By Adedayo OlaOluwa fisayo
Humans by nature are insatiable. I’ll be damned if an elected Governor in any Nigerian state would be considered for a third term by the people even if the constitution permits. What am I saying? Given our nature and peculiarities, it is difficult to spend eight years in governance and expect to be everybody’s best friend. It is just like trying to be an effective father for many years and hoping to be your kids favourite. Slim chance.
I am of the opinion that we ought to preoccupy ourselves now more than ever on the qualities we expect from anyone coming to govern the state than dwell on the shortcomings of a tenure going to an end. My decision is a product of experience. It is nothing short of foolhardy to clamour for change without the option of a credible alternative. It is easy to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it. That is the preoccupation of any opposition desperate to wrestle power from an incumbent. But the electorate must be wary of the bandwagon effect. Ondo gubernatorial election has been scheduled for November 26 by INEC. What exactly do we want? Is it a change of political party in the state or a change of leadership style? What are our present sources of disaffection? Salary arrears? Ineffective policies? Senatorial marginalisation? We need to ask ourselves salient questions before we allow the instrument of political propaganda to mould our choices.
Less than a year ago, an alternative to a presidential incumbent promised unemployed youths and graduates five thousand naira monthly stipends. Today, we’ve all come to accept the impossibility of such promise being kept. My point is that it is not enough to point out the inadequacies of a leadership especially if you eye such leadership position. Anyone jostling for the mantle of leadership in Ondo state should be able to articulate and outline his or her vision for the state and how they intend to improve our fortunes with such agenda. If the present leadership of the state is owing salary workers three month arrears, what magic wand are you bringing to clear it off?
Let us channel our strength and focus to something futuristic like deciding what we want from whoever we shall saddle with the responsibility of deciding our collective destiny in the next four years. That way, it matters less what party you support, you’ll be alert to search for the identified qualities among aspirants across party divides. Enough is enough to those championing certain ethnic agenda. Akoko or Owo agenda will not fly. Akure agenda has no bearing on effectiveness. It is the turn of the Southern senatorial district is a lazy argument. Shame on anyone whipping such sentiments. Our agenda should be merit based. Since the return of modern democracy in Ondo state, every senatorial district through different parties has featured a candidate in all the gubernatorial elections. Whoever is claiming there’s a zoning arrangement in the governship of Ondo state should recieve sense.
I have tried to identify the leading qualities expected from whoever we hope to elect in November. The state needs first and foremost a man of integrity. In fact, we ought to start ringing it to the ears of parties hierarchy that failure to pick a man of integrity to fly their ticket is most certain way to lose the forthcoming election. We should discourage men of questionable characters from insulting our collective sensibilities further. President Buhari rode on the back of integrity to win the last presidential election. This is the age of social media where news travel faster than ever. The people are disgusted with the news and magnitude of plunderage that has taken place under their noses in the last few years. Only yesterday, CBN announced that few Nigerians have over 20 billion dollars in their domiciliary accounts. Yet, the country herself is acclaimed broke. That’s the picture. The people will vote for anybody but someone perceived to be dishonest, dishonourable and a beneficiary of corruption.
The state needs a technocrat that places great value on professionalism. Nepotism has been a major bane to our development. A professional politician would make decisions based on favouritism but a technocrat will do the same on merit. When round pegs are placed in round holes, rapid development shall be witnessed in major sectors of the economy. A technocrat is a statesman. When the politician’s action would be motivated by the next election, a technocrat’s motivation is improving human and social capital. He is ideological focused.
The state needs a person of experience. Leadership is serious business. There’s no amount of theoretical knowledge that can prepare anyone for the littlest leadership position when the realities set in. Our people can not afford to gamble on a political neophyte. We don’t need a jejenu in this crucial global econmic meltdown. This is where antecedent counts. We must scrutinize the background of whoever is coming to lead us. Has such person a background of service to the people? In what capacity has he or she led and how successful was the undertaking? What relevance does his or her curriculum vitae have to leading Ondo state? We need someone that understands what it takes to transform our fortunes. With all due respect, while President Buhari has been wildly reputed to be a man of integrity, it is becoming doubtful if he is savvy enough to transform the dwindling economy of the country. The conviction is just not there. We can’t afford to take such chances in the Sunshine state.
Finally, we need a visionary Governor who is not profligate. Only Ondo state can produce all the toothpicks Nigeria needs. You wouldn’t know how huge that is until you’re told toothpicks are imported into Nigeria. If we don’t have an incoming Governor with the knowledge to grasp that ours is an agrobased economy and we can never develop unless we invest radically and deliberately into agriculture, we are still going to grumble after four years.
Adedayo OlaOluwa fisayo radically appellated as Ogbeni La is a writivist and social commentator. He is currently the PRO of NANS (Southwest)