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OSUN 2018: Why Peter Babalola Remains APC's Best Bet By Busayo

Written By Busayo

In the race within the fold of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State to produce a successor to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, whose government is gradually winding down, there exist a "beautiful headache" for the leaders of the Party.

This is sequel to the avalanche of numerous aspirants among those that have shown interest and others that are still consulting various interests across the State before taking  a stand.

To say that Governor Aregbesola has raised the bar of leadership in Osun is restating the obvious. Even to the worst critics of the present administration, the counter point would never be lack of quality, life-changing projects and initiatives.

From the flagship Osogbo/Ila Odo/Kwara Boundary road, to the 'mountainous' Bisi Akande Trumpet  Bridge comfortably watching over Gbongan Junction, and the uncommon Oba Adesoji Aderemi East By Pass and the accompanying bridges, the administration of Aregbesola has exposed the State to the best of infrastructural amenities.

This, has thus raised expectations of an average Osun man, who through the innovative governance introduced by Aregbesola believes that infrastructural amenities found in the more urbanized States in Nigeria can also be replicated in a State  like Osun that had before now being seen as backwaters of Nigeria's civilization.

Owing to this, need for experienced hand and the best of the lot to succeed Governor Aregbesola comes into play and take precedence over all other considerations.

Osun needs a man of intelligence, integrity and industry; a man of purpose whose humility is legendary and a governor who can sincerely key-in into Governor Aregbesola administration’s unprecedented six Integral Action Plan.

Personally, I have a dream that Aregbesola’s successor must be somebody that will appreciate personal sagacity and political shrewdness in seeking solutions to political logjams and socio-economic upheavals. Above all, he will be loaded upstairs, ready to put more boots on the ground in the interest of the State, the people and humanity as a whole.

Though he is yet to declare intention to run, but all eyes seem fixed on Dr Peter Adebayo Babalola, who since the State  was created almost 27 years back, has garnered experience for upwardly over two decades.

An indigene of Ikire, one of the three towns with the highest voting strength in Osun West Senatorial District, Babalola's boast of intimidating Curriculum Vitae that can scare  competitors out of the governorship race.

From being Commissioner  in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Babalola served as Chief of Staff and he is currently the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission in the State of Osun.

To start with, the blueprint being implemented by the present administration is not strange to Babalola, as he has been sitting atop the human setup doing the implementation for the political leadership of the State at the local government level.

Apart from this, Osun and his peculiar politics, places Babalola in  a vantage position to succeed Aregbesola. Through his successive political offices, Babalola has been able to build and cultivate relationships across all shades of opinions and interests and that should count hugely in his favour as the battle gets tougher.

From the Royal Fathers, civil and social societies, Labour Movements, Religious Organisations , artisans and the Media in Osun state, the influence of Babalola has been very visible, adding this to his war-tested, party-blind, and almost fanatical political structure that cut across all the over 300 Wards in the State, make Peter Babalola a candidate to beat, if giving the APC’s ticket to run.

In today's governance, international connections and influence among the private sector players is as key as any other factor. In these areas, Dr Peter Babalola is not found wanting. He is an employer of labour with fledging business interests in four continents of the world as the Chief Executive Officer of Pebaylat Oil and Gas Limited.

Bringing this managerial acumen to bear on the governance of Osun, while backing it up with native intelligence and unmatched equanimity will guarantee the State back to back exemplary leadership.

Last but not the least is the gradual, persistent and quite a delicate agitation from diffrent quarters that the seat of Governor  of the State should be conceded to Osun West  Senatorial District in the next election. If this will eventually become one of the factors to be considered before picking Aregbesola's successor, the choice of Babalola will be handy.

Babalola is home-based, as he had both his Primary and Secondary education in Osun. He attended  Orile-Owu Grammar School, Orile-Owu before proceeding to The College of International Marine, Colombo, Sri-Lanka and later attended Liverpool Polytechnic, UK. He has  a  Masters Degree in Transport Planning from Lagos State University.

An ordained Elder in God's vineyard, Dr Peter Adebayo Babalola is loved by all and sundry because he has been tested and found worthy. He is a thorough grassroots man who is loved by all and sundry in his native town of Ikire in particular , and the State in general.

Busayo writes from Iree, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State.

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