example. The handwriting is now clearly written on the wall that this mission seems to be real as people travelling from neighbouring cities are now losing their ways to their family compounds due to the widening and reconstruction of many roads across the state. Because I inhabit in Abeokuta, the state capital, I will limit my examples here to the city. The city is wearing a new face now, which gladdens the heart of many. The Ibara overhead bridge is the first of its type in the whole of Ogun State, turning the city outlook to a modern city rather than the 'ancient city' it used to be. Some critics argue that the government has expended too much money in achieving the project but the protagonists contend that what the indigenes of the state advocate for now is the emergence of the physical projects which are gradually coming to fruition. From Onikolobo to Ibara Post Office, Omida to Sapon; Lafenwa to Itoku; Sapon to Iyana Mortuary; Abiola Way to NNPC, Ita Italode to Agbeloba and Madojutimi Junction link road to Obantoko to mention but a few are currently being transformed with good drainage system. Ita Eko is already a model for other roads under construction. It is hoped that this government will not relent until the best is achieved.
At a forum last October, Governor Amosun had declared that his government would not discriminate in the reconstruction of 'federal roads' and 'state roads', stressing that state governments are closer to people at the grassroots to construct and maintain such facilities such as roads. Ever since, some 'federal roads' have been marked for widening/reconstruction.
Opinion sampling shows that the development is a welcome one among the indigenes of the state capital city. The incumbent government in the state should be firm to complete all road projects as scheduled. Doing this will make Amosun government another reference point in the nearest future. Lesson: our aspiring leaders should take a cue from not only the Amosun government but any government of the people by the people and for the people.
By Kolawole Katib