One is appalled by the series of drama being acted by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and his political appointees in this dispensation. Right from the inception of this administration, it has always been one day, one drama, to the extent that the governance in the state is now a theatre centre or cinema.
Irked by the discordant tunes being regularly played by the Governor and his appointees, one should speak up to enlighten the lots as a noble critic that means well for the greatness of this pacesetter state. One could reason that this unfortunate trend was caused by the governor’s inability to differentiate business of governance from that of politicking. Two, the idea of resorting to mudslinging and calumny against former Governor Abiola Ajimobi with an intent to discredit his administration and obliterate whatever notable achievements recorded by same from the minds of citizens was being pursued with Vigour by the present government.
The objective is to proclaim Governor Makinde led government as comparatively better in terms relevance to citizens’ needs.
Management of secondary schools in Oyo state by the former administration was remarkably innovative through the introduction of the Schools’ Governing Boards (SGB)
The primary or basic function of the SGB was to manage the education levy of N3,000.00 per session being statutorily paid in by the students. Purchase of instructional materials, repair of school’s infrastructure and implementation of co- curricular activities were effectively funded from the levy, under the strict supervision of the SGB. Governor Seyi Makinde took a long drawn look at the SGB and pronounced same dissolved. Perhaps,after receiving correct briefs on the matter, he rescinded his decision by reinstating the SGB.
Also, the issue of Moniya – Iseyin road project which was awarded by Governor Abiola Ajimobi led administration caught the attention of Governor Makinde. He queried the cost of the project which was put at N7 billion. He condemned the cost as outrageous and asserted that the contractor and Ajimobi must have engaged in some underhand dealings before arriving at the figure.
Hence, he invoked a stoppage order and pledged that the project shall be re awarded at a lesser cost. Just of recent, Governor Seyi Makinde led government re-awarded the ‘Moniya – Iseyin road contract’ at a cost of N9.9 billion, an upward variation of N9 .9 billion above the original cost of the project.
The issue of Ibadan circular road project is still raging like a wild fire. The Governor consumed by midas lure or fires of hatred against former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, authorised the contractor handling the project to quit the site. He hinged his action on the prohibitive cost of the project and its inappropriateness in terms of utility factor for the citizens in the present circumstance. Within 24hrs, he rescinded his decision. One could reason that his initial action was not well thought out. He even cast aspersions on the person of the contractor handling the project. This has become a subject of litigation now.
In retrospect, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources in Oyo state, once accused former Governor Ajimobi to have illegally acquired hundreds of hectares of government farm land for his personal use during his reign as the state helms man. Within 48 hours, he retracted his statements with shameless modifications.
Also, the state Information Commissioner, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, once boasted that the revenue target of Seyi Makinde led administration is N20 billion monthly. This position contradicts that of John Adeleke, the state Revenue Board Chairman and authority on the matter, who put it at N4 billion per month (N48 billion per annum).
In the same vein, John Adeleke stirred an hornet’s nest few days ago through his utterances on the conflicting revenue figures that accrues to the state. He posited that the state government raked in a sum of N2.7 billion for October, 2019 as against the sum of N1.3 billion which was the peak attained by the last administration. His position attracted public outcry and widespread criticisms from the stakeholders. The consensus of opinions later put the monthly revenue under former administration at N2.3 billion and not the erroneous figure of N1.3 billion claimed by John Adeleke.
Within 24 hours of the raging controversy, Adeleke retraced his steps and came up with another set of figures. Now, it was N1.7 billion for the former administration and N2 billion for the present administration. In another breadth, Adeleke concluded that the figures are not stable for now.
The heinous contradictions as observed in the serial official pronouncements of Governor Seyi Makinde and his co- travellers in government smacks of infantilism, un seriousness, abuse of privileges and executive recklessness in the management of human affairs to say the least, it is a clear demonstration of absence of an efficient coordination among the various levels of the executive arm of government and loss of focus in the art of governance.
