100 days, one or even two years no doubt is relatively insignificant in the affairs of men. There is also no gainsaying the fact that within a space of 100 days , it is possible for a chain of events to unfold, but for the historian, the duration for which a monarch holds the reins of government is not important.
Rather, it is the impact of the government on the lives of the people that is important. This is so, because at the end of the day, the relevance of a government can only be defined or scored by parameters set by people and on the terms of what the people say.
It is due to these facts, that it is no mean task for the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration to be expected so soon to have forged a new dawn within a period of 100 days in Ondo State, which economy had sunk to comatose level with its citizens impoverished to a sorry state in the last eight years by the immediate past government led by Dr.Olusegun Mimiko.
As a result of the impoverished state of the economy, the people in their great expectations of the Akeredolu led government are truly banking on the present All Progressives Congress, APC administration in Ondo State to use failure of the immediate past regime as a resource and opportunity, with a strong will to use same as the door to great success of the Sunshine State.
Amongst several other things, they expected that immediately on assuming office, the Akeredolu led government would hit the ground running in terms of governance, survey the damages wrath by the last administration, evaluate the errors in order to dig out and eliminate the root causes of the last administrations failure despite the quantum of money allocated to it from the federation account during the eight years period.
Based on the backdrop of these failure of the last regime which left behind its trail, in form of dilapidated road infrastructures, billions of naira debt, close to 10 months unpaid salaries and pensions of civil servants, contractors debts as well as decayed social infrastructures, well-meaning Ondo State indigenes are quick to submit that rating and scoring The Akeredolu led government so soon in just 100 days is sheer wickedness.
However, because Nigerian politicians are expected to contribute cash for mobilization and party organization during the period preceding elections, it becomes expedient that they in turn look forward for appointments and contracts, hence the present administration which they belong to is being seen by them as “not yet performing”. Without being immodest, this is the thinking of some APC leaders and their followers within this 100 days in as much as patronage and material benefits are yet to come their way.
Making matters worse for a fair assessment of the ARAKUNRIN Akeredolu led government in 100 days is the fact that Ondo State is predominantly a civil service State and scarcely in the corridors of economic activities of the country, coupled with backlog of unpaid salaries of civil servants up to 10 months even in the face of an economic recession.
Because FAITH, ATTITUDE and OUTLOOK are ingredients that could overcome events, traumas, things and the actions of others, ARAKUNRIN AKEREDOLU could be taunted as already winning the confidence of many in terms of leadership style woven around slow, steady and committed mien to salvage the rot which the last administratiSo far, it is very clear that Akeredolu is already reinventing the wheel of governance in Ondo State and profligacy is not in his dictionary hence he may not necessarily earn accolades from a lot of politicians especially those in the same party with him, some of whom are still nursing ill feelings about the outcome of the vexed governorship primaries and those who have put it behind them but are impatient because of their quest for patronage and appointments.
The Akeredolu led government by all standards can be said to be keeping to its 5 point agenda which the All Progressives Congress, APC rigorously used to campaign before the election.
In the area of Agriculture, the present administration took a giant step when the governor directed Chairman of LG Caretaker Committee in the 18 Councils to make available 100 acres each to the State Government for Agricultural purposes and has already visited the “Small London” Palm Oil Farm Settlement at Ala Forest Reserve in order to forge areas of cooperation.
The present administration is known ,for example, to have got itself involved in direct procurement of farm inputs such as fertilizer,agro chemicals at affordable prices for its farmers as well as encouraging commercial farming through its “Anchor Borrowers Scheme”. There is no doubt that Arakunrin Akeredolu led government has truly come for change with a view to change society for good as organized agricultyral land acquisition for cluster farming has become the vogue in Ondo State local government areas, thereby allowing many people who hitherto stayed away from farming now gladly take part.
In the area of roads infrastructures, the government has showed visible signs of commitment as construction work is currently on-going with several road networks such as Abusoro, Ifon, Ikare, Okitipupa. The State Roads Maintenance outfit, OSAMCO through its direct Labour services has being up and doing since the inception of the administration visible showing its presence in ILARA, OWO, OSOSTEC and Okitipupa.
IT is worthy of note that Arakunrin Akeredolu within 100 days of assuming the mantle of leadership of the Sunshine State gave a directive to LGA chairmen in the 18 councils to construct at least 10 kilometers of roads in their areas and these they have already complied with.
In the area of administration, the Akeredolu regime has been able to display human face and put smiles on the faces of the work force as he reversed the oppressive acts of the past administration by recalling all sacked personnel at both RUGIPO and ADEKUNLE AJASIN UNIVERSITY, AKUNGBA.
Arakunrin Akeredolu in his 100 days in office has taken a bold step in changing past repulsive attitude of the immediate past administration to investors and business men wishing to come and establish industries in the State. He has already played host to some Chinese Investors who came calling to Government House Alagbaka and dangled juicy carrot before them with a view to making the State become an investors hub and boosting employment, especially of youths and artisans.
Bold steps have equally being taken concerning the OLOKOLA DEEP SEAPORT AND FREE TRADE ZONE, with a powerful Committee of experts in oil and gas set up to make the project come alive for the benefit of the State. Already the State Government has signed an MOU between OKFTZC, NEPZA AND OKLNG in this direction.
In the area of Electricity, this administration has signed a contract for the extension of electric power supply to Araromi and this is already awarded. It is expected to extend electricity from Igbokoda to Aiyetoro and westwards to join the Araromi line and then eastwards to other riverine areas of Ondo State. With these and others in partnership with NDDC, the ARAKUNRIN AKEREDOLU led government can be said to have opened a floodgate of development opportunities from Federal presence to the riverine communities and Ondo State in a short period of 100 days thereby signifying that the very best would come as the administration forges ahead its 4years tenure.
Based on the backdrop of all ongoing projects within the nooks and crannies of Ondo State in 100 days of the Akeredolu led administration even without a working budget document, political watchers and even critics are of the strong conviction that the best of the present administration is in the offing based on the style of administration of Akeredolu and his team of lieutenants as they have proved to the populace their silent, steady and goal getting attributes and ability. So far, the administration has showed to the people its commitment to healing their wounds sustained in the last eight months and it behoves that if anything at all, they (Ondo people) need to continue to sustain their hopes without fainting and continue to pray fervently for the government ,especially in the present distressed world economy so that they can secure total liberty.
NB :This piece was written before the signing of Ondo State 2017 Budget by the Arakunrin Akeredolu led administration.