Saturday, August 24, 2013

Oyo Politics - Posers For Gov. Ajimobi, Ladoja And Lanlehin By Adeola Adelabu

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” — Groucho Marx
In my dear Oyo state, everyone knows how to govern except the person on the seat. My people seem insatiable and thus, no governor has impressed them enough to win reelection, from the legendary Bola Ige to the party loving Alao-Akala.
Criticism is the spice to good governance. Any serious administration should welcome criticism, albeit constructive ones. However, I dare say not every one has the moral right to criticize government on every issue. Unfortunately, morality has no place in our politics. Once you are voted out of power or schemed out of political relevance, you become a social critic. Thus I choose to raise some posers for two of the most vocal critic of the governor. I also found space to raise some posers for the Governor himself.
Senator Olufemi Solagbade Lanlehin represents Oyo South Senatorial district in the Senate (Gov Ajimobi held the same seat from 2003-2007). A lawyer by training, he was a gubernatorial aspirant in the ACN pre 2011 and was the preferred candidate of Alhaji Lam Adesina but lost out in the ACN selection process. There has been no love lost between him and the Governor, and he never let’s the chance to criticize Ajimobi slip away. However, our Distinguished Senator has the following questions to answer
» Does he have a moral right to criticize the mode of selection of Ajimobi as party flagbearer, haven been aware of ACN’s style and even got compensated with the Senatorial ticket, for which he never even contested.
» He has suddenly become an advocate of one-term government. If he had won in 2011, would he not be standing for reelection? I don’t remember him ever saying he was seeking votes for just a single term
» Does he know that, even if he replaces Gov Ajimobi in 2015, it would always be on record that Ajimobi is his predecessor, both as Senator and Governor and thus, deserves some respect from him?
»Is he aware of the fact that he’s seen as under-performing by the public? Has he forgotten his unfulfilled election promises? Has he attracted any Federal project to the state? Does he know that with increasing voters awareness, his performance and not ability to make noise will be the ultimate measure of his capacity?
Sen Rashidi Ladoja became Governor in 2003 not due to political wizardry or wide acceptability, but due to the rigging expertise of Chief Adedibu coupled with the fact that civil servants and a lot of people in Oyo state were fed up with the administration of Gov Lam Adesina. The same Adedibu proved to be his nemesis, as he was sent on compulsory sabbatical (tagged impeachment) which lasted 11 months. His travails appealed to the compassion of Ibadan people, particularly as he was replaced by a non-Ibadan. The rest, as they say, is history
Gov Ladoja contested and lost the 2011 election. However, lack of absolute majority of any of the 3 parties in the House of Assembly made an alliance inevitable. Rather than align with PDP, which had 13 members, Ajimobi preferred Accord with 7 members (largely due to Ibadan sentiments with Ladoja). As part of the alliance, Gov Ajimobi conceded slots to Ladoja which led to Accord members being appointed commissioners, Board Chairmen and members. However, the ratification of Accord members as Caretaker chairmen of Local Council was frustrated by the House of Assembly. Report had it that prominent Accord members also got contracts from the state government. In this period, Senator Ladoja refrained from criticizing Ajimobi, appealing to the people to be patient with him. Trouble started when Ladoja started scheming to replace Ajimobi thus became a consistent critic. Same projects and programmes which Ladoja had lauded suddenly became bad. A typical example is the Mokola bridge. In the light of this, it is important that Gov Ladoja (or his supporters) answer the following questions
>> When the construction of Mokola flyover commenced, Ladoja claimed the project was in his blueprint. He commended Ajimobi. Why did he choose to be blind to the size and cost of the bridge then, only to voice out when their relationship broke down? Is it not a case of the proverbial ‘Ija de, l’orin d’owe’
>> While Ladoja is condemning the Governor, legislators elected under his party are praising the Governor. Is it that they have been bribed, or Ladoja has no control over his party or both?
» If Ladoja claims contract costs are inflated under Ajimobi, can he state contract costs under his administration. Mokola-UI dualization will do.
» Ajimobi’s government has embarked on more roads than any other since 1999, without collecting loan (as at June 2013). What did Ladoja do with funds budgeted for capital expenditure with the 2004,2005,2007 budgets.
» He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. If Ladoja has accused the Gov Ajimobi of graft, he will do well to tell us what happened to the Excess crude oil allocation received at the tail end of his administration. He should also enlighten us on the story of Oyo state shares transaction, and why he is currently a guest of the EFCC
» If all he did in over 3 years as Governor was dream and develop a blueprint, part of which has been implemented (Mapo Hall Reno-painting by Akala, Mokola flyover by Ajimobi), why exactly does he want to return as Governor? Is it to continue a government that wants to be worshiped for paying salaries, to actualize the remainder of his dreams, or to dream more for subsequent Governors to implement?
Governor Ajimobi governs Oyo state with a pre-determined blueprint, which seems not to put people’s feeling at the fore-front. To him. There is no gain without pain and the people have to pay the price for development especially in the areas of environmental sanitation and infrastructure upgrade, to attract investment to the state. However, from time immemorial, some agents seem to be overzealous in assignments, particularly against the helpless in the society. Just like the tax collectors and sanitation inspectors of old, we have YES’O in Oyo state. Poverty-hugged individuals (how else will u describe wearing that uniform for 10,000 a month), who inflict pains on the helpless. As it was in those days, nothing last forever. . . I want to believe that Gov Ajimobi was unaware of the excesses of these corps. However, I still have some posers for His Excellency
» From critical observation, it is obvious that most of his aides do not tell him the truth about public pulse. Has he created an aura of fear and insecurity in his government that a commissioner will rather keep shut than lose his monthly pay ticket. Is he not bothered that his aides are made up mainly of ‘Yes men’. Has he provided an atmosphere for constructive criticism and robust analysis of government policies from within, even before such is launched out
» Report has it that commissioners do not have a free hand and their powers are so limites that almost everything runs through the governor (critics even say his wife rules). Consequently, anytime time the governor is out of the state (which happens frequently), government is almost grounded as no one can take any major decision, not even the Deputy Governor (Do people still remember him?)
» Report has it that the IGR drive has made the Ministry of Environment and Oyo State Traffic Maintenance Agency (OYSTROMA) impound cars and bikes, sometimes in very harsh manners. How else can u explain a scenario in which a car ran out of fuel and the owner rushed to the filling station with a jerry can, only to return and be told his car has been towed and such person asked to pay 20,000 or more to retrieve the vehicle. If the person wasn’t insolvent, would the car have run out of fuel in this first place?
» Gov Ajimobi has been accused of non-inclusiveness, both politically and administratively. For someone who won election largely due to conspiracy of former and sitting PDP members (Like Alh Adeojo, Senator Teslim Folarin ) on the platform of a party he once abandoned, Isn’t it neccesary for him to run an all-inclusive administration and spread political patronage? Why promote an ‘AJUMOSE’ slogan when the benefits are ‘AJUMODAJE’ of a few people?
In conclusion, I’ll love to share the thoughts of Theodore Roosevelt; “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I must not fail to commend Ex-Governor Alao Akala and Barrister Bayo Shittu of the defunct CPC for playing opposition politics with the maturity it requires. I hope Governor Ajimobi takes the positives out of the criticism and govern Oyo state better. As for his second term ambition, only God and the people will decide that when the time comes. It will be down to his performance rating, not propaganda or promises!
God bless Oyo state.