This Essay was Submitted by Tolulope Salami.

Without any gainsaying, Oyo state, like every other state in Nigeria, has her good, her bad, her better and her worse. The third of February, 1976 saw the creation of this great state which I strongly believe enjoys an uncommon significance in culture, geographical location, history and many other values amidst her siblings in the south western part of the country and Nigeria at large. Little wonder she is called ‘The Pace Setter state’.

Wilson Woodrow, the 28th president of the US once said, “We grow by dreams”. However John C. Maxwell equally gave a complementary assertion that “dreams are important but the major determinant of your success is your corresponding action.” In essence these words are not just
seeking to tell a fairy tale of my dreams as a gubernatorial aspirant for this great state, it simultaneously put into consideration the specific, measurable, achievable and timely plans to nurse them to fruition.

First, the heart of every human society is its economy. Unless the economic sector is well checked, the state will crumble in no time. To avoid such crumbling, I’ll start by leveraging on the existing means of income of the state, of which agriculture is notable. Apparently, agriculture is the dominant occupation of the Oyo state’s citizens.

Thanks to the favourable climate, cultivation of numerous kinds of crops coupled with the rearing of animals is not only possible but also tangible. To maximize this, I’ll further empower the international, federal and state agricultural settlements within the state.

Still on the economy, I’ll foster other income generating activities from broad concepts like tourism to informal and narrow means like philanthropy. We’ll be renovating and developing monuments like Mapo hall, UI zoo, Agodi gardens and other top tourist attractions in the state. We will also explore the vastness of the cities in the state to establish more lucrative projects, especially Ibadan, which is by land mass the biggest city in Nigeria and even west Africa, covering 3,080 square kilometers of land mass.

Battling unemployment is another agenda that demands more force than ever. This menace has its tentacles spread throughout the country as nearly a quarter of the population is unemployed and 20% are underemployed. Is there a better method to stop this problem from growing more stem, rather than cutting it right from the root? To ensure this, we will organize compulsory practical entrepreneurship classes for every student from their first year till graduation. This won’t just make them employed, it will also guarantee them due expertise.

Another notable sector which my administration will focus on, is security. In all sincerity Oyo state, for long, has been one of the most secure, safe and sane states in the country. However, in light of recent events like the rape cases, rampant burgling and other vices, our security calls for more tightening now than ever. Existing state security agencies like operation burst, the just incepted Amotekun and others will be greatly improved and we will ensure they run a smoother operation.

In the same vein, prevention has always been cheaper, better and easier than cure. In this case, while the aforementioned agencies serve as ‘cures’ to crimes, a good legislation will be the preventive measure. The review of the state laws as regards the common vices will be proposed to the legislative arm as a matter of urgency. More importantly, we, the executive arm, will enforce the laws properly. With a strengthened legislation and an effective enforcement, certainly, the peaceful paradise we desire is just around the corner.

In furtherance, Nelson Mandela said that the most powerful weapon a man can use to change the world is education—With this in mind, I plan to improve our state’s academic force by focusing on this assertion to boost the educational sector. Oyo state is currently 4th placed in the state with highest number of universities.

I do not just plan to increase the number of institutions, I’m also keen on assessing and evaluating the current curriculum from the primary to the tertiary level. This will be done with the help of experts in the field from around the world. All thanks to the incumbent government, the 22.4% budget allocation to education is the highest in the country. Considering the importance, my administration has placed on education, we’ll either maintain this or increase it.

The role of teachers and lecturers cannot be undermined in the sector, hence I’ll maintain a good relationship with their respective unions by trying my best to reach their demands and encourage them in every possible way. With all these in place, the literacy level of the state will increase and it will invariably affect other sectors positively.

It is a general principle of life that health is wealth. This assertion has judiciously guided the actions of different nations of the world. The provision of adequate health facilities as well as the prioritizing of health workers’ payments are some ways various governments ensure this. Unfortunately reverse is the case in Nigeria as our healthcare system is not healthy and definitely needs urgent care.

My government will see to this vital issue by providing viable solutions. More respect will be accrued to the health workers’ profession and their wages duly paid. We’ll build new sophisticated and 21st century compliant health facilities and renovate the existing one to such standard. This will only be possible if more funds is directed towards the health sector. To ensure this, I plan to increase the budget allocation of the sector and well as seeking assistance from philanthropists, if necessary.

According to Emile Durkheim, a notable sociologist, there is an interconnectedness among the social institutions which include: family, politics, education, economy and others. One of the uniting factors of these institutions is the infrastructure.

My administration shall make the improvement of the state’s infrastructure a priority. This will among other things, increase the standard of living of families, reduce the hardship of big and small businesses, make the state’s educational programs more efficient and introduce more ease to the administration of government too.

Section 5 subsection 2 paragraph (a) of Nigeria’s current constitution expressly vests the executive powers of a state in the governor. It is, however, without any shadow of doubt that no man is an island of knowledge. The constitution, cognizant of this fact, and in due consideration of the complexity of an average state government in the country, has provided for the appointment of the deputy governor, commissioners and other state officers with whom the administration would be run. These men will be of like minds, with effective leadership skills, educational prowess, emotional intelligence and high expertise in their respective fields.

Two of the major political problems this country is facing, corruption and godfatherism, are closely associated with the process of appointing personnel in government. With this in mind, I shall ensure that this process, which will be based on merits, will be subject to serious and honest screening and scrutiny. This will avoid the usual result of power-drunk and corrupt men dominating the administration. Instead we’ll have altruistic, introspective and goal oriented men in government.

It takes two to tango. These dreams can never be achieved without your quota. Of what essence is improved education system when the students refuse to study, a fertile land where there’s no planting in it, a tightened security where the people are intentionally violent. As such, I humbly and honorably plead with you, the good people of Oyo state, to fan to fire, the flame that this incumbent government has kindled. This we’ll do by collectively and individually. putting all hands on the deck. By working and praying really hard in all sincerity. Because only then, can the ideal Oyo state be real to every eye. This manifestos indeed will not be complete unless the indispensable role of you, the people, is well beseeched.

I will like to strongly establish the fact that my incoming government will in no way seek to compete with the incumbent government. Rather I’ll complement it and advance its objectives better. The incumbent Governor and his team have no doubt done a great good in the past year of administration, essentially by it’s prioritizing of infrastructure, education, healthcare and the likes. My administration promises a much more accelerated development. But for lexical constraints, my words will be uncountable. However, let this words go half the length and allow actions complete the rest.

I would like to conclude on a reiterating note that these words you are reading are not just to trigger your curiosity and compel you to vote for us, it is equally to build up an edifice of aspiration. It is pertinent for us to fuel our dreams, to book a ticket, by making the right vote cast in the coming election. And come May 29, 2023, we’ll ride on the bus of reality. We definitely will not pull over at the destination of dreams knowing that such terminus is terminal. We will be persistent with all these plans and be ready to stretch ourselves to and beyond the limits.

By achieving all the set goals, not only are we going to build a legacy, we invariably would have built a precedence for subsequent governments. And once again, Oyo state will be the game changer and pace setter she was created.

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