By Waheed Adekunle
Manifestation of events in Osun State calls for noble commentaries from discerning minds. The positive and negative effects of government’s policies, actions and programmes have posed a great concern to many, particularly those who have been following the trends since the emergence of the current administration in Osun.
A great political philosopher, Frank Herbert once said – “good governance never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern. The machinery of government is always subordinate to the will of those who administer that machinery. The most important element of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.”
Drawing an inference from the noble assertion of another wiseman and founder of democracy, Abraham Lincoln, in one of his quotable quotes where he opined that, “No man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent”, is apt as it plays stringent constraints on ‘the rulers and the ruled’ in order to reflect the fact that power is responsibility.
As a watcher of events in Osun, it is on record that the whole scenario began to manifest right from the day the current administration took over the mantle of leadership.
Coming on the propagandist-like self-acclaimed mantra of socioeconomic and infrastructure rejuvenations, the PDP-led government perfected its homework at raising the people’s consciousness on its capacity and capability to oust the then incumbent government led by former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, and restore the perceived lost glory of the state.
In a bid to accomplish the dream, upon ascending the helm of affairs, the first action taken by the incumbent governor few hours after being sworn in, was the issuance of six Executive Orders which include: Executive Order on State Bank Account i.e freezing all the government accounts in all banks and other financial institutions; Executive Order on Staff Audit which directed MDAs, Boards and Parastatals to carryout immediate staff audit of actual number of government workers in their respective sectors.
In the same vein, Executive Order three nullified all the employments made by the immediate past administration into MDAs, Boards and Parastatals with immediate effect; Executive Order four reversed all the appointments made by the immediate past administration into MDAs, Boards and Parastatals; Executive Order five, which bothered on Chieftaincy Affairs and Appointment of Traditional Rulers, directed immediate suspension of three traditional rulers from the thrones while Executive Order six called for setup of Review Committees.
Corroborating these, the spokesperson to the Governor, Olawale Rasheed, in a statement issued on Monday, November 28, quoted Governor Adeleke of having ordered for immediate setup of Review Committees on some of the Executive Orders made which include: Review Committee on Staff Audit/ Appointment/Promotion; Review Committee on State Assets Inventory; Review Committee on Contracts/MoUs/Agreements and Review Committee on Chieftaincy Matters/Appointment of Traditional Rulers respectively.
The reason that informed these orders vis-a-vis their impacts is ‘as good as nothing’, as none of them profited neither the state nor the citizenry since their invocation in the last eight months.
For instance, the self-serving Executive Order made on State Assets Inventory, ditto to other obnoxious Orders, was a product of propaganda aimed to tarnish the image of political appointees and elected officers of the erstwhile administration.
The Executive Order suspending three high-profile traditional rulers of Owa of Igbajo, Akirun of Ikirun and Aare of Iree, since last year’s November, no doubt, was designed to embarrass and dehumanize the victims for no just cause.
It is disheartening that since the suspension order was made, no White Paper has been issued, at least to the knowledge of the public, to determine the fate of the traditional rulers and thousands of sacked workers affected by the ungodly orders.
The Executive Order responsible for the suspension of the Chairman of Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), Barrister Segun Oladitan and other members of the Commission, is still hanging in the airspace, as the committee set-up to investigate the actions and inactions of the Commission has not come up with any meaningful reports since last year.
The government has also dealt a deadly blow on members of the statutory boards as many of them had neither received pay nor emoluments in the last eight months simply because they were appointed by the previous administration.
Similarly, the Executive Order in respect of Staff Audit, which is currently being implemented by the State Government, for instance, has posed a serious threat to the workforce, given that it is politically motivated and designed to witch-hunt workers.
In a similar breath, the recent nomination, screening, confirmation and of course, inauguration of members of the State Executive Council (SEC) as well as the appointments of several Special Advisers of cabinet and non-cabinet ranks, have further exposed the government as one not interested in good governance, but showmanship and petty political patronage. Or what does a state like Osun, struggling to discharge its statutory financial obligations, need over 60 commissioners/special advisers for?
One of the ludicrous appointments made thus far is that of sole administrators for governing boards of government agencies.
Recall that Governor Adeleke had earlier announced 21 names of boards Chairmen alongside just two Vice-chairmen without other members of the said boards which is considered as not only at variant with norms and practices, but an alien to the state.
The implication of these particular appointments remains the fact that, each of the 21 boards will be managed by sole administrator, negating the practice setting up the boards.
What is the rationale behind appointing Chairmen without other members of the boards? Are we saying that other members are not important? Can only Chairmen of each of the boards form Councils? Is government not aware that boards are meant to act in Council not in isolation? Has the government given a direction to the said chairmen to co-opt members into their councils? If yes, is this in tandem with the laws setting up these boards?
No doubt, ascending power by the PDP led-government was full of promises. Hope was given to the people. Civil servants were made to believe that their outstanding backlog salary and pension arrears would be cleared within six months of coming into office. But as each day goes by, it is dawning on the good people of the state that they have been rammed into a one-chance vehicle: a vehicle that conveys passengers to no profitable destination.
May Almighty God heal our land!