Politics Without Standard: What Legacy; What Future?Articles/Opinion, Featured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News, Tajudeen Balogun Thursday, July 10th, 2014
By Tajudeen Balogun, Lagos
Issues relating to the reasons for the loss of the incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state and victory of Ayodele Fayose in the recent gubernatorial poll of the state will not be rested in a dispatch at least for now.
Fayemi is being assessed and widely accused to have lost touch with the grass root. For instance, he is said to be ‘alien’ in the choice of his language of communication with people of Ekiti – “speaks too much of English” even where there is need for him to communicate in local dialect. Another minus against him is the issue relating to his government’s capacity building exercise which some state’s public servants regarded was uncalled for. Also with the civil servants are the points about delay and arrears salaries.
The Governor – elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose on the hand has been credited for being on ground with the commoners. Fayose who is also a former Governor of the state, is said to understand the Ekiti people and their mentality as well as their needs. This perhaps was demonstrated during the election into some wards almost four years ago in the struggle by the incumbent Governor to reclaim his mandate. Similarly, Mr. Fayose appears to understand better the language of Nigeria politics. He scored point here when about two congo of rice were distributed to prospective voters during his campaign. It was an error on the part of his opponents who had assumed politics has advanced beyond giving peanut and ‘feeding me for a day’, to woo voters; that such may work elsewhere, but not in the Fountain of knowledge state. A blunder it turned out in the end.
If a critical look is given to the above, some of the points need a thorough scrutiny. For Fayemi he is always bold to say he tours all the wards in the 16 local government areas of the state, every November, a move mainly aimed at bringing closer to government the people and have first-hand feedback from them. This has not been disputed by anyone. Still, owing civil servants salaries in a state like Ekiti is a grievous error.
The purported jokers – majorly rice distribution and alleged oath taking with the public servants deplored by the Governor-elect may not last after all. Reason. Will Fayose sustain gift tradition or uphold the nitty-gritty of the oath he signed with the Workers when assumes and lasts in office? And will the Okada riding (grass root) sentiment continue after he is sworn in? There is need to give him benefit of doubt.
However, it sounded very interesting when penultimate this week I overheard a press review anchor journalist on a radio station saying Fayose’s jokers has started yielding some positive results in some states across the country. He was referring to Edo and Ogun states’ reversal of certain policy and dramatic manner in which pending workers’ salaries were being paid.
Last week Thursday, Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole announced the cancelation of competency test and reinstatement of “936 civil servants sacked for age falsification and certificate forgery”. His Ogun state’s counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun was reportedly ordered the immediate payment of arrears of the gateway public servants!
The question is why the u-turn especially in Edo’s case. Governor’s Oshiomhole action no doubt, suggested among others that in Nigerian political circle, standard and good legacy can hastily be compromised out of fear of losing to the oppositions who will rather do it ‘business as usual’. Is there no alternative to what the Governor did? I also recall that the Governor stated in his directive that the incompetent government workers would be subsequently sent on skill improvement trainings. Can we again ask did Governor Oshiomhole put cat before the horse, otherwise why the change of mind – reversing a standