Opinion: Is Ondo State Under The Siege Of A Task Master?


By Leye Igbabo.

From the beginning of creation, man has been loved. This is the reason God said His thoughts towards man, according to Jer 29:11 is of good and not of evil. In fact, to show how loving and caring God is, after man’s disobedience, He still found a way of freeing and reconciling them with Himself through His only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

And in continuation of His loving and welfarist nature, God sets up human goverments that would act in His behalf to realize the objective of His love for man and his freedom.

Invariably, the primary function of governments which Nigerian government also embraced and made provision for, specifically in Section 14(2)(b) of its 1999 constitution as amended, is the security and welfare of its citizens.

Knowing fully well that man can fail or falter, and in a bid to ensure the sanctity of human life and his welfare, a French Philosopher, Prof Baron Charles De Montesquieu in 1748 sensed that if the functions of government were concentrated in the hand of an individual, this concept of welfarist policy might be hindered and obstructed. He therefore went on to propound a theory that would guarantee the smooth operation and execution of the functions of government in such a way that life will be made abundant and meaningful to its inhabitants.

Prof De Montesquieu in his principle of separation of power, maintained that each arm of government, that is the legislature, the executive or the judiciary, must be handled separately, by different set of people in other to forestall excesses of the operators of government. That is to say, the legislative chambers should be occupied by people who would make laws for the good of the country while the executive arm should be manned by another set of people who will concentrate their energy on the conception and execution of policies and programs of government and then, the judiciary, yet by another set who should be empowered to monitor the application of the law and punish its breakers.

In this well thought out arrangement, Prof De Montesquieu strongly believed that no one will be able to oppress the people with the power vested in them, and if anyone attempts to so do, he or she will be swiftly cautioned or sanctioned by the other.
Interestingly, Nigeria as a country, keyed into this arrangement and also fashioned its laws in that manner. Today in Nigeria, different set of people handle separate arms of the government.

In 1885, another French Philosopher, Prof A.V. Dicey, also opined that those at the helms of affairs of each arm of government must, as a matter of compulsion, govern the people according to the laws of the land. Dicey went on to say that in order to prevent arbitrariness, rules at the whims and caprices of the holders of public office, tyranny, despotism, crudity, survival of the fittest, state of despondency and eventual state of anarchy, government must be operated on the rule of law and not how the operators feel that the people should be administered. This will mean that no one is above the law and no one is unjustly punished without conviction that he or she actually offends the law.

In choosing a presidential system of government, the constitution of Nigeria specifically, in sections 130(1), 141, (142(1) creat rooms for the offices of President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, mutatis mutandis, offices of Governor and Deputy Governor at the State levels, and which must be run on joint tickets. [Sections 176(1), 186, 187(1)]. The constitution also states unambiguously, qualifications for those vying for the offices to be the same {Sec 142(2); 187(2)} in the contemplation that if one falls by way of ill health, incapacitation, resignation etc, the other will continue with governance without let or hindrance.

For sometime now, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu SAN has been indisposed and so, took a medical leave that saw him attending to his health needs in Germany for over three months. In the period under review, it took stringent public outcry for the deputy governor to be allowed to function as the governor of the State in an acting capacity. Something that should be seamless because the constitution has already envisaged, contemplated and properly provided for such situation in the law book, almost metamorphosed into a major battle. Throughout the period, the government of Ondo State was in limbo, as all tactics were devised by the cabal to prevent the acting governor from actually exercising his constitutional right to act.

Now that we were made to believe that the governor had come from Germany hale and hearty and has “resumed” his office, at least in Ibadan where the people of Oyo State had voted for him,

Why has he not also held the weekly cabinet meetings where issues of governance are being tabled for deliberations and resolutions?

Why was he conspicuously absent at critical national meetings where interests and needs of every State are being deliberated upon and where governors fight for the interest of their various States?

Is Ondo State not being short changed in the scheme of things in this critical period where palliatives and other economic bail outs are being shared?

We understand that Oyo State, the Pace Setter is actually setting the pace by accommodating two captains of two different climes and while one is performing his official assignments at the designated place, the other one is coordinating crisis from outside against his place of primary assignment! What is it that cannot be seen in Nigeria, the land of oddities?

Apart from displaying a deep sense of ingratitude to God who spared his life till today, what Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu could embark upon to appreciate God for this uncommon benevolence, was to begin the impeachment of his deputy governor who strove hard not to rock the boat even in the face of hottest provocation and undermining of his office and person!

Even if Lucky Aiyedatiwa has offended him in a way, can Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu not see the bigger picture of the mercy of God who gave him another chance to live again?

Did he not know that there were those whose cases were not as bad as his, and are no more today?

Is he aware of the injunction of God as stipulated in the Holy Scripture which says blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy?