Regrettably, the unfortunate and obvious consequences are policy Summersault, loss of public trust, hope and confidence in the government. That is the level of shame that can be attracted by the government which engages itself in self contradictions and multiple talks laced with falsehoods. In this connection, appropriate seminar/workshop must be conducted for all the political office holders presently in the saddle to correct this anomaly.
Akeem Adebiyi writes from Ibadan, Oyo state.
Oluwo Of Iwo In Royal Fiasco | By Rahaman Onike
When the news was first broke that Oba Rasheed Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo beat up another monarch, I thought the cynics were only trying to expose the royal father to public ridicule. Alas,the unfortunate incident which was reported to have occurred in the presence of AIG Bashir Makama, the State Police Commissioner and even the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in the state of Osun was neither denied by Oluwo nor the police authorities till this moment.
Ordinarily, the royal fathers as custodians of Yoruba culture and traditions shouldn’t have descended so low to engage themselves in physical combat even at the point of provocation. With the status and exalted stools occupied by the two traditional rulers,it is painful that the duo failed to guide their heritage jealously.
Regrettably, failure of Oluwo to toy a path of honour in overcoming his anger at the point of provocation, if any, has exposed their sacred mandate to public ridicule. Somehow, the unfortunate incident has diminished the honour, respect and dignity the stools of the two monarchs symbolise and command.
The current development is a further reminder of how the name of Oluwo of Iwo has been associated with several controversies in the past. Rather than being a true symbol of Yoruba culture,values and tradition, he is either being accused of one misdemeanor today or other infraction tomorrow. No one cares about the antics and other intolerable public outbursts of Oluwo until his recent public misconduct.
If the land tussle between the neighbouring towns of the spring state could not be resolved through amicable settlement, the matter should have been referred to the court of law. I agree that our traditional rulers are human-beings and could therefore have reasons to disagree.
This particular incident is more or less a theatre of absurdity, seeing the two traditional rulers fighting dirty and roughly in the public. if verbal argument between Oluwo of Iwo and Agbowu of Ogbagbaa is allowed to snowball into open confrontation,it shows the level of degeneration and moral laxities among the nation’s traditional rulers.
No matter the level of provocation, Oluwo should not have turned himself to a boxer. It saddens one heart to see two highly revered monarchs turning a peace meeting summoned by the police to a royal rumble. Even if no one speaks out against the shameful action of Oluwo, he should be courageous enough to cover his face in shame for ridiculing the stool of his forbears apart from the legal consequence of such inglorious behaviour in the public.
Regardless of the causative agent and irrespective of who actually provoked the situation, the action of Oluwo of Iwo remains condemnable. With the injury sustained by Oba Dhikrulahi Akinropo, the Agbowu of Ogbagbaa during the fiasco, the transgressor being the Oluwo in this circumstance should not be seen as being treated as a king who is above the law.
Failure to bring the controversial Oluwo to justice will become a bad precedence. Apart from the legal implications of assault occasioning harm, it is sacrilegious for a king to beat up another king either within or outside his domain.
An open fight between the two royal fathers in which one ended in the hospital is highly ridiculous and could not be justified culturally and by ethical reasoning.
The continuous silence and philosophical calmness of Governor Isiaka Oyetola, the Governor of the spring state gives an impression that it is either His Excellency has overtly endorsed the reign of royal banditry in the state of Osun or probably the case of criminal assault is adjudged by the government as usual political matter.
In my view, none of the excuses given by Oluwo of Iwo to have turned himself to a boxer is reasonable enough to exonerate him of culpability. Someone needs to counsel Oluwo that the excuse that he only tried to defend himself against Agbowa’s attempt to stick his staff of office in his eyes seems to be a mere defence mechanism.
