FEATURE ARTICLE

Folorunso OladipupoWednesday, July 30, 2014
folorunsooladipupo@yahoo.com


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OPEN LETTER TO MY STATE GOVERNOR, SEN. ABIOLA AJIMOBI OF OYO STATE (PART 4 OF 8)

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Continued from Part 3

Your Excellency,

he whole world acclaimed the Ekiti governorship election as free and fair. Apart from this, the performance of Governor John Kayode Fayemi in terms of infrastructural development is well commended locally and internationally.

I personally visited Ekiti and saw the rapid physical transformation of infrastructures in Ekiti. I am impressed with the housing estate springing up beside NNPC mega station at Iworoko road (the same venue we used for his swearing in three and a half years ago). I saw newly built hospitals and markets in Ado Ekiti. The same can also be said of road networks, water supply, hospital building, new hotels and modern markets in the entire Ekiti land.

At the time of campaigning for the second term, Govr Fayemi unveiled over 1,200 physical projects which were verified and confirmed by the people to have been executed and completed. In fact, the projects were executed on demand by the electorates. Fayemi claimed to prepare budgets leading to the execution of the projects after consulting people and knowing their wants from regular town halls meeting to ask for their specific wants.

However, despite seeing the execution of projects they requested for and making use of the projects, the people voted against Govr Fayemi because they were hungry. Hungry because the money was not circulating in the state. Awarding contracts to non indigenes is a capital flight in the economy of any state. As a businessman and an MBA, you know the implication of capital flight as well as the negative multiplier effect of this. While the Ekiti's are not saying that the political godfather and financiers out of state should not be patronized, the fact is that local contractors should have been patronized to some degree at least 60%.

This story is not different in Oyo state. As a matter of fact, it is worse. You will kindly recollect the last excess crude oil allocation you released to the 33 council chairmen in Oyo state towards the end of 2013. Contractors were sent from Ibadan to all the councils to execute the contracts. These contractors did not bid for contracts at the councils. Where bids were advertised, it was just for the sake of formality. The council chairmen were scared of monitoring and supervising the contractors for fear of being sanctioned by you or Her Excellency. Every local government has registered contractors who helped financially at their various councils during your election. These are the people you should have relied on to execute the contracts in their councils in order to motivate them to contribute for the success of your next election.

As a matter of fact, some of your current caretaker committee chairmen are annoyed that contractors were appointed for them. Party leaders are vexed that they don't have a share of contracts from the states and yet the local council contracts they should have relied on are going back to the state and or state appointed contractors.

Similar to the annoyance of the council chairmen is the fate of your commissioners and board chairmen. Award of contracts and project approval are over centralized in this administration. All appointees should be given leverages to perform. Most of them participated and contributed financially to our success at the last election. They all know those who made your election possible at their local government levels. They should have the leverage to extend dividends of the party's success to those contributors. Should all these people make up their minds against us, the election would be lost without remedy.

In the autobiography of Chief Adekunle Ajasin, he stated that he nearly sacked one of his commissioners while he was serving as Ondo state governor when the commissioner went to him to ask for a contract for his wife. According to Chief Ajasin, he asked him if all commissioners take contracts for their family members, what will be given to those who patronized the party politically. This abnormality is the order of the day in Oyo state. The few contracts given out by the state and local governments are given to the wives of council chairmen, party leaders and their immediate family members while other party members (who are unfortunate to have appointments) and the electorates suffer. This seems to be the norm rather than abnormality because they will say the same thing happens at the top. Apart from concentrating wealth in the same hand, this breeds corruption and at the same time creates poverty and hardship within the citizenry.

It is normal and natural for the people to revolt against oppressive and self-centered institutions. These are part of what people revolted against in Ekiti. Politics and in fact election is a game of numbers. If only few people benefit from the proceed of your election, we should just expect only the few to work for your second term bid.

Apart from contracts, all government's patronages are benefited by the same people. The same party leaders and appointees collecting contracts are the same people taking delivery of Ajumose buses, the tractors being sold by local governments, their children are engaged in YES-O program, recommended for TESCOM and SUBEB employments. Can the same family deliver the required votes to win the February election?

As we get close to the election, there is need to correct these. Kindly replace the current caretaker committee chairmen with competent, knowledgeable, experienced and patriotic ones who can manage the excess crude oil allocation you plan to release in the best interest of the people. Allow them to decide what the people of their councils want as development projects to be executed, similarly, allow them and instruct them to award the contracts to competent local contractors within their domain. This can pacify aggrieved party leaders and local contractors.

Please advise the party leaders to leave council chairmen alone and allow them to take care of party loyalists and non party members who have not benefited from government patronage since the inception of this administration.

Since party leaders have monopolized the employments recommended so far, others should be allowed to make recommendation for the next employment to be made for the local government service commission.

Similar to the above, the commissioners and recently appointed board chairmen should be allowed to reward those who contributed to the success of your election through them.

To be Continued…………………………………

Yours truly,

Folorunso Oladipupo

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