Osun is relatively safe in comparison with what is obtainable in other parts of the country.
We have had three cases of kidnapping/abduction so far and it is to the glory of God and the joint efforts of government and the security agencies that the abductees were rescued while some of the perpetrators were apprehended. No other form of popular insecurity situation has occurred in serious terms in the state since the advent of our progressive and proactive government in 2010.
For the whole lot of time that farmer-herdsmen clashes were fashionable in the country, only one feeble case was recorded.
This is to the extent that an abducted person in Lagos was rescued in Osun while the abductors were arrested. It won’t be out of place to conclude that Osun is safer than many states in Nigeria.
Opposition party members are saying Osun does not have surveillance helicopter despite claims by the administration of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola that one helicopter was bought for the state to aid security. What is your view on this?
The opposition in Osun consists of confused minds. When that helicopter was purchased, it was a regular point of attack and blackmail.
How can they now turn around and deny the existence of the same helicopter? My take is simple: Osun’s opposition is incapable of playing any role well. They were a flop while in government and a bigger flop outside of government. For them, it is difficult to rationalise issues beyond ‘what is in it for me’.
The government recently said its helicopter was on lease. Will you advise that the chopper be recalled to assist the security agents in the area of surveillance now that Osun is battling insecurity?
I will not make such a suggestion because it will be frivolous; in the sense that the security people have not found it necessary to have it on standby. If those who will need it are not asking for it, why will a novice recommend that it be recalled?
That is why I said earlier that the Osun opposition lacks the ability to rationalise issues properly. Ordinarily, the helicopter is drawing revenue for the state where it is. If that is the case, how rational will it be to withdraw it and have it idle?
And this is important: Osun is not, by any means, battling insecurity as compared to other dark spots in the country. Anybody who assumes that is either ignorant of the true situation of things here or is mischievous. Governor Gboyega Oyetola and his security team are on top of the situation.
Will you say Osun State Government was right to purchase the helicopter at the time it did?
If a leader is visionary, he won’t wait to cut his fingernails on the travel day. Thinking for the good of all is holistic and futuristic.
How much deep you are is how much you will be able to think outside the usual for the progress and well-being of the people you lead. Chief Obafemi Awolowo went through so many vicissitudes for daring to introduce free education when he did. Of all the strata of the society, the peasants for whom he did it hated him and rebelled against him by ensuring his party lost the next round of elections.
If Aregbesola did not buy the helicopter at that time, what will the opposition, with ugly faces, be asking for use now? A leader should be able to see farther, imagine the future and plan ahead for it.
That was what Aregbesola, ably assisted by the incumbent Governor Oyetola, did then. To the uninitiated, it was a waste to purchase the helicopter then but for the visionary duo of Aregbesola and Oyetola, the need for use of helicopter for the benefit of society will soon come. That time might be now.
Some said he terms and conditions around the lease of the helicopter are kept away from the public. What is your view on this?
The conditions around the lease are about business and it is not customary for businesses to be run on the pages of newspapers. Nonetheless, be informed that the best, as would be obtained anywhere in the world, is what the lease is all about.
The government is very thirsty of having more revenue to be able to do more of good governance for our people. The government of Osun cannot short-change itself by doing shenanigans with revenue it sought after much as was the case mostly before our government came.
Going by your experience, what is the desirability or otherwise of the state having a helicopter?
The helicopter is very much useful in many circumstances; it is needed by different strata of society. For Osun, it was meant to support crime fighting so that peace and tranquillity can be attained.
In real terms, this is the core duty of any serious government. When the government, after it became clear that its efforts at emplacing peace in the state was yielding positive results, it thought out how best the helicopter could be used.
Leasing it was found to be attractive and so it was leased. But then, there are many other ways helicopter could be used, depending on its configuration and make.
Government believes Osun security issue is exaggerated. Going by what Governor Oyetola told the Chief of Army Staff during a recent visit, do you still think the matter is hyped?
You and I live in Osun and we see things as they happen. Tell the truth, the way it is, the condition of security in Osun is far better than the insecurity situation being painted.
It seems to me that it was a deliberate ploy to paint the government black make it look irresponsive to the plight of the people. Just like they do in other issues for political gain, they paint a non-existing development in such a state that will create instant fears in the minds of the people.
It is selfish politics. Take it or leave it, the true picture of the situation on the ground isn’t to the extent of the gory picture being painted by government adversaries.