As we approach the 2023general elections, the people of Oyo state are whispering already about the right man to again move the state forward just as many, this writer inclusive, are of the view that if we get our system of leadership recruitment right, the best man to move the state forward by unlocking the politics of reforms is Professor Adeolu Akande.
Adeolu Akande, a professor and a former chief of staff to the late Abiola Ajimobi, a former governor of Oyo state and presently, the chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), to many is the best man to lead Oyo state come 2023.
Akande is today regarded as one of the most recognised, well groomed and intelligent man that can unlock the politics of reform in Oyo state. It is generally accepted that Oyo state, the prism of Ibadan, its capital, needs major reforms that would rebound its fortune of as one of the world’s capital of urban slums and put it back on the lane of renewal for development.
The general view persists, the politics of 2023 in Oyo state is about issues and not individuals. The issues are generally seen and heard in the streets of the state and the issues are simple and germane. The issue is who is experienced enough and possesses the brain and charisma to unlock the politics of reforms in the state? The answer is simple – Prof Adeolu Akande.
Akande’s personal and political ideology, for those who trust him, can transform Oyo state into that fora of the most developed state in Nigeria and thus contributing immensely to the reshaping of the state.
Akande is an enigmatic leader. His stints with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as special assistant, research and communication strategies and that with Abiola Ajimobi as chief of staff have prepared him for leadership and politics.
After years of decline in the fortune of the people of Oyo state, the state needs the leadership that would change the tide in its favour. The state is in need of the leadership that would make it solve the chronic, silent tsunami of developmental issues and faster too. Without being complacent, the solution is having a leader who has the intellect and the magic wand to heal this myriad of problems like Adeolu Akande.
Oyo state truly needs a rethink about its leadership because leadership, security and development are interconnected trajectories of a developed society. It is only a man with the intellect that can make our leadership recruitment processes take us there. If there was an urgent need for a visionary and committed leadership to take us there as a people, Adeolu Akande is the man. One of the biggest challenges confronting Oyo state is the absence of a trusted, committed and continuous basis leadership that can act on a shared vision. This failure is responsible for the aggravated problems of insecurity, instability and underdevelopment and authoritarianism that have bedevilled Oyo state under this administration. Thus, with Akande, things would change for the better.
Akande is the politician that has consistently acknowledged that for things to change, and for Oyo state to grow, our leaders must rise to the challenges of times and citizens. He is ready to lead our people out by convincing them to step out in firm conviction that each has a responsibility to be part of the building block of a prosperous, peaceful and progressive Oyo state.
The situation in our state today is indeed worrisome. It has created the impression that the state is leaderlesse, akin to a flock without a shepherd. Appreciating the enormity of the situation, Akande would be ready to present himself as a leader that would move Oyo state forward.
His brain is already a library of the policies, vision, strategies and implementation templates and targets of what needs to be done urgently to make Oyo state’s quest for development achievable and fast too.
It is a fact that Oyo state today has no direction, or succinctly put, we are in an old, negative, corrupt and inept direction. Akande has due to his experience a directive policy for the state and the propensity to build powerful institutions rather than strong men that will implement these policies that will benefit all segments of the state.
The tragic events impacting the state mean that Oyo state needs a leader like Adeolu Akande that can rise to the challenges of its development. These challenges are man-made and only a good leadership can solve them. There is an erosion of leadership trust in our state today and it is a sign of weak leadership. The state needs a leader that would get out of its lethargy and stand for its citizens’ rights. When the leadership does that the citizens would confidently take ownership of the state’s developmental needs and contribute to its development. That is the type of leadership Adeolu Akande would entrench as a philosophy of governance in the state.
Oyo, known as the pacesetters state, borders Ogun, Kwara, Osun and Edo states. With an extensive inter-state highway and the ability to capitalise on high volumes of cross border activities, the state should benefit from its strategic locations enabling companies to receive shipments from Lagos, reach markets in the northern and eastern regions, or supply customers in Benin and beyond. Businesses in the state still face challenges posed by infrastructural bottlenecks. Akande would develop new policies in conjunction with federal agencies, to strengthen and incentivise investments by strengthening the state’s competitive advantages.
Although links to neighboring markets are a major attractions for investments, Oyo local markets also holds a sizeable appeals as well, both in terms of potential consumptions as well as labour supply. Oyo state is the fifth most populated state in the country according to the Bureau of statistics and a growth rate of 3.5 percent per year.
Although the state does not boast of the same levels of hydrocarbon riches as states in the Delta regions, it still provides a number of natural attributes that still allows for primary and secondary activities. The Akande administration in the state would tap on this attributes to make the state the investment capital of Nigeria.
The natural resources of Oyo state are paramount to the state’s economy that is agrarian by nature. The Akande administration would tap in this natural resources to make the state an agrarian capital for the benefit of all.
Professor Adeola Akande, a native of Otu in Itesuwaje local government area of Oyo state and a professor of comparative politics and political communication from the Igbedion University, Okada is Chairman, Board of NCC.
Comrade Muswady writes from Ibadan via 08118106424.