Since the royal rumble occurred in the state of Osun, the police authorities in whose presence the ugly incident happened has not made any public statement to deny or confirm the incident. If police could not made any statement twenty four hours after the royal fiasco, it may not be an aberration to accuse the police of connivance or negligence. This type of incident shouldn’t be handled whimsically or with levity because it can lead to communal crisis, if carelessly handled.
What the incident further portend is that no one is saved even in the custody of the police, if assault of that magnitude could be successfully carried out in the presence of AIG and other top government functionaries.
The incident also raises the question of several unresolved land and boundary disputes among communities in Nigeria. With the current trend in the country, land disputes cannot be resolved by physical combat rather the parties in such conflicts should learn to approach the court of law once peaceful resolution seems to be impossible.
The state government must equally have an holistic look at the immediate and remote causes of land disputes in the state of Osun for the state to achieve sustainable peace, progress and development.
Rahaman Onike, Public Affairs Analyst writes from Oyo town, Oyo State.
Can Amotekun Be A Threat to Non – Yorubas? | By Abba Dukawa
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, argued that security “is a matter that is within the exclusive operational competence of the Federal Government of Nigeria. He added that: “No other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over defence.”
The argument he made was that military and paramilitary outfits to defend Nigeria and its citizens is determined by the Constitution. “no State Government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organization or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts.
As we all know, the primary responsibility of government at any level is the protection of lives and property of the citizen. In carrying out this function, the state employs different layers of measures to ensure effective and efficient policing. It is without doubt that in the past decade, particularly, the current policing administration in our dear country had been stretched to its limits and it is obvious that the reality of our domestic security upheaval will demand of us to recalibrate our police systems.
In achieving this noble goal, the police, the armed forces, and the court of law have swung into action with a view to protect the rights and liberties of Nigerian citizens and its residents within the country. Individuals’ conducts and behaviours living together and within the Nigerian society have been regulated in order for them to conform to the laid down rules and regulations, even as those violating the laws are punished.
Many writers argue that many State governments established such organazations like Kaduna State security outfit known as the “Kaduna State Vigilance Service” to assist security agencies to tackle criminality. The Sokoto State Government also established a local security outfit called “Yan Banga,” which operates in almost all the villages in the state to track criminals and hand them over to security agencies for prosecution. In Zamfara State, it established ‘Yan Sakai’ Local Vigilantes. Kano State has established the Hisbah Corps in 2003. In Borno State, the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) was created under the last administration called BOYES (Borno Youth Volunteers). They work in collaboration with the military to fight Boko Haram. Also working for the security of the state are local hunters and vigilante groups which have been around even before insurgency.
The other North East States have similar outfits. In Taraba State, the Taraba Marshalls is a local security outfit set up by the state government in 2018 to tackle insecurity and other violent crimes. Rivers State Government’s Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. Ebonyi State Government also has the Neighbourhood Watch Group with membership drawn from the 13 local government areas of the state to complement the efforts of security agencies to control crimes and other security challenges in the state.
Since the return of civilian administration in the coyntry, Nigeria has witnessed an increase in the activities of ethnic and regional militia, vigilantes, and other armed groups in the last few years. One of the better-known of these groups is the O’odua People’s Congress (OPC) in the southwest which campaigns to protect the interests of the Yoruba ethnic group and seeks autonomy for the Yoruba people. The OPC is a complex organization which has taken on several different roles as it has adapted to the changing political and security environment in Nigeria.
Therefore federal government should do something to avert serious insecurity which Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed Operation Amotekun may cause as the case. Nigerians have not forgotten that OPC was responsible for numerous human rights abuses and acts of violence, and its members have killed or injured hundreds of unarmed civilians In its spheres of activity-ethnic militancy and vigilantism- and fighting crimes.
The most widespread killings by the OPC took place in the context of clashes between Yoruba, Hausa’s and other ethnic groups, which reached a peak during 2000 and 2002. However, violence and human rights abuses continued in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Between these years, Nigerians witnessed how OPC activities ranging from political agitation for Yoruba autonomy and promotion of Yoruba culture to violent confrontation with members of other ethnic groups resided in the South Western states in the name of vigilantism and crime-fighting.
