In the next two months a new governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun will be taking the oath of office as the Chief Executive Officer of the Gateway State. Most citizens are rightfully waiting and anxiously too for the new Sheriff and what he has to offer. They are definitely not too sure they know their new Governor. They know Prince Dapo Abiodun the businessman, they know DA the politician from Iperu Remo, but the governor of over five million people both in cosmopolitan and rural Ogun State cannot be defined in boardroom theatrics, not on the political partisanship. They are looking for an Administrator, a manager of men and resources, a liberal minded, God-fearing leader who will dispense justice like a Daniel and be fair to all.
Should Dapo Abiodun be considered the luckiest governor in Ogun State modern history? Should he be pitied on account of the enormous responsibilities providence has decided to place on his shoulder? How prepared is he for the task ahead?. The fate of Ogun State appears sealed with his, and how he acquitted himself at the end of the day will make the difference. Dapo Abiodun rode in on the wings of time and he is a now a “prisoner” of that time and only time can acquit him.
Strange! The new Ogun State Governor might be considered lucky because he rode in on the shoulder of two former governors in the state; endorsed by another governor from Lagos State and leader of a party; nurtured and pampered by a Vice President with the blessings of a President. He should have less to fear outside the quantum of debt his predecessor might be handing over to him as well as the trap of nepotism which Amosun will desperately try to hang on him.
From his Acceptance speech, I will say it is gratifying enough that Dapo Abiodun is standing tall among statesmen: he has reassured the citizens of Ogun State that he “will or shall be a Governor for All”. Looking at “All” from the context as “everyone”, not minding where you come from, which religion or religious persuasions or which political party they belong to. This is a Covenant with the people, it is contract of convictions and sealed with faith.
Contracts of fairness and equity most times are easy with men who have done business as there are usually no religion, no ethnic colouration, no family attachment as part of considerations when sealing business deals; simply profit and capital. This is where DA should be able to surprise his greatest critics. He has a cosmopolitan disposition to life, and this should assist his liberal and sophisticated attitude to governance where profits are now defined as the universal welfare of the citizens, creation of employment and Empowerment of the citizens.
The terms of the contracts he needs to define for himself with the people is “what kind of Governor do I want to be?” At the end of these all, “how do I want to be seen?” Every deal sealed with the final destination in mind or the end result seldom falter. He has experienced to draw and tap from. Chief Olusegun Osoba’s administration became legendary for his rural development (roads and electricity the hinterland, villages and hamlets); the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration was unrepentantly passionate about human capital development with focuses on people (employment generation, education, health and empowerment); and a strategic vision for a new Ogun State with investment drives; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu did investment and laid the foundation of economic prosperity for Lagos. Dapo Abiodun cannot be starved of a model of good governance, all he has to do is to choose whoever suits him, and knowledge to tap from are available to him and at his beck and call.
A model too dangerous to copy is Amosun’s with his nepotistic bite. The people of Ogun State have never been this divided as they are in the last immediate eight years. And howeve how hard he tried, Amosun will try to hang this perception of his successor, if for anything to justify and legitimize his own past actions. This is a dangerous trap DA must run from. He should create a distinct perception which the people can easily relate to and accept as his own brand and identity, and not the sinister ones carved out for him through mischief.
Obviously the new Ogun State Governor is not a neophyte when it comes to politics, and especially that of Ogun State where he had contested for Senate position twice (in 1992 at relatively a very young age by Nigeria’s Political standard and in 2015), he had also contested for the governorship at the Primaries level in PDP in 2003, he had been tested enough politically, he cannot be excused for not hitting the ground running.
Ogun State people in the last 8 years have practically lived in a desert and they are thirsty for quick and urgent fountain of development and stream of progress. He can not afford to fail them. No doubt, there are mines laid down for him by his immediate predecessor who is not ready to go down without a fight, but Ogun State people would not be able to entertain excuses. They don’t see the mines, all they see is a man they love and for whom they voted, he must do as a miracle worker, how he does that they are less concerned or least bothered. They voted for him because of what they perceive in him as capacity, empathy and compassion. They ignored all the physical and psychological attacks visited on him to make him their preferred choice in a highly competitive contest, as far as they are concerned it is their payback time to be served.
