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Osun 2018: Defining a governance plan

AS the consultation towards the governorship election coming up in Osun State on September 22, 2018, continues, it has become imperative for those eyeing the number one seat in the state to take inventory of things and assess the situation in the state with a view to coming up with a solid developmental plan. This fact appears not to be lost on the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt.  Hon. Lasun Yussuff, who is one of the strongest contenders for the governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Lasun, as he is popularly known, had, during the local government by local government consultation where he is currently meeting with his local party structures across Osun State, defined his plan for governance, giving clear insight into his agenda and vision for the teeming people of the party and the state.

During the meetings, Lasun explained why he is interested in the 2018 governorship race in Osun State, expressing his passion for developmental  leadership, which he said is critical to Osun State’s growth.

He commended the outgoing governor of the state, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, for setting the foundation for development, adding, however, that the foundation needs be protected and used for further growth.

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The Deputy Speaker had clearly pointed out the strategic role the civil servants would play in his government by appreciating the labour unions for understanding the course of governance during Aregbesola’s government and stating that the current workers’ plight, especially the salary shortfalls, will be addressed immediately he resumes as the state governor.

But the main plank for the development and transformation of Osun State, according to Lasun, who said his government would be sustainable development-oriented, driven by knowledge, agriculture and productive livelihood, will be through four main agenda: health care, education, women development, and economically-induced infrastructure.

On health care, Lasun did not mince words in promising to ensure that the present health challenges in the state will be combated, noting that government would pay serious attention to maternal and child health care and health of the aged. In this direction, he emphasised that government would invest heavily on primary health care, being the gateway to health security, even as he promised that health insurance will be made possible for all citizens to reduce the overbearing cost of healthcare management.

Describing education as pivotal to sustainable development, Lasun said that education in the state must be linked with state’s challenges with a view to creating solutions. In this direction, he promised to run education programmes that will make education functional, noting that school education will be run in such a way that school performances will be enhanced. Culture-based and community-driven curricula that will reflect moral, ethical and traditional values will be pursued. Education content will give prominence to development of local science and technology and teaching of local languages in both primary and secondary schools.

Specifically, he said, government would ensure good welfare for school teachers and the remaining  schools in the state yet to be rebuilt will receive attention. He also stated that government under his leadership will attend massively to the issues of providing secured and sustainable school infrastructure, academic materials and generally creating conducive environment for teaching and learning. For Lasun, however, education reform will not begin and stop with formal schools, as he highlighted plans to develop vocational and entrepreneurial education.

On agriculture, Lasun expressed his determination to ensure that government engages in massive agriculture in the state, which he said would involve both private and government engagements. Private individuals and companies, he said, would be attracted to engage in massive farming.

Lasun identified that women empowerment remains critical to development, noting that neglect of women in development “is the cause of massive poverty affecting Nigeria.” Therefore, he pointed out that his government will facilitate capitals and training that will uplift women. Lasun promised that within the first five to nine months of his governorship, the state will facilitate between three and five billion naira for women empowerment in the state, which will be carefully monitored to yield success.

In the area of infrastructure, Lasun maintained that infrastructure development would be given serious attention but that infrastructure will be cited with full consideration of their economic relevance.

For a man with the wealth of political and leadership experience like the Deputy Speaker, the recognition that the electorate has tremendous power to make these plans for the state come to fruition has led him to visit all the 30 local government areas of Osun State twice between August 2017 and April 2018, with the current intra-party consultation in all local government areas of the state being the third round of such visits. In all the visitations, Lasun Yussuff had always been welcomed by a massive turnout and engaged in serious political discussions with his party gladiators, who assessed and have come to the conclusion that he is the most capable aspirant for the Osun State governorship position.

Professor Ajala is Special Adviser (Constituency Relations) in the Office of the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives.