FEATURE ARTICLE

Folorunso OladipupoThursday, July 17, 2014
folorunsooladipupo@yahoo.com


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OPEN LETTER TO MY STATE GOVERNOR, SEN. ABIOLA AJIMOBI OF OYO STATE (PART 1 OF 8)

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Senator Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi

Oyo State Governor

State Secretariat

Ibadan, Oyo State


Your Excellency,

n reminiscence of various letters to my country man written during the military regime by Chief Tony Momoh, my remaining strength of patriotism and commitment to my dear state of Oyo and our APC has propelled me in writing this letter to you. The only difference in this letter is that it is a reciprocal of Chief Tony Momoh's letter. While he wrote to ordinary Nigerians, I am writing to the most powerful governor, the Emperor of Oyo State, Its 33 colonies and several territories.

Looking back at the monumental defeat our party suffered in Ekiti, every committed and patriotic member of APC in Oyo state like me should see the imminent defeat of our party in this state coming by February 2015 unless your Excellency changes your style of administration. While you were in defunct ANPP, some of us suffered a lot to build the defunct AC N to what you found suitable as a good platform to contest and we willingly made it available to you in 2011. Now the party is in shambles and totally defragmented.

A lot have been said and written about the rationales' behind the humiliation and disgrace we suffered in Ekiti. These are listed below. For the purpose of this serialized letters, I will like us to pick the points one by one and compare Vis a Vis the present situation of our party and government in Oyo State:

  1. Non conduct of local government election

  2. Fact ionization and fractionalization of the ruling political party

  3. Disconnection with the people

  4. Disconnection and poor remuneration of civil servants

  5. Award of contracts to non indigenes and out of state associates

  6. Personalization of government business

  7. Reliance on old and obsolete political leaders.

This first letter will treat the issue of your refusal to conduct local government elections. How it affected Ekiti state, how it is likely to affect us and how you can save the face of the party and your reputation by conducting the election now.

Non conduct of local government election is a violation of the provision of constitution of Nigeria and then an impeachable offense. In a decent democracy or even in a volatile Nigeria state, it is enough to burn your fingers. Nobody believed your attorney general's excuse of March 2013 that the delay was due to legal impediment in constituting the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC). The whole state and the world are aware that your administration created the impediment by appealing the court judgment. Apart from this, the situation you met in the state was only slightly worse than that of Ogun state where it was peacefully resolved and the election conducted within the governor's first year in office.

In Ekiti State, it was widely reported that the ever powerful Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Yemi Adaramodu dominated the nomination of Chairmen and members of caretaker committees who were not liked by the people. Just like Oyo state, appointments were made in Ado Ekiti without consulting leaders and party members. Rather than serving the people and performing, they did not know what the people liked. They did not serve the people, In view of this; it was natural for the people to vote against the governor and the APC in protest.

Mention should also be made of the claims that we lost the Ekiti election as a result of change of chairmen a few months to the election. This is not true. The fact is that the people appointed to man the councils were incompetent, unpopular and out of touch with the people. Money meant for mobilization of voters went to wrong hands. The wrongful appointments cost us the election. We can guide against this.

Frankly speaking, the present crop of caretaker committee chairmen in Oyo state was appointed in a similar wrong way. They cannot deliver their local governments to us in the February 2015 elections. The chairmen did not represent the interest of the party, the people or acceptable to the tenets of democracy or the provision of Nigeria constitution. They represent the interest of the people who nominated them to your government. In view of this, there is no performance at the 33 local governments. Government activities at the local government levels were felt in Ekiti. Yet we failed woefully.

Members of your cabinet and in fact some members of the state house of assembly are fond of comparing Oyo with states like Anambra, Edo, Ondo and other states where local governments elections did not hold for more than four years and the governors succeeded in winning their second terms. But we should realize that each state of the federation has its own peculiarities and acceptable political situations. This is not acceptable in Oyo state. More so, those of us in defunct AC N and ANPP (now part of APC) were crying loud when the former administration of Alao-Akala ran a seven months caretaker committee in Oyo State. As bad as Akala and Adedibu were, they conducted council elections. We have now put undemocratic caretaker committees in our councils for three years. What an irony?

If you really want to contest and win the next election (which is my desire), this administration will have to change to what the people want, It is advisable for your administration to inaugurate the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission within now and the end of July, Put a more populist, electable and credible people in place as members of caretaker committees by august this year (when the 3 months tenure of the incumbents expire) and conduct a local government election between November/ December this year. Just like the PDP did during their tenure, prospective candidates to be used as council chairmen and councilors should be fielded as chairmen and caretaker committees respectively from august onwards. This will enable them perform very well within three or four months for their success at the local government election which will lay a solid foundation for the February poll.

In order to be able to remove any appointee at will and compel compliance with your dictatorial tendencies, other appointments are made similar to the fate of the council chairmen who are in charge of the 33 colonies of your empire, Other appointees in Oyo state (representing other territories) are on the basis of interim, temporary, acting or caretaker appointments . Nobody has a substantive appointment since our administration started in May 2011. The retiring Chief Judge of Oyo state is leaving in acting capacity, The Rector, Provosts and Registrars of all academic institutions in the State (The Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, College of Agric, and Nursing Schools) are all in acting capacities. By inference, you appointed party leaders to boards and parastatals in acting capacities because you dissolved and reappointed them without swearing them in. The Liaison Officers and Zonal Liaison Officers appointed in January have not earned a dime since January. The case of the state YES-O cadet is more pathetic. This situation is more horrible than what happened in Ekiti.

There is need for positive changes……………………….To be Continued

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