A YEAR OF HOW NOT TO BE A GOVERNOR IN OGUN STATE.
By: Elijah O. Akinola
Actually, not many expected much from Governor Dapo Abiodun when he assumed office on May 29th 2019. The reason? Succinctly put, he wasn’t prepared for the task of a Governor but to just answer the name. The campaign period is enough evidence of this with no articulation of any program of action or whatsoever.
Since he assumed office, he hasn’t disappoint many. It has been more of trial and error style of governance. Nothing innovative. The arrival of COVID-19 and its attendant effects did not help matter. It exposed the Governor’s understanding of how to be proactive and nip things in the bud.
Immediately the Governor was swore-in, he clandestinely got the House of Assembly to suspend all the political functionaries for all kinds of sundry invented reasons from the book. But those who understand better can read between the lines. It was all political abracadabra and display of naked power. The Governor was just trying to announce his arrival and in the process get back at his predecessor under whose the Local government political functionaries assumed office. Ordinarily, the tenure of those people is statutorily clear. It goes beyond under whose watch they assumed office. Law goes beyond whims and feeling of the man at the helm of affairs at the State level. It goes beyond coming up with all kinds of invented mosaic law just to get to some people. It is immaterial whether the Governor like the face of these individuals or not. How much of sense does it even make to suspend from office at the same time paying the salaries of these individuals. Waste of scarce resources? The action of the Governor is definitely ungubernatorial! The ghost of that uninformed action of suspending a set people who had just about 5 months to the end of their tenure will still hunt the Governor in the nearest future.
Despite the grandstanding that heralded the beginning of the administration, it took the Governor over six months to put his cabinet together. Eventually when the team was put together, the time taken to compile the list before the announcement was not justified. It was more of a wishy-washy list. The end does not actually justifies the means. The team was and still forgery plagued. Up to today, it will be difficult for any student in the state to answer correctly any question on who is the commissioner for Education in the State. It is that bad. This is absurdity to an important sector like education in the State. That’s our biggest industry. The state has never joke with Education with any administration. The present government is taking a departure from that noble path.
In the same vein, the malady has been extended to the ministry of Information with no substantive commissioner. Could it be lack of trust or lack of good hands in his team? Are they all pure professional propagandists. The Governor must be thinking low of all his team members. Even at that, the Media and Communication Department of the administration is having, at the last count, about 12 appointed functionaries with all kinds of designations. They are already working at cross purposes with their individual egos. This is another low for the Governor. How best can any government sound like a broken record? The hawk of propaganda machineries are surely being assembled instead of a performance driven government.
In December 2019, Prince Dapo Abiodun performed one of his scared duties as Governor. He appointed 8 new set of Permanent Secretaries. Making the announcement in an authorised Press Release signed by Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kunle Somorin, the Governor went on to announce a new posting for both the new and old Permanent Secretaries. This is absurdity of the highest order. The Governor went beyond his brief as the Chief Executive officer of the State. It was a faux pas that can only be committed by kindergarten Governor. A blunder in all its entirety. He enchroached on the statutory responsibility of the Head of Service. Though humble pie was later eaten on this as the press release announcing the purported posting was later disregarded. But then, the deed has been done. It shows the malady and elementary mistakes in the governmental affairs under this administration.
On the security of life and property. The first year of this administration has recorded avoidable and state institutions orchestrated deaths than any other. Unwarranted killings in Sagamu, Cultists reigning heywire in Ijebu Ode and environs. Imasayi was ransacked by Custom. Killing of innocent souls in Ipokia and Owode Yewa areas without any response or State visits to those communities has continue unabated. This is another ungubernatorial act.
Immediately after the Governor got swore-in, he went on a voyage of Thanksgivings at the various Altar, telling who cares to listen that his words will be his bound. As such, he will complete all on-going projects initiated by his predecessor in Office. He said money spent on those projects belong to the people of the state. Hence, he won’t play politics with the completion of those projects. How much of these words and promises has been broken. How many of these projects has been completed? Peradventure, people forget, God won’t forget. Much more that these words were altered on His scared Altar.
In all fairness to the Governor, it has not been all gloomy in the past one year. Particularly before the advent of COVID-19. The Governor has been a regular face at major Owambes in town even all the way to UK just to party. Ours is truly a celebrity Governor. Is a Miliki Exponent of a Governor. That can as well enter his scorecard! As well as cases of dereliction of duties that’s now becoming the hallmark of his administration.
Human nature is such that a lot is not immune against self-deception. Only few trade in veracity and reality. It’s therefore understandable that some swing song of hoopla is been raise on the performance of the Governor in office so far. A lot of them will continue to see what they choose to see instead of the reality on ground. In any case, the Governor was elected to perform. Anything short of this will be a way of destroying the historical standards Ogun State is known for. A new low must not recorded in the administration of Ogun State.
But thus far, Governor Abiodun is fast becoming a tragic hero of the last Governorship election. His performance has been disastrously tragic. It takes so much to be a performing Governor in a place like Ogun that neither feigned unassuming posture nor disguised lethargy or clandestine political radicalism can satisfy the prerequisites. To be a successful Governor in Ogun, you must be smart, intellectually mobile, savvy, highly futuristic in deeds and thought. And you must be surrounded by goal getters not ball droppers. Pray, the next one year will witness a total departure from the ugly nature of the last one year. The Governor must roll off his sleeves and get down to work. Time is running out gradually.