Nearly three months after being elected, Gboyega Oyetola will assume the position of the governor from Rauf Aregbesola after a handing over ceremony expected to be held in Osogbo, the state capital, today.
Both men are members of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC. Both also have other things in common: they were both based in Lagos and are staunch loyalists of APC national leader, Bola Tinubu.
Mr Aregebsola has governed Osun State for eight years. His tenure witnessed massive infrastructural development including construction of major roads and schools. His tenure, particularly his second term in office, was, however, also characterised by irregular payment of workers salaries.
Mr Oyetola won the September Osun governorship election, narrowly defeating Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Mr Adeleke and the PDP have cried foul and are currently challenging the victory in court.
Eminent Nigerians on Monday in Osogbo eulogised Mr Aregbesola for giving his best to develop the state in the last eight years.
They spoke at a colloquium to mark the end of Mr Aregbesola’s administration.
The colloquium has as its theme: “Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in Eye of History.”
Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi State, said the education policies of the outgoing governor was the best in the country.
Mr Bagudu said Mr Aregbesola took a risk to develop Osun, adding that he was seen as controversial by many because his ideas were most times not easy to comprehend for some people.
According to Mr Bagudu, when he was in the Senate, a Committee on Education, led by a late senator, Uche Chukwumerije, during a visit to Osun, discovered that the state had the best education policies, as well as best infrastructure in public schools.
“I got to know Governor Aregbesola through my colleague in the Senate, Prof. Sola Adeyeye.
“He told me a lot about Aregbesola before I eventually met him. When I met him, I was not disappointed.
“Our committee, while in the Senate, was in Osun to see some of his projects in (the) education sector.
“In our separate reports, we all concluded Aregbesola had best education policies in the country.
“He took (the) risk to develop Osun. He is a patriot, a nationalist. He is humble and a true believer in Nigeria, who has good thought about the country.”
Also, Owei Lakemfa said developmental projects that Mr Aregbesola left behind would continue to be a reference point in the state.
The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, also said Mr Aregesola’s various innovations in the last eight years had relaunched Awolowo and Jakande educational policies of free education and infrastructure development.