Seasoned political administrators agree that making people the centre and focus of government business: policies, programs and actions is the universal principle of good governance. It cannot be an exception in Ogun State but the rule. Workers welfare, employment, education, health etc are the direct connecting factors linking up the people’s welfare. Infrastructure development must and should be driven from the perspectives of creating employment rather than aesthetics.
I Wont Reverse Minimum Wage Payment, But Heads Will Roll – El-Rufai
The Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai has disclosed that his government has no intention to reverse the recommend minimum wage being paid civil servants in the state, he mentioned however, that workers would be sacked in view of the limited recourses available to the state.
The Governor made disclosure while informing newsmen in Kaduna, of the sack of 99 political appointees in his government.
He said the disengaged appointees constitute 30 percent of political office holders.
He said the state has started implementing its rightsizing policy but is yet to disengage any state civil servant.
The governor disclosed that only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff and these include the 23 local government councils, SUBEB and the Primary Health Care Board.
“So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants. We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees and we have done that,’’ he said.
The governor, who spoke in Hausa, said the rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that is accruing to the state government from the federation account.
‘’However, civil servants with question marks on the veracity of their data have to be given a chance to clear the doubts before any action is taken on them,’’ he clarified.
The governor said his government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University as well as primary and secondary schools across the state.
The governor disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of the State Government.
‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million , while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion, aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights and other personnel costs. So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,’’ he said.
Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by the shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.
The governor, however, promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.
“We are the first government, federal or state, to pay the minimum wage. We will retain the minimum wage of N30,000 and the consequential adjustments that gave most of our civil servants a 66% salary increase. We will also retain the minimum pension of N30,000 monthly.
“The unified Local Government Service continues to pay the minimum wage, even though they varied the consequential adjustments for their workers below the level for state civil servants,’’ he added.
Ohanaeze, IPOB Rubbish Northern Group Over N100m Bounty On Nnamdi Kanu
The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Friday hit back at the Northern Consensus Movement (NCM) which, on Thursday, declared IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, wanted and offered a reward of N100m to anyone who can bring him to Nigeria.
Kanu had taken up residence in the United Kingdom after jumping bail in respect of treason charges filed against him in October 2015 by the federal government.
The NCM at a press conference in Abuja late Thursday blamed Kanu and the Eastern Security Network, which is suspected to be the militant arm of IPOB, for the recent attacks on Northerners in the Southeast.
Responding to the NCM’s statement, the Secretary-General of a faction of Ohanaeze, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, asked the northern groups to direct their efforts elsewhere.
He said their N100 million bounties should be placed on the successor of the slain Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
He said: “We want to tell the groups being sponsored by some northern presidential aspirants to place the bounty on the new leader of Boko Haram terrorist group that has just emerged after the death of Shekau.
“Nnamdi Kanu has an address in London or in Germany where his headquarters of IPOB is. There is no need of searching for Kanu. He is not in Nigeria; he has an address in London as a British citizen.
“They should just use the N100 million bounties given to them by northern politicians, who are trying to destabilise the Southeast, to have easy root for the 2023 presidential ticket of major political parties in Nigeria, especially of the PDP.
“They should place the bounty on Shekau’s successor, who has no address, who is living in the forest, the terrorist group that took arms against the government for the last six years.
“They should not cry more than the bereaved; we will take care of the Southeast and ensure normalcy returns. As far as we are concerned, that bounty is inconsequential and political. It is not necessary, only a means to continue to heat up tension in the polity.”
Isiguzoro dismissed the NCM allegations of killing of Northerners in the Southeast, saying: “for the purpose of record and from the last time, there has not been any killing, except the accidental killing of Ahmed Gulak in Owerri.
“There has not been killing recorded anywhere in the Southeast about Northern people except some nefarious activities of unknown gunmen and killer Fulani herdsmen who have been attacking police stations and government facilities and killing both Igbo and indigenes from other parts of the country.”
