Governor Rauf Aregbesola
By frequently leading a walk-to-live exercise, the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, not only relaxes, but also keeps fit. This and more he shares with Ademola Adeyemo
Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s understanding of democracy is not only in allowing full participation of the people in their affairs; it is also by engaging them in such activities that could guarantee healthy living and longevity. That way, he believes they’d live to savour the dividends of democracy.
Therefore, whenever the Osun State governor is not adorning the robe of politics or attending to official matters, he pleasures in leading the people for exercises. Aregbesola had discovered on assumption of office that many people in the state were living a sedentary life which accounted for high rate of sudden death.
Concerned by this trend, the governor then introduced a programme tagged “Work-to-Live” during which he and other top government officials lead the people to jog across the streets in the state once every month. This is because Aregbesola believes that being healthy isn’t only about eating healthy.
“We sit more than walking and this is killing us slowly. Exercising is one way to combat our sedentary lives and stay healthy and this will also help government by reducing the cost of health care in the state.”
Aregbesola held that it is imperative for people to burn stored energy and fat and rebuild atrophied tissues to improve their health. “The more you exercise, the healthier you become,” he said.
Apart from his daily physical exercise, Aregbesola treks at least, seven kilometres with his people in the monthly walk-to-live exercise.
Aside this, Aregbesola said he finds being in the midst of his people, especially the downtrodden, quite fascinating. That way, he seeks to put behind, worries that are politics-related and wears the humanitarian garb which he claims is even more comforting.
It is also unknown to many that the governor is a fine composer of lyrics, depending on situations and environments. He is a repertoire of legendary didactic songs that teach morals to the young and the old.
For every situation, he has the knack to come up with a song that sends his listeners thinking. This is a passion that comes with a bit of dexterity. It comes from within and also insidious. But the cerebral Aregbesola never fails to seize the initiative and this is evident in the excitement he radiates.
Sort of complimenting this is the fact that the governor is a great dancer. Whenever Aregbesola listens to his kind of music, he dances himself to no end. He finds it easy to wriggle his body to the rhythmic sounds of traditional musical instruments. Indeed, traditional musicians have found him an ally in the state.
Another initiative designed to unwind is the programme: Ogbeni Till Daybreak. This, according to the governor, allows the people to know how tax payers’ money is being spent.
“People are able to have insight into the government’s finances and they also have the opportunity to ask questions on areas that are not clear with respect to how the affairs of the state are being conducted. More importantly, suggestions are also taken from the participating audience on the ways the government can improve on its performances.”
After a recent exercise in Ila-orangun, the governor had come on air in a live radio broadcast to interact with the people and restated his commitment to the implementation of the people-oriented programmes. An elated Aregbesola told the listening audience that his government was ever-ready to introduce programmes that would benefit the people in all facets of live.
“Democracy could only flourish if the people are fully involved in the process of governance and are not kept in the dark in the running of state affairs. The activities of government, especially their finances, are not conducted like a secret cult. In a nutshell, there must be transparency in the conduct of state affairs.”
Listing other achievements of his government as a result of participatory governance, Aregbesola cited such areas as education, health, agriculture and food security, transportation and massive road constructions across the state, adding that the ultimate drive is what will benefit the greatest number of masses.
He, therefore, assured the people that his government would continue to be responsible and responsive to their needs, wishes and aspirations.