Folorunsho Adisa: Dapo Abiodun: The Sun Newspaper and Silverbird Man of The Year

Like Aristotle, I believe that honors and rewards are earned by those who demonstrate their virtues through action. In a system of performance-based rewards, no one is cheated, and no one’s mandate is stolen. If you earn it, then you deserve it. Similarly, an American Author, Helen Keller, says, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” highlighting the power of collaboration and collective action in achieving greatness. It is about bettering the lives of others, being part of something bigger than yourself, and making a positive difference. Prince Dapo Abiodun’s significant contributions to the growth of Ogun State and its people exemplify this ethos. Consequently, his recognition at the Sun Newspaper and Silverbird awards ceremonies few weeks ago parallels the radiance of sunshine, visible to all.

As facts are known to be stubborn and good works unable to be hidden, the serial development in the economy of Ogun State has led to the recognition and conferment of numerous awards on both the state and Prince Dapo Abiodun lately. Since awards are rewards for excellence, under the leadership of H.E. Prince Dapo Abiodun, the state has transitioned from a state of obscurity to one adorned with numerous accolades. And the most recent award are The Sun Newspaper’s 2023 “Governor Of The Year” and Silverbird’s “Man of the Year” awards are a testament to the giant strides that he has recorded in the state.

From his recent announcement of a N5 billion intervention fund for palliatives across all sectors of the economy to combat the current hardships experienced by citizens to, the icing on the cake, the functional Ogun State Gateway Agro-Cargo International Airport that will serve as cargo and passenger facility from the heavy industries built between the Lagos-Ogun corridor and the Agbara Industrial Layout, the governor has continued to score an excellent mark in various sectors in the state.

For instance, the Agro-cargo airport, which is well located, will provide seamless service for the evacuation of finished products from these companies and delivery of raw materials. The location of the airport at the off limits of the notorious traffic gridlock that characterises Lagos State, puts the facility in a vantage position to move goods to other parts of the country from the airport.

Equally, It will also be a rendezvous for the assemblage of farm produce before export, as the government of Ogun State is putting things in place to build aerotropolis at the airport. This means that agro based factories and others can sprout at the airport. That will give rise to an economic community that will create jobs, create revenue for the government and expand businesses between the two major states in the South-west.

I have observed Prince Dapo Abiodun since his assumption of office as the Governor of Ogun State in 2019, and I can say he has left no one in doubt, including the doubting Thomases, about his prodigious administrative acumen, robust intellect, keen vision, transparent honesty and the sheer capacity to organise men and materials for outstanding results.

In the Nigerian space where public service is largely synonymous with self-service, Prince Abiodun has remained constant as one of the exceptional few who are passionate about their jobs, and conscious of the fact that leadership is a call to service that must be religiously and conscientiously done.

Undeniably, in Ogun governance, his name has come to symbolize progress, innovation, and prosperity: the visionary leader, whose exceptional governance has propelled Ogun State to unprecedented heights. With his unwavering commitment to the people’s welfare, his transformative ISEYA mantra (Infrastructure, Social Welfare and Wellbeing, Education, Youth Development, Agriculture and Food Security) has revolutionized the state, making it the pinnacle of investment opportunities and a model for sustainable development.

Remarkably displaying leadership, Prince Dapo Abiodun has orchestrated a dazzling array of achievements that have reshaped the landscape of Ogun State. Today, the state is home to a multitude of housing estates catering to both low-income and high-income earners, ensuring that every citizen has a roof over their head. Public hospitals have received facelifts into standard healthcare facilities, equipped with cutting-edge technology and staffed by exceptional medical professionals. The Governor’s commitment to the health sector is evident in his provision of over 50 ambulances and the refurbishment of secondary and tertiary care centers.

But the Governor’s visionary approach extends far beyond healthcare. He has undertaken an ambitious infrastructure development plan, constructing and rehabilitating hundreds of kilometers of roads, connecting communities and stimulating economic growth. His multimodal Transportation Master Plan has revolutionized public transportation, providing air-conditioned and wifi-enabled buses that ensure a comfortable and convenient travel experience for all. This integrated approach to infrastructure development has not only improved the lives of Ogun State residents but has also attracted the attention of foreign investors, who recognize the state as Nigeria’s top investment destination.

Through the recognition of the potential of the youth, the Governor has championed their development through the establishment of Tech Hubs, providing them with access to the latest technologies and opportunities to excel in the digital economy. Moreover, the laying of 5,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables across the state has paved the way for unprecedented connectivity and digital empowerment. Through these initiatives, the Governor has positioned Ogun State as a place of technological innovation and a catalyst for youth empowerment.

Prince Dapo Abiodun’s efforts in agriculture and food security have not gone unnoticed. Ogun State has become a shining example of agricultural success, with the Governor’s strategic interventions leading to increased productivity, improved food security, and economic empowerment for farmers. The Olokola Free Trade Zone has attracted foreign investors, transforming the state into a hub of economic activity and job creation. With his commitment to sustainable agriculture and industrial revolution, the Governor has received accolades from both national and international organizations, affirming his status as a true champion of progress.

It is therefore natural that awards and recognitions would be trailing the governor as his exceptional leadership remains visible in the sun for people, including the blind, to appreciate and imbibe from. The accolades and recognition bestowed upon Prince Dapo Abiodun are a testament to his exceptional leadership and transformative impact. From being honored as “Governor of the Year in Education, 2022”, “Governor of the Year in Digital Economy, 2022”, “Forbes Best of Africa’s Governor in the Industrial Revolution in 2022” by prestigious institutions to receiving endorsements from esteemed leaders and organizations, his achievements resonate far beyond the borders of Ogun State.

Yet, amidst the accolades, Prince Dapo Abiodun remains steadfast in his commitment to service, viewing each award as a catalyst for greater achievements and a reminder of the responsibility entrusted to him by the people of Ogun State. And now “The Sun (Newspaper)” has beamed its excellent torch on him as “The Governor of the Year, 2023.”

Equally, On March 3rd, at the prestigious Convention Center, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the spotlight, ye again, shone brightly on Prince Dapo Abiodun as he was honored with the esteemed ‘Silverbird Man of The Year’ award. Triumphantly surpassing his rivals, Abiodun’s victory echoed through the hall, resonating with the essence of his exceptional leadership and contributions to society. Amidst the glitz and glamour of the ceremony, his name stood tall, a testament to his unwavering commitment and dedication.

Securing a remarkable 70 percent of the votes, Prince Dapo Abiodun emerged as the undisputed champion after a rigorous voting process, as revealed by Jacob Akinyemi Johnson, the Chief Creative Officer/Chairman Editorial Board of Silverbird Group. His win not only symbolizes personal achievement but also reflects the collective acknowledgment of his profound impact and transformative leadership. With this accolade, Abiodun’s legacy continues to shine brightly, inspiring others to strive for excellence and make a lasting difference in their communities

Prince Dapo Abiodun has come to represent hope and progress in Ogun State, blazing a trail and steering the state towards prosperity and transformation. His visionary leadership, unwavering dedication, and relentless pursuit of excellence have propelled the state to unprecedented heights, earning him recognition and acclaim both locally and internationally.

From groundbreaking initiatives in infrastructure development to innovative strategies in healthcare, education, and agriculture, Prince Dapo Abiodun has demonstrated his commitment to the welfare and advancement of every citizen. His tireless efforts have not only improved the lives of the people of Ogun State but have also positioned the state as a model for sustainable development and investment opportunities.

As one reflects on the remarkable achievements of Prince Dapo Abiodun, one is reminded of the words of that American author, Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Under his leadership, Ogun State has witnessed unprecedented progress and prosperity, fueled by a collective vision of a brighter future for all.

In celebrating the governor’s recognition, it is important to acknowledge that awards serve as motivation to strive for greater heights. With confidence, it is believed that this recognition will inspire him to work even harder. As Prince Dapo Abiodun’s tenure continues to unfold, the journey towards progress and prosperity in Ogun State promises to gain momentum. With unwavering determination and a clear vision for the future, he holds the potential to lead the state towards new coasts of opportunity and growth, where the people of Ogun State stand tall and strong to embrace a future defined by excellence and prosperity.

Folorunso Fatai Adisa, a postgraduate student of Media and Communication in the United Kingdom, can be reached via email at folorunsofatai03@gmail.com.

Folorunsho Adisa: Dapo Abiodun: The Sun Newspaper and Silverbird Man of The Year

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