He was a year old in the office at the time. Yet, he rejected an award. It happened about four years ago, September 5, 2019 to be precise. The award came from an NGO, by name Nigeria Africa Development Indicators Monitoring Foundation (NADIM). They visited the State to inform Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola that Osun had bagged overall best State in Nigeria in terms of development.
According to NADIM, Osun came first because it scored over 50 percent in 12 out of the 18 Development Performance Indicators used for the assessment.
However, Mr. Governor was skeptical and reluctant over the award; and he did not hide it. Once the team left, ahead of the ceremony the next day, Mr. Governor called me into his office. I was barely a month old in office at the time, and said: “I know we are doing our best. But I am not convinced we deserve the award. Most of the things we intend doing are just coming up.”
Based on our discussion that night, I returned to my office to rejig his speech to convey his true feelings about the award. And in the end, I came up with the following lines: “When I was told our state was due for an award, I was skeptical. How can a government that is less than a year old be adjudged the overall best in the country, beating states like Lagos, Edo, Anambra and even the FCT among others, I asked. What were the indices used? All these were some of the questions that ran through my mind.
“As a government, I know we are doing our best to provide good governance by continuing the transformation of Osun from where the last administration left off. But even at that I felt it was too early to begin to recognise us as the best performing state in the country.”
Once he read the the first six paragraphs, Mr. Governor said: “You have indeed captured my mind. This is exactly the way I felt about the award.”
That night, we left the office late, precisely by 1am. But I left fulfilled, seeing my Principal giving me a pass mark.