Sixty is just like a home, family, and nurturing, while the numerology 60 is a number of harmony and idealism, the ideal generally related to a harmonious family relationship.
60 has maternal and paternal instincts, but now that the number one citizen of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun is marking an historical age at 60, the people of Gateway State should expect nothing than that care and loving affections of a parent.
Dapo is a father, husband, businessman, boardroom guru, political leader, and incumbent governor of Ogun State; his life offers interminable lessons on the beauty and benefits of resolve, compassion, unpretentious generosity and family virtues. Here is a man who came into the front burners of politics of bitterness in the state, and he is not but changing the narratives and practicing transparency and laying a good example for coming generations by teaching the lesson, that what is paramount to him is the interest of his people and not personal interests.
This successful businessman ventured into politics to improve lives and ever since he occupied the plum seat of the state he has been working parallel every day to ensure that Ogun gets it right and a whole lot has been done to place the State to a vantage position for positive growth and development; security, infrastructure development, and agricultural revolution.
For Ogun people, his ‘Building the Future Together’ agenda has neither deviated nor deterred from exploring every avenue to attract growth and development to the state; while he has been moving around all the political divides to rally all sundry on the need to join him in steering the almost drowning ship of the state. This has taken him round all the three senatorial districts of the state and he has amply shown that his government will be all-inclusive and at the very best non-partisan and non-vindictive with laudable policies and visible projects dotting its landscape.
His emergence to occupy the plum seat of the state has also re-united the political big wigs across inter-party and sundry political stakeholders in the state. Even the traditional rulers in the state are not left out, as he makes it a point of duty to visit them and appeal to them that they should all join him by also appealing to their subjects that he will not neglect them in the scheme of things.
Today in Ogun, hitherto neglected communities, especially those “remote areas” that have hardly ever been anything more than campaign points and statistics during electioneering periods are now experiencing what it means to have a government that truly cares, a government committed to a fair deal for all and foul treatment for none.
Prior to his manifestoes, Prince Dapo promised roads linking Ogun to neighbouring states to receive priority attention as well as the construction of rural roads to foster development and determined to make the rural and township roads, easy for people to move with relative ease between Lagos and Ogun States, which was the major reason for establishing the Ogun State Public Works Agency that is proving to be efficient and responsive in rehabilitating intra and intercity roads.
Even the abandoned Ijebu-Ode-Epe road, which is planned to have 10 lanes, five on each side, with one pull-out section and a toll plaza comprising, 14 payment points has recently turned the sod as one of the very important roads in the country, and also the governor’s effort in easing traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and bringing relief to commuters and indigenes, to save Nigerians valuable time in traffic and engender the socio-economic growth of the state.
Prince Dapo has offered automatic employment to the best graduating students in institutions in the state like the OOU, Tai Solarin College of Education, and the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro. He also made 20% increase in budgetary allocation on Education, with 3,000 seat multipurpose, fitted with all the gizmos – computers, printers, free Wi-Fi facilities completed and commissioned as the largest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centre in any Nigerian university; and another 2,000 capacity twin lecture theatre commissioned, remodeled the 1,500 capacity multi-purpose hall; and refurbished and equipped its ICT centre at the Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa.
In his efforts in combating the world novel COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Dapo Abiodun selflessly led the team in limiting the spread of the deadly disease within his lovely state. He set up the Disease Surveillance Notification Centres (DSNC) all 20 local government areas of the state and upgraded the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu to a full-fledged bio-security and containment centre to attend to anyone who tests positive to the virus. Within a few weeks, the state government constructed purpose-built isolation centres in Ikenne and Sagamu, which have 128-bed units and 21 beds respectively. Another centre, located in Iberekodo, Abeokuta, with 100 beds, has also been completed, while the state government recently commissioned an additional 100-bed isolation and treatment centre, essentially for low-risk cases. In a rare gesture, he directed all contributions to DA-COVID NGO in aid of his birthday to support all efforts to combat Coronavirus.
Beyond his physical projects, Governor Abiodun’s ‘Oko-Owo Dapo’ is to women who are involved in legitimate SMEs across the state. The initiative also aims to enhance trade, as well as micro, small, and medium scale enterprises. The initiative is centred on empowering the people of Gateway state and making life better for people, with over 3000 beneficiaries including market women, politicians, and members of women societies, religious associations, or trade associations.
These are little out of many he has done in fathering the people of the state. Thus, Prince Dapo Abiodun endeavours to do good, and his deeds are done not as an apology or extenuation of his fortune and citizenship of the world. Even at his unique 60th birthday, he has not shown any sign of relentlessness in his commitment to making real his avowed manifestoes to the people and this is an unalloyed part with good people of the state which he doesn’t intend to depart from any time soon.
Aside from that, this man of the people, whose favorite slang, ‘O Sele’ was born on May 29, which has become historical with the political calendar of the nation, now that he celebrates 60 years; what awaits the good people of Ogun state are dividends and transparency of good governance, which Governor Dapo Abiodun is now putting at the center of his administration by putting people at the center of developmental processes.
BOLATITO is a celebrity journalism practitioner; publisher of Airwaves Reports, and columnist at Daily Independent and Business Day Newspaper.