Home News REVIEW: Much Ado About Splash/Lagelu FM Governorship Debate| Amuda Mosigbodi-Plato

REVIEW: Much Ado About Splash/Lagelu FM Governorship Debate| Amuda Mosigbodi-Plato

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If there had been any debate that has proven itself as having credibility across boards, it is the debate organised by the twin stations of Splash FM and Lagelu FM. In fact, it is usually the debate residents of the state watch out for. The debate has come and gone but there are certain things to note. 

Let me say that while this review will be centred on the responses of the candidates present to the questions thrown at them, their general demeanor is also worthy of note. The key areas to concentrate on here will be on primary health care, quest for a state-owned University, IGR, probing the incumbent, and minimum wage. Let us however start by identifying some low points of the debate and candidates.

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The Low Points: 

One of the major low points of the debate was the fact that there was less concentration on issues of economy as Oyo State is not doing well on the basis of liquidity. Another one was the fact that a particular candidate, Chief Àlàó-Akala was absent from the debate. This is the second time such is happening as he was also nowhere to be found during the 2015 debate. As I always say, you cannot shun credible debates and expect popular support, not in a fast-changing electoral space as ours. The third low point was the late-coming of Adebayo Adelabu to the debate. For a programme scheduled for 12 noon and you are getting there late, it speaks volume of your work ethics and how well you respect the electorates who have gathered to com listen to you. Interestingly, no apologies were tendered (as much as I know). While it is understandable that the demands of campaign can be rigorous, promptness means a lot. 

A big turn off in the debate was the ‘wanna gonna’ man from ANRP. Asides the fact that our man was trying to display accent in a debate where you have been told is bilingual and for listeners that are largely uneducated, Mr Ayorinde incurred the wrath of the audience and this affected him throughout the debate. He did not stop at this as he was practically hitting at every other candidate and eventually not answering most of the questions tossed at him. When asked what he has done, he attempted to pull a red herring. The ghostly (What you can find on him online is very scanty) candidate only succeeded in wasting that slot given to him as the AD man, Allow Àlàó, would have been a better choice. 

The duo of Lanlehin and Sèyí, though exuding great confidence, were looking tired although they picked up as the debate went on.

The High Points:

One must give it to the andidates for putting up such a great performance as well as the organizers for a good planning. 

However, one person that was the delight of all was Sarumi-Aliyu. While Sèyí Makinde’s citation got the loudest ovation, Bola’s introduction statement wormed her to many hearts and she sustained that for a larger part of the debate. Another high point was the grilling of the candidates by Edmund Obilo. It brought eloquence in Lanlehin, the brilliance in Sèyí, the fire in Adelabu, the glitz in Sharafadeen, the boisterousness in Bola, and the eagerness to make an impression in Ayorinde.

On Godfatherism:

It is laughable that the likes of Sèyí Makinde, Lanlehin, Alli, and Adelabu will deny having a godfather. Makinde will not deny the role the likes of Mulikat and others played in helping him secure the party ticket; Lanlehin and Alli can only deny Ladoja in public but deep down they know the man is their godfather; and Penkelemesi cannot deny the role of Ajimobi in securing the party ticket. The likes of Sarumi and Ayorinde do not really have this burden on them.

On Primary Health Care:

Lanlehin talked of establishing at least one PHC in each ward and this idea was re-echoed by Adelabu, Sharafadeen, and Makinde. Alli even went further to say he would have General Hospital in each local government. Sarumi said she was going to cut down the allocation to road construction and divert to health but didn’t say how road construction funds will be sourced. That, for me, was not realistic. Same with the idea of having a PHC in every ward. In a state that has less than 100 doctors in its service (the others have gone in search of greener pastures) and where most of the available PHCs are manned by just a nurse, the first step should be an intensive doctors recruitment. It is good to have at least a PHC in a ward but have you surveyed how productive the ones that are existing are and what the problem is? It is all bent on funds that are not made available to them. 

On State University:

Lanlehin said he would negotiate and setlle off Osun State government so that Oyo State can take full ownershp of LAUTECH. Ayorinde said he should upgrade the current Polytechnic or Colleges of Education to a University. Adelabu suggested that a vote for him will make the job of taking over LAUTECH since they are both APC states forgetting that Aregbesola was also APC with Ajimobi and nothing was done. Sarumi was full of drama as she said she would use ‘female ṣe se’ to get the takeover of the institution as if it is as simple as that. Makinde and Alli also talked about taking over the school. One noticeable problem is that these contestants don’t seem to understand that the taking over of LAUTECH requires much fund and fund is a major issue with Oyo State at the moment. Well, I hear you suggest IGR. 

On IGR: 

All the candidates agreed on the need to raise IGR but they were definitely evasive about it. They kept saying we will block leakages as if that is a silver bullet that cures all. The Oyo State IGR crisis is worrisome. According to the released statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics for the third quarter of 2018, Oyo State generated just #5.8b as IGR in a state that has a domestic debt of N88 billion and a total foreign debt of $106m. In the light of this, one would’ve expected that these contestants should know the figures and fashion a way out but I doubt all that coming to pass. 

On Minimum Wage:

It’s interesting that all the candidates except Sèyí Makinde expressly said they will pay the N30,000 minimum wage if elected. In a state where the wage bill (with the payment of the current minimum wage model) from January to September is $47.7b all that it raised as revenue, both from IGR and its allocation from the FAAC account, is N61. 7bn. Should N30,000 be paid, you can be sure that Oyo state will be on OLX soon.

On Probing the Incumbent and Continuity of Projects:

All the candidates except Sarumi were clear that they won’t be probing the incumbent – creating a soft landing for them too should they misappropriate money when in government. Adelabu was loudest on this. Sarumi wants to probe whether Boda Isiaka has a refinery in Lebanon, and Lanlehin promises to review all contracts awarded by the current administration. On whether they will abandon projects initiated by the current administration, Adelabu was clear about continuity while others believe that they will only continue the ones they consider good.

Final Notes:

Do you know what is meant by ‘Mummy has interest? Senator Lanlehin obviously trivialised it. You want to know what it means? If you know a first mummy called Florence, she is the one alluded to.

Who Do You Vote For?

Well, it is not my business to tell you who to vote for but make sure you are properly guided before you use your index finger to seal your next four years.

Amuda Mosigbodi-Plato Bamidele is political analyst.

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