I turned on my radio this morning listening to Sweet 107.1FM, Abeokuta. There were discussants on a programme titled “Gentlemen of the Press.”
On that programme, they were reviewing what the government of Governor Dapo Abiodun is doing to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 in Ogun state.
There were different submissions, allegations and counter allegations.
When it was time to get the reactions of listeners, a message was read: “I miss former Governor Ibikunle Amosun.” That was what somebody had to say about the whole discussion.
Immediately the message was read, I began to ruminate over it. Why does this person miss Amosun? What would Amosun have done differently at a time like this?
The sender of that message did not say much. He only said he missed Amosun. But, believe me sincerely, that message is fully loaded.
After careful analysis of that message, I began to realise why the person must have said he missed Amosun.
Everybody in Ogun State knows Amosun is a workaholic. He doesn’t sleep until he gets things done. Even when there was no pandemic, he didn’t sit in his room to give orders. He doesn’t believe in photos. Whatever project he embarks on, Amosun will keep visiting the site day and night until everything is done to what he termed ‘Ogun Standard’.
By now, Amosun’s presence would have been felt everywhere, especially in Ogun border communities, where many are flouting the interstate travel ban. The palliatives would have gotten to many, if not all.
He was not a Governor that would keep journalists waiting for hours thinking about what to tell them.
Honestly, no one knows the kind of ‘machine’ that is inside Amosun. He can trek kilometres without getting tired. He can work from morning till night without taking a rest. That’s the kind of person we need at a time like this.
If Amosun were to be the governor of Ogun State this time, those violating the orders of the government won’t have the courage to do so. He has this charisma. He earns respect without forcing it. The Senator has this style of convincing people to obey government policies and directives. He is not the type that addresses his people once in seven days. I know he would be giving daily updates to carry the people along.
I remember when former Senator Iyabo Anisulowo was kidnapped in 2016, the man was on top of the situation. He personally joined the search for the former Ogun West Senator.
Amosun was in Yewa to join security agents in searching for Anisulowo. He deployed all security apparatus to ensure Anisulowo was rescued unhurt. That’s courageous of him.
During his reign, Amosun proved to the entire Ogun indigenes that he was really there to rebuild Ogun State. Like seriously, he accomplished that mission to rebuild.
The Yorubas do warn against comparing one child with another. This is because if we do that, we may annoyingly beat one child to death. Amosun stands out among equals.
Let me be frank right now. Many of us didn’t like him when he was the governor. It was after he left office that we started seeing the difference between a stream and a river.
Just like that person said on radio, we are really missing Amosun this time. There is no gainsaying the fact that Ogun State needs someone like him at a time like this.
His level of proactiveness is second to none. All thanks to his visions in making Ogun what it is today. Think about the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which he increased in geometric progression. Think about the urban renewal drive. He has made Ogun investors destination of choice.
Amosun has raised the bar of governance in Ogun state to the level that anybody operating below that bar will be seen as being ‘non-performing’.
It is no joke. In fact, Ogun people now want their governor to be everywhere like Amosun. I’m not sure if everybody can be like that.
When I saw a video of a Governor enforcing the lockdown order by stopping cars on the road, I said this is exactly what Amosun would have done if this had happened under him, because he is very aware of the porosity of Ogun borders with Benin Republic, Lagos, Oyo, Osun and Ondo.
Please note that I’m not doing a comparison, I’m only saying Amosun is one in a million. Ogun people will continue to miss him.