Responding for IPOB, its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the group would not dignify the northern groups with response because “they are inconsequential groups and they don’t know what we’re doing.”
He added: “claiming that they’re representing Arewa means they represent nobody.
“We pity them for challenging Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB because they don’t know what we are made of; they can rant from here to Arewa; we don’t know such groups before.
“They want people to hear their ranting so that people will know that they exist because people don’t know them.
“People that matter in the world are talking about Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and Biafra. We are ahead of them all.”
During its Thursday press conference, NCM said it was declaring Nnamdi Kanu wanted for the continuation of criminal charges against him.
It is offering a reward of N100 million to anyone who can produce him in Nigeria for that purpose.
Kanu had taken up residence in the United Kingdom after jumping bail in respect of treason charges filed against him in October 2015 by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The NCM blamed Kanu and the Eastern Security Network, which is suspected to be the militant arm of IPOB, for the recent attacks on Northerners in the Southeast.
It asked the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the European Union to ensure Kanu’s repatriation to Nigeria.
Dr. Awwal Aliyu, NCM spokesman, said members of the group took it upon themselves as active citizens of Nigeria to declare Nnamdi Kanu wanted for “crimes against humanity and for instigating the killing of innocent Northerners in the Southeast via his hate speech.”
Kanu, according to Aliyu, must answer for “the killing and destruction of Northerners residing and undertaking lawful businesses in the southeastern part of Nigeria.
He added: “So, we are placing a bounty of N100m as an offer to anyone who can produce him alive, hale, hearty, and uninjured to us for onward delivery to the security agencies for the continuation of his prosecution.”
He asked the US, the UK, and the EU, as champions of democracy, rule of law, and freedoms of speech and expression, to “kindly and humbly respect Nigeria’s sovereignty and facilitate the repatriation of Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria so that he can face his treason, and possibly a fresh terrorism and genocide charges against innocent citizens of Nigeria.”
Obasanjo Contributed To Nigeria’s Crisis, He Should Mind His Utterances –Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo contributed to the current chaos in the country, adding that the ex-military general should mind his utterances.
He stated this on Friday in a piece titled, ‘Nigeria’s Unity And All The Iberiberism’.
Adesina wrote, “The sabre-rattling about Nigeria’s unity and the possibility of disintegration has got to the point of Iberiberism (a bastardised Igbo word which could mean stupidity). Some people have no other business than doomsday predictions of a crumbled, collapsed Nigeria, as if they actually fast and pray for that eventuality.
“When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was President between 1999 and 2007, they predicted that he was going to be the last President of a united Nigeria. It didn’t happen. When Umaru Yar’Adua came, they said he was too sick to hold Nigeria together. The country stood.
“Under Goodluck Jonathan, they said the man was too weak, and different components of the country would soon say, ‘to your tents oh Israel.’ Nigeria survived. And for six years under Muhammadu Buhari, they have not changed their songs. The Somaliasation of Nigeria was on the way.
The Fulanisation of the country would be the final death knell. But Nigeria lives. It trudges on from day to day, month to month, and will surely survive.”
Adesina said though some people dwell on negativity, “some fathers of the land will not fold their hands and see Nigeria go down”.
“Fortunately, we have one of them as President now. The young Muhammadu Buhari spent 30 months in the frontlines as a young army officer, fighting the war of unity. And he has said it: we will not be around and watch Nigeria go down. Never. We will rather speak to insurrectionists in the language they understand.
“And what of Olusegun Obasanjo, a civil war hero. Despite all that he has contributed to the current upheavals by his actions and inactions, words and bile, he says it is idiotic to wish Nigeria disintegration now. Good. But let us put our money where our mouth is. Let Baba mind his thoughts, and his language,” the presidential spokesman added.
“Nigeria will survive. The polity will endure. And the component parts will live together in amity and brotherhood. Any other option is Iberiberism,” he concluded.
Obasanjo, a military head of state from February 1976 to September 1979, was Nigeria’s democratically elected president between May 1999 and May 2007.
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