Now, does this case of Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu not look like that of a man in the book of Matthew 18:23-35 who, having been forgiven of a felonious crime refused to pardon his fellow servant of his own misdemeanor?

We heard that Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu has been sold a dummy by those who do not even wish him well and he is, for that reason, defying good reasons and desperately embarking on Lucky Aiyedatiwa’s impeachment so that his son, Babajide Akeredolu, according to the power game, would eventually be made the governor in the case of “incasity”

Hmmm, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu is currently playing God! And what a desperation by a man that is born of a woman, a mere mortal being!

If the governor is so insensitive and ungrateful to this level, why again would the legislature, another arm of government that is supposedly manned by another set of people, join in the show of ingratitude and behave in this odd manner?

Why would they want to allow the pains of great men like De Montesquieu, A.V Dicey who once lived on the surface of the earth, those who took their precious time to fashion out principles, theories, philosophies that are advancing the cause of human race, be in vain?

What happens to the principle of separation of power and the rule of law as enshrined by these great men?

Lamentably, today, the process of recruiting leaders into public offices had been greatly encumbered and compromised thereby giving rooms for those who should not be seen at all, in the corridor of power where serious business of governance takes place. Politics have been so monetized that it has been open to, and now only accommodates fraudulent people and yahoo boys who have no idea of what governance is all about.

And as long as government platforms give them more opportunities to continue with their nefarious activities with impunity, they are satisfied becoming yesmen and the “ayes-have-it” even when they have not contributed in any slightest way to, or offer any tiniest solutions to the raging and burning issues of governance. Of course, how can they contribute when they do not even know what governance is all about. Certainly, one cannot give what one does not have!

The citizens have been successfully impoverished by the mercantile political investors so much that they have become despondent, melancholic, degraded, depraved and now readily offering themselves as willing tools to further impoverish and co-opt those who have not been hooked or bitten by the bugs of impoverishment so at to give the political investors full conquest and wide opportunity to do as they desire without any challenge whatsoever.

No one will be surprised that the voters, in spite of the harrowing experiences they are going through now, will still collect money on election days and renew their enslavement package with their task masters! That is the sorry and morbid state of a people who have been completely traumatized, dehumanized and conquered and so, have lost sense of rational thinking! In such hopeless and confused state only God-sent messiahs (not the self- proclaimed ones, who are only wolves in sheep’s clothing) can take them out of the horrible pit to which they have been permanently thrown!

To worsen this scenario, the conscience of people, especially the elderly ones who should by now, be acting as true statesmen and women by rising stoutly to challenge these ignominious and obnoxious circumstances with a view to correcting and bringing the situations under sanity, have been irretrievably purchased by undue patronage leaving them to be looking like “lucozade” and washing like “Washington”, in the language of the kegites!

The institutions created and financed by the tax payers money have not also helped matters either. Corruption has eaten into the very fabric of the society such that every individual at any level of operation thinks about himself and himself only, leaving in the lurch, the very people for which he is hired to protect.

Is it not in Nigeria where stakeholders would agree to follow a particular course or line of actions in actualizing a particular program or exercise only for the same institution to make a disturbing and delicate U- turn at the most critical stage of the program and still beats its chest, albeit, presumptuously and shamelessly, to insist that it has the right to suddenly alter already agreed template, arrangements, plans, or approach and switch to another new ones even after it has been completely mobilized for the agreed template?

While I agree in totality that INEC has the right to choose which modality, approach or method it imtends to employ, in the conduct of elections in Nigeria, what I cannot easily understand is whether it is legally appropriate or morally sensible or politically reasonable for it to suddenly change, at the middle of an exercise, a particular approach or method that had been jointly agreed upon and for which it had been fully mobilized and for the same reason, embarked on all manners of trainings and seminars for the singular purpose of making the agreed template, error-free!

INEC could, as well have told all the relevant stakeholders at any of its scheduled meetings before the election days that it reserved the inalienable right to alter the agreed template without recourse to anyone and at any time before, during or after the commencement of the exercise rather than advertently ambushing and ensnaring law abiding citizens who strongly believed that INEC was sincere in its desire to conduct transparent, free, fair, credible and universally acceptable elections in Nigeria.

How anyone thinks that a society can be better for it and attain its desired heights under these precarious, unreliable and wishy-washy arrangements, still beats my imagination.

Anyway, on a final note, let someone tell Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu that it will be hard for any mortal to successfully play God. He remains the Giver of life and the One who solely Determines who becomes what at any time of the day.

Will it not therefore be wise for him to exhibit a heart of gratitude to God while he returns to his bit in Ondo State Government House to finish his tenure or else..?

A word is enough for the wise!

Leye Igbabo writes from Ifedore Local Govt Area of Ondo State.

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.

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