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Final talk: My successor, Oyetola, doesn’t have my ‘swagger’ — Aregbesola

The outgoing governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has said his successor, Gboyega Oyetola, though cerebral does not have the same ‘swagger’ (boisterousness, radicalism) he possesses as a political leader.

He also said that he has no regrets having led the state for eight years stay as the governor.

Mr Aregbesola who is expected to hand over to Gboyega Oyetola on November 27 made this statement on Friday at the final Ogbeni Till Day Break Programme tagged: “An Angle Is Passing”.

He said: “Gboyega Oyetola is a cool, calm and brilliant goal-getter, but he is not a radical like me. He does not have my swagger but he is an extremely cerebral human being,” he said.

Earlier in the interview, he said: “I have no regrets in governance. Given another chance to govern, I would continue along this same path. To the glory of God, we have just won an election. There is no better way to demonstrate our political sagacity than that.

“However, my party is different from me and if there are areas the party feels I could have done better, they are free to advise the incoming governor to make such amends.

“It is extremely difficult to maintain our level of popularity over an eight-year period. We got into power at the eleventh hour but that of the incoming governor has been one of ease. It’s a sign of things to come,” he said.

Mr Aregbesola said his cabinet “ran a good race and fought a good fight”.

He also restated his usual claim that he never received a salary as a governor of the state.

“The state feeds me, fuels my car and covers my other expenses. This is why I see no reason to earn a salary. I have no house, save the one I built before I became governor of Osun.

“I have no bank account anywhere in the world. I have not earned a dime in salary since I became governor and I do not intend to so do.”

Speaking on some of his achievements in office, he said: “My greatest achievement has to be our social investment program. Our people now refer to themselves as Omoluabis. If properly internalised, 50 per cent of our problems as a race would have been solved.

“As a matter of fact, we have not commissioned 10 per cent of our projects. We will not be found commissioning hairdressing saloon and boreholes. We would only commission projects worthy of celebration.

“Our school feeding program which we revived and expanded is life changing. We put together a youth empowerment program that is acclaimed worldwide.”

Mr Aregbesola said he did not pick up the senatorial ticket because he wants to rest.

“The reason why I didn’t pick up the senatorial ticket is very simple. I have been active politically since my secondary school days. I simply want to rest.”

Despite the governor’s pass mark on himself, he is criticised for running an administration marred by payment of modulated (cut) salaries which made many civil servants condemn his government.

The last governorship election in the state that brought in Mr Oyetola was condemned by local and international observers as there were massive vote buying and voter intimidation. The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke is currently contesting the election results in court.

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