Sanballat was a contemporary of Nehemiah, a Jewish politician robustly documented in the Old Testament of the holy Bible.
Sanballat was a Samarian leader and government official. Tobiah was equally a government official, most possibly a governor of Ammon. These two government officials, alongside another powerful politician, Geshem, became allies and made themselves adversaries of Nehemiah, who as governor over Judah, was appointed by the king to rebuild the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. The preoccupation of Nemehiah’s adversaries was to hinder his effort to rebuild the city. They adopted mischiefs and different strategems to stop Governor Nehemiah from achieving his goal. This event took place in the 5th century BC.
Which better description could detail the enemies of progress than the biblical allusion above? In Osun State where Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is repurposing public administration and governance, there is hardly any government projects the reincarnates of Sanballat and Tobiah don’t attempt to stop.
The modern day Sanballats are in the opposition PDP while their collaborators, Tobiahs, are in Osun TOP, enlivened by Rauf Aregbesola, a federal minister with inferior quality who left the state in financial perplexity.
What is Oyetola’s offence? His offence is that he has chosen to rebuild Osun following the season of anomie when locusts and termites and millipedes feasted on the dividend that should have accrued to the people.
Has there been any recovery plan of the current government that was not badmouthed and unfairly subjected to ridicule in an attempt to incite the people against the government? No. Osun Food Support Scheme ( Ounje Ileri), construction of Olaiya flyover and the determined IGR drive of the government. Name them. None was and has been spared of the ferocious and hurtful criticism.
In April 2021, when the Osun Food Support Scheme was launched, the Sanballat and Tobiah of these world went to town with irresponsible and destructive tales of how the government wanted to use the project to distribute “hoarded” food materials given to it by private individuals to support citizens aftermath of COVID-19.
They regaled their audience with stories of how the project would die a natural death within two or three months because the state did not have the financial capacity to sustain it. But 18 months after, the project is still live and kicking. The distribution for the 19th edition of the food scheme has begun and another 30,000 households, as usual, are planned to receive this month’s food giveway. This will take the number of beneficiaries of the scheme to 570,000, since it was launched 19 months ago.
Since April 2021, the Ministry of Regional Integration and Special Duties, headed by the Osogbo-born engineer, Olalekan Badmus, has not failed to discharge its responsibility of serving 30,000 households every month.
Similarly, when the idea of constructing the Olaiya Flyover was first mooted by the Gboyega Oyetola-led government, it was all noise from the Sanballats and Tobiahs. They fell over themselves to repudiate the proposal.
One of the lies was to confuse the unsuspecting citizens about the purpose the road would serve. But the government kept its eyes on the gaze by listening to the yearnings of the majority of the people for whom the project was planned.
The see-no-good-hear-no-good rabble rousers, who sustained rabid media attacks on the government and deride the state’s Commissioner for Works, Engr Remi Omowaiye, for building “useless single carriageway”, are today frequent users of the flyover they wanted government to terminate its pregnancy. Contrary to their lean predictions, cars and articulated vehicles move freely on the road.
One of the good things going for Oyetola is his masterly penchant for curing sadism and cynicism with ambitiously beautiful programmes. Rather than turning himself to an obsessional exhibitionist as his predecessor, Oyetola allows his work to speak for him.
But those who courted media attention, even when they could not pay pension and salary for 30 months, are today jealous the government of the day, since inauguration in November 2018, is paying salary and pension as and when due. They are jealous the government of the day has begun to offset the backlog of monstrous pension and salary they left behind. They are jealous the government of the day, despite defraying over N60billion of the humongous debt they bequeathed to it, still steadies on in its drive to make life more prosperous and meaningful for the people.
They are jealous that the re-branded and the re-focused Ministry of Finance, directed by a patriotic professional, Bola Oyebamiji, is shunning the hitherto reckless government spending and is bringing more money into the coffers of the government, in IGR, without snufing lives out of the tax-paying citizens.
“Osun State, over the last 3 years, ” according to a notable civic advocacy group BudgIT in its 2022 Report published last week, “has improved its cash management and reduced revenue leakages through the implementation of the State’s Treasury Single Account (TSA), as 77% of the state’s finances is currently covered under its TSA. The state currently operates one single account for its IGR and federal transfers ( FAAC and VAT). The import of the aforementioned is that the government not only has a complete grasp of all its finances through a Bank Account Monitoring System ( BAMS), but also government revenue is swept weekly from other revenue collecting Banks to the lead TSA account. The state has seen its IGR rise by 110.60% from 10.38bn in 2018, when the BAMS was deployed, to N21.86bn in 2021. Osun has been able to link 97% of its civil servants’ and pensioners’ Bank Verification Number (BVN) data to its payroll.”
The more the government of Oyetola gets positive reviews from thought leaders, the more the intellectual lillupitians, bent on destroying every good thing at sight, lose their head and slide into depression.
Even when they hate, ridicule and disparage Oyetola and his government, it is certain that as Governor Nehemiah was energised by God Almighty to complete the Wall of Jerusalem on record time, so also the plan of God on the State of the Living Spring will manifest through Governor Oyetola, His vessel, regardless of the bitterness planted by the rambling political philistines.