By Olamide Lawal
Fathers are feathers. They aid the flight of their children, give them a raise on their shoulders so as to see even further, and prepare them for the future so as to have safe landing always. Family is the first point of moulding the life and destiny of the children through carefully laid down principles, moral teachings and provision of opportunities through education and skills acquisition. This is to further establish the children for a better future, such is the importance of a father to the betterment of the family and society at large.
The youth constituency in Ogun State would agree that Prince Dapo Abiodun had taken governance beyond the usuals. His #BuildingOurFutureTogether reality truly runs in his blood and this has manifested in his way of administering Ogun State. Since inception, Governor Dapo Abiodun has made it a point of duty to include young bloods in the helms of the state’s affair, so much so, that it can be said without hypocrisy that over 50% of his appointees are youths. This is unprecedented in recent times , especially in Ogun state.
The Youths have never had it , this good, especially in an era where the youth is not often given the freedom to express or showcase their capabilities and potentials.
Without been immodest, Governor Abiodun has consistently provided an open mentorship system that has made these youths outperform their colleagues in other states.
Perhaps, the inclusion of more youths in his administration is the reason the State had stepped up in many sectors.
Day by day, these youths are doing above the norm, and rewriting the history of the state through tech-driven machinery.
The tech-hub along Kobape road is a lofty initiative of this government that Ogun youths would always thank the Governor for.
Abiodun Emmanuel Oyedele once said “we are in a world where many fathers only have title but lack the function of their office. Many people are fathers by name, not by function”.
Dapo Abiodun has been a FATHER-FIGURE to the entire youths in the state via his style of governance, comportment and compassionate leadership. For instance, Instead of laying-of the 2000 employees employed during the twilight of the last administration as done in other states and by Amosun himself when he became governor in 2011, he absorbed them into the civil service and ensured they perfected their employment papers. He did not stop at that, he has also recruited about 3,000 youths as educators into the Ogun Teach Intern Program. This is unusual of a Nigerian politician.
As a business tycoon himself, Governor Abiodun understands the intricacies involved in creating an enabling environment of opportunities for the young people; irrespective of their level of education. This is why he’s been able to successfully better their lives through his many Agricultural initiatives. Thousands of youths are now back to farm as producers of farm produce. These youth-farmers have contributed in no small measure to the Agricultural value chain of the state and country at large.
The state helmsman in his desire to make valuable impacts in the lives of Youths, has continued to woo investors into the state. Various industries and companies in Ogun state have given employment to several youth in the state in different spheres of endeavors. The outcome of the above has also robbed off on artisans whose expertise are always needed to carry out projects that have brought them very impressive incomes and recognitions.
One of the many initiatives of the governor to further strengthen the arms of the youth, is the Ogun State Agro-Cargo International Airport and Agro Processing zone respectively. These are Located in Ilisan-Remo and set to provide between 25,000 – 30,000 jobs for the people of the state, the Airport was shown to the world towards the end of last month in order to further notify potential investors that Ogun State is opened to business. Irrespective of the size, the presence of an airport in the state is a win-win situation for the government and the residents particularly the youths of such state.
Governor Abiodun has been a source of inspiration, and a worthy mentor, who had never believed in taking vengeance over any opposition. His steps , comportment, body language and omoluabi attributes are motivational for youths in the state .
Abiodun is a visionary leader, whose unconventional style of making things work in every sector of the state is worthy of recognition.
It therefore didn’t come as a surprise when he got decorated by the Federal Government with the distinguished award of Industrial Revolution which was in recognition of his efforts to enhancing rapid industrialization, ease of doing business and making Ogun state Nigeria’s top investment destination of choice via his pull factor industrial initiative. The aforementioned were not his first, Industry watchers have credited the governor in the last three and half years with many Appreciation and Commendation Awards due to his several superlative performances in the areas of investments in Agriculture, ICT, Urban renewal, affordable housing, Security of lives and properties, human capital development, sports development and a host of others.
Not forgetting that plans are in place to resuscitate the defunct gateway Hotel in Ota. He had pointed out that the Hotel would not only give a facelift to the state, but also provide job opportunities to the youth. Without mincing words , this administration is doing all in its capacities to build an enabling environment for its youth to thrive without prejudice. Prince Abiodun understands that the youth are drifting towards ICT and technology, his preparedness and active involvement in it has also earned him the Governor of the Year in Digital Economy.
This is a man of immense value, quality and integrity who has proven beyond every reasonable doubt to stand tall according to Davido’s song, as a father worthy of emulation and celebration.
The body language of Prince Dapo Abiodun is always connected to peace and growth. His recognition locally and internationally since the beginning of his administration is a source of relief for the residents and citizenry of Ogun State.
Prince Dapo Abiodun is one who spices good governance delivery with compassion. The recent one is the suspension of his campaign rallies across the State to show empathy with the people of Ogun State who are facing hardship over scarcity of naira due to the new CBN policy and also the fuel scarcity.
His proactive approach that made youths in Ogun state not to join their colleagues in the destruction of properties during the 2020 ENDSARS protest is not just commendable but an effort worth millions.
States whose youths were on the streets during this protest not only lost million worth of properties but have not been able to stabilise till date. Governor Abiodun’s efforts shall always be appreciated in this regard.
If Dapo Abiodun’s type of political tolerance to governance and compassion are emulated by other members of the political class, Nigeria’s political system would have been a brand worthy of study in the diaspora.
Prince Dapo Abiodun’s name is written in the minds of the young men and women as the first Governor to ensure even distribution of projects across the 20 local government areas of the state.
When some Governors failed to allow local government function in their states, Ogun State under Dapo Abiodun’s leadership had put in place democratically elected officers to administer Governance at the grassroots. Many youths were given the backing of the Governor to become Councillors, Chairmen and appointees of the local government. They would live to always appreciate Omo Baba Tisa for the life time opportunities.
An administration that maintains cordiality with its legislative and judicial arms could only be led by a man of royal blood in his veins.
Also, For not abandoning the uncompleted projects of his predecessor and for spreading infrastructural projects to the nooks and crannies of the State, his name ought to be written in the sand of times as
A worthy father. A worthy mentor !
A youth friendly administration of this kind cannot be allowed to come once in a lifetime. There is a need to support him for Continuity of this style of leadership. Youths need to reciprocate the many gestures of Prince Dapo Abiodun by re-electing him for a second term in office.
It can only get better with our father-figure in the mantle of leadership.
Olamide Lawal is the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth and Sports