How sure are we that Amotekun will not commit the same large-scale killings by the OPC in 2003. The clashes between OPC and other ethnic groups especially Hausas living in the southwest and how the southwest governors and the promoters of Amotekun will act to avert ethnic tensions which may likely arise. My concern on the formation of Amotekun is not personal but on safety of other ethnic groups living in the south west. There is likelyhood that members of Amotekun will commit large scale human right abuses based on ethnic differences. Finally, chairman of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said there is no going back on the operation of the regional security agency, Amotekun, which they are prepared to pursue to its logical conclusion. Governor Akeredolu emphasised that the governors of the region were committed to improved security and are particularly keen to address the rising wave of banditry, kidnapping and farmers and herders’ clashes. The stage is therefore set for a major confrontation between the Federal Government and the South West States.
I blame previous administrations for not doing the needful in making sure that the Nigerian federation is kept intact by ensuring that law and order are maintained. It is one of the important responsibilities of the federal government to bring peace and tranquillity in the nation. However, Federal Government has for decades ignored State governors setting up security agencies all in the name of supporting security agencies in their respective States.
Abba Dukawa, Public Affairs Analyst and Media Practitioner writes from Kano State.
Opinion: The Travesty of Governance in Oyo | By Segun Adeoye
For the first time since 1976 when old Oyo state was created and since 1992 when the old Oyo state was split into two, carving out the present State of Osun, the election of Seyi Makinde as the governor of Oyo state signifies the first time the state is bedevilled with the misfortune of a chief executive whose only obsession is to enjoy the accolade of being a governor.
He brings to government the myopic mindset of cheap populism in an attempt to pull wool over the public’s eyes that he’s a saint and that his immediate predecessor is a devil!
Governance has never been this without direction in the state as it has been under the ‘juvenile Seyi Makinde’. Even during the reign of late former Governor Lamidi Adesina when federal allocations to the state were almost zero, Oyo state was not thrown into epileptic comatose. Since eight months ago when the administration of Seyi Makinde has been inaugurated, nothing new and novel has been done by way of developmental projects in the state except the legacies of enduring developments carried over from the last administration of the excellent His Excellency Abiola Ajimobi.
One recalls that by the sixth month of Senator Ajimobi in his first tenure as the governor of Oyo state, the perennially problematic bridge between Customs and Awolowo Roundabout on Secretariat-Bodija road had been constructed and it was named Restoration Bridge! The solid reconstruction of the bridge is indeed a restoration of hope, protection and peace of mind for the teeming motorists and passersby who used to experience untold hardship plying the erstwhile flood-ravaged bridge. The time was when there was a flood disaster around Ibadan metropolis, resulting from the persistently torrential rains.
Senator Ajimobi’s administration went to work immediately, dredging rivers and reconstructing bridges in the areas where the floods wreaked most havoc. Till the administration of Senator Ajimobi wound up, there was no record of flood disasters in Ibadan metropolis! All these projects of immense impact and more were done within the first six months to one year during the first tenure of Senator Abiola Ajimobi!
However, since Governor Seyi Makinde has been at the helms in the state, little or nothing has been done in terms of solid developmental projects apart from pockets of developmental flukes like the 100 units of Kia Rio cars, unsuitable for security surveillance and patrols, which the governor bought for security agents.
Governance has been at its lowest ebbs in the state. The local government crises the governor manufactured and because of which he has abandoned governance has pushed governance to recess. Nothing is working in the state except the touted regular payment of salaries because of which Governor Makinde has incurred debts running into hundreds of billions of naira. Is this the mediocrity Oyo people have to cope with for the next three years?
Those who saw today during the past electioneering that the present governor does not possess the mental acuity and mature temperament to take the state to the next level the past administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi has prepared her for is right after-all.
Segun Adeoye writes from University of Ibadan
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