In understanding the innate meaning of government and the art of governance, it can be perceived to mean the act of administering a given set of people or resources and ensuring effective and efficient distribution of social amenities for the general good of all.
The government decides on what to do to better the lot of the largest sum at any point in time.
The government, therefore, must be able to both think and act well so as to be able to address the genuine needs of the people it governs, and not just a perceived one. This is judicious use of government discretion.
By evaluating the structural foundation of the Engr. Seyi Makinde administration in Oyo State, and with all what one has seen so far, it would not be out of place for any sincere pundit to be able to predict the erection of a sound and an enduring governmental structure in the state.
And, on the above premise, it is high time that bitter and partisan politicking was given the boot not only in Oyo State but the whole of Nigeria altogether.
For us not to just be counting mere calendar age for Nigeria as a country with nothing to show for it progress-wise, we should endeavour, for our general good, to ditch party politicking in Nigeria and go instead for ‘personality politicking’.
As it were in the Nigeria of today, and per our Constitution, any ill-advised electoral decision would cause the citizenry to pine away for four good years at the least.
Therefore, Nigerians generally and the good people of Oyo State particularly should learn to shine their eyes always in attempting to elect their leaders.
Enter Governor Seyi Makinde
On assumption of office, Makinde left no one in doubt of his resolve in taking the state to the next level of development. He is unarguably the best candidate, going by evaluations from sundry socio-political pedestals, in the last gubernatorial election in Oyo State. He is undoubtedly a gentleman, cool-headed, firm in a dignifying way; one who loves and fears God, and also a staunch believer in the right of all Oyo people to live well.
Barely two months ago, the whole of Oyo State went agog with the cheering news that the present administration of Engineer Seyi Makinde has abolished payment for the Common Entrance School Examination, and has even gone further to direct that such fees as having already been taken from pupils be refunded to them forthwith. The only time any such thing happened in the history of Nigeria was 40years ago. In fact, upon election as the first Executive Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, issued what can best be described as a premature Executive Order. This was sometime in September of 1979 after he had been elected. He ordered that parents of students and pupils resuming that month should not pay school fees. But the then military administrator od Lagos, Commodore Ebitur Ikiwe, fired back, insisting that the parents should pay and that once Jakande was sworn-in on October 1, 1979, he can begin to issue Executive Orders. And upon being sworn-in on Monday, October , 1979, Jakande ordered that the fees must be refunded to parents. I know this to be true because my parents benefitted from that refund. Jakande made that possible and went on to become the best ever state governor in Nigeria – not minding the pretensions by some today whose brand of politics is hinged on hero-worship, which in itself is a function of corrupt enrichment. Shall we then safely say Governor Makinde, starting on this progressive note, is set to liberate the good people of Oyo State from years of inferior governance? Yes, we can.
For, this is an administration that is yet to clock 100 days in power but has shown signs of greater things to happen. This is well-advised government discretion, as it goes a long way in touching the very souls of many indigent Oyo State parents. Verily, no Civil Engineer that is worth his salt needs to wait for a building to be fully erected before he would be able to determine its structural endurance; he is able to determine this by just evaluating the foundation thereof.
As we all know in elementary political science that peace and security are indeed sine qua non of every government, Governor Makinde promised to turn around the security architecture of the state in order to bring in foreign investors, just as he said his administration has four main pillars with Agric value chain as a key aspect to promote foreign investment.
For us in Oyo State, the last two months have been spent mainly rebuilding institutions that had been turned into total ruins, and providing lasting foundation. The governor has also embarked on providing the infrastructure that will guarantee that the state is governed as a modern state.
Also, he has initiated the process of reaching out to international development partners to bring them in for the development of the state. Everywhere he had been in the last two months, the story had been the same – forward-looking agenda.
As part of the efforts of government to provide a lasting superstructure for governance in the state, the Makinde government, last week, set up the contract review committee, to review projects and contracts awarded by the immediate-past administration. Even babes and suckling were aware of the arrant disregard for probity and accountability that reigned in the state in the last eight years and indeed the massive fraud that percolated government.
When the committee submits its report in the next few weeks, government would have found a way out of impunity that characterized the last eight years and for posterity. As intangible as this may appear, it will conform to the words of Marcus Garvey that a people without the knowledge of their past are like a tree without a root.
In the government’s bid to bring succour to our senior citizens in the state, government has committed about N280 million as payment of gratuities to 100 retired civil servants for 2012 on grade level 1 – 17 in the state. It is an underscore of government’s care for retirees.
In the area of labour relations, Governor Makinde has succeeded in reversing the trend where workers in the state were the least paid in the whole of South West. As intangible as it may sound, unlike the practice in the past, workers in the state now collect their salary on 25th of every month, a feat which has been resoundingly applauded by all civil servants in the state. For a state governor who openly declared his asset and his worth, it is reassuring that here is a state governor who wants workers to get paid for job done.
The vision of this government, however, extends beyond the above. It is believed that what matters most to him is the superstructure of governance that is, in the last two months, being put in place. Never will the state of our infrastructure be as deplorable as we had them in the last eight years; never will corruption be an insignia of government of the state; never will our infrastructure go moribund; never will the people of Oyo State live inferior lifestyles: these are the assurances Governor Makinde has been giving the people in the last two months.
Obviously, it is proved that nobody tangoes with God and wins. The good people of Oyo State should endeavour to cooperate vibrantly with the incumbent government for them to experience an enduring betterment in Oyo State this once.
- Alonge is a teacher based in Ogbomoso