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Osun: Savouring the fruits of Innovative Governance

As South Western Nigerian leaders of thought, policy implementors and technocrats converge at the ancient city of Abeokuta for the Southwest governance innovations summit, I am moved to recall two past incidents; the one, a historic meeting which started at about 6pm and rounded up just before 6am sometime in December 2010.
The venue was the “situation room” at the Bourdillion Road, Ikoyi residence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. A new Governor had just been sworn in, a week prior, after three and half years of protracted litigation to regain a misappropriated mandate. That Governor is Rauf Aregbesola.
The purpose of the meeting was to share thoughts with the core leadership of the then Action Congress and a handful of key elements who served in the Lagos cabinet when Asiwaju Tinubu held sway as the Chief Executive, on the policy thrusts and the direction in which the new government in Osun was going to drive the implementation of its electoral promises. Seated at the long table were the party chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and, as I recall vividly, also present were Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Yemi Cardoso, Dele Alake, Leke Pitan, Dr. Charles Diji Akinola, the Osun Deputy Governor, Mrs Titilayo Laoye- Tomori , this writer, and a couple of other associates from Osun.
At this meeting, those of us close associates of the new governor who were key architects of the Osun renewal took turns to unfold the vision and invited those with cognate experience to critique our game plan and how we were going to execute the “PACT” of Rauf Aregbesola with the people of Osun. The conversations were robust, and centred around the narrative of “Government unusual.” This new governor was going to demystify the office and get really down to the task of serving. Key radical reforms were going to be put in place in vital areas of massive food production, roads, infrastructure, functional education, youth empowerment, communal security, affordable healthcare delivery, restoring the status of Osogbo as a vital commercial hub, and engendering socio- economic inclusion.


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