– Oluseun ODUNEYE, Abeokuta

Prince Dapo Abiodun is the Executive Governor of Ogun State, who was sworn-into office on May 29, 2019. The prince who became the Governor of Ogun State came into power with vigour and zest for all round state development, reconstruction and reformation, perhaps what fully describes his “strategic thinking”. Strategic Thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving a goal or set of goals in a game or other endeavor. Strategic thinking can be applied to statesmanship and it involves the generation of unique business insights and opportunities to create competitive advantage for the government in any given state.

While this can be done individually, it can as well be collaboratively implemented among key people who can positively alter the state’s future, perhaps this is what Dapo Abiodun is creating for Ogun State at the moment. In all Governor Abiodun’s decision, he is championing “group strategic thinking” to create more value by enabling a proactive and creative dialogue, where all involved will gain other people’s perspective on critical and complex issues bordering Ogun State. This will be quite beneficial in highly competitive and fast changing government business landscapes. Dapo Abiodun’s strategic thinking is finding and developing a strategic foresight capacity for transformation of Ogun State by exploring all possible government’s organizational futures, and challenging conventional thinking to foster decision making for Ogun State.

In his strategic foresight, Dapo Abiodun is embarking on a planning-oriented discipline which is related to the future of Ogun State. “Strategy” itself, to be more explicit is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. Strategic foresight happens when any planner uses scanned inputs, forecasts, alternative futures exploration, analysis and feedback to produce or alter plans and actions. However, scenarios planning plays prominent role in strategic foresight. Strategic foresight is a growing practice in the corporate-foresight. For Governor Dapo Abiodun, strategic thinking competencies are key to vital developmental strategies Ogun State needs which rewire these five attributes:

(1) Systems perspective: This refers to the ability to be able to understand implications of strategic actions. This brings the Governor to the level of achieving a mental model of the complete end-to-end system of value creation, his role within it and an understanding of the competencies it contains.

(2) Intent Focused: which means more determined and less distractive than rivals in the marketplace. This enables Governor Abiodun to marshal and leverage his energy, to focus attention, to resist distraction and to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve the goal for the state.

(3) Thinking in time: Is being able to hold past, present and future in mind at the same time to create better decision-making and speed implementation. Strategy is not driven by future intent alone. It is the gap between today’s reality and intent for the future that is critical. This is where Governor Abiodun stands.

(4) Hypothesis driven: Is ensuring that both creative and critical thinking are incorporated into strategy making which Governor Dapo Abiodun is using to pilot the flight of the state.

(5) Intelligent Opportunism, which means being responsive to good opportunities. While there are existing tap opportunities in Ogun State, creative opportunities are constantly being developed by his government to balance the scale of opportunity system, to further harness the intelligent opportunism. The dilemma involved in using a well-articulated strategy to channel organisational efforts effectively and efficiently must always be as well balanced against the risks of losing sight of attentive strategies better suited to a changing environment. The strategic thinking of Governor Abiodun first began during his transition period when he was able to gather able bodied men and women to form his think-tank. As a Governor, his administration is focused with qualitative governance that is responsive and openly accountable to the people of Ogun State. Where this is highly applauded is in the democratic dialogue and consultation with the good people of Ogun State especially in the reconstruction and maintenance of roads that are of great priority to the people.

For example, communities in council across Ogun State recently were given the privilege to name two or three roads in their areas which are for uttermost priority for intervention, Ogun people responded whole heartedly with all gladness for being carried out in Abiodun’s all inclusive and transparent government. Revealing the State and Federal government collaborative plan, Governor Dapo Abiodun, at 2019 Ojude Oba festival, said, “The three major federal roads in Ogun State are now ready for rehabilitation, namely, Ijebu-Ode/Epe Road, Abeokuta-Sango Road, and Sagamu- Ikorodu road in which one will be completed in 10 months. As the governor continues to gather momentum to build a viable administration, he remains an all round strategic thinker, in his steady move; he is strategically working on two key factors that are central to governance and which he considers too important to his administration: appointment of credible members of his cabinet and projects to be executed in the state.

Briefly after his series of engagement with investors, several loan offers, the Ogun TecHub initiative programme, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun also marked his first 100 Days in office surprisingly; he shocked the people of the state by commissioning 100 patrol vans and 200 motorcycles to strengthen internal security in the State. At the ceremony which was witnessed by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Governor applauded the IGP Adamu, for his swiftness at ensuring that normalcy was restored back to the state when kidnappers struck in the state between the 23rd and 24th of July and the 1st of August, saying the state would continue to have a zero tolerance for criminality, cultism, kidnappings and other unwholesome attitudes in the state.

Prince Abiodun, who made this known at the presentation of one hundred vehicles and two hundred motorbikes at the Arcade ground of the Governor’s office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, said that the helicopter that was released for surveillance on the instance of the President Buhari helped the state in curbing crimes and criminality. The governor affirmed that no part of the State would be a safe haven for criminals and criminality in whatever form, adding that with the reconstituted security trust fund which had been moribund, his administration amended the law setting it up, with a view that the reconstituted security trust fund would not be affected by bad governance, as it had in the past. “We reconstituted our security trust fund which had been moribund, we amended the law, setting it up so that we can have in the fund people who can make it successful and also ensure that it has the right governance, so that it can be autonomous and independent,” he said. In his quest on the socio-economic well-being of the people in the state as the government is not out for vendetta, the governor gave his indication at the launch of Ogun TechHUB, saying his administration could not afford to abandon the projects executed by the past government as they were executed with public fund.

He said, “I want to use this opportunity to assure our people that we will not abandon any project that has direct benefit to the people. Those projects were done with the people’s money. “We will ensure their completion because we are not interested in vendatta”. He added that the TechHUB underscored his administration resolve to digitally transform the State, just as the centre would form a platform for incubating ideas that would proffer solutions to human problems, saying similar centres would be established in the other two Senatorial Districts, expressing the hope that technology development at the centre would attract foreign exchange to the State and nation. While calling on the people, especially the youths to take maximum advantage of the programme, the governor said an advisory council would be constituted for the TechHUB, calling on well to do individuals and corporate bodies to partner with the State government in achieving its set goals.

Someone in Governor Abiodun’s cabinet said, ” The governor is exercising so much care in running the affairs of the state as he would not want to inculcate error into governance, he setup various committees to oversees the affairs of some areas in the state where issues are ongoing among other related matters. Prince Dapo Abiodun is indeed a real strategic thinker who is introducing his master strategies into government affairs. Ogun people can count on him in his far reaching decisions that will transform the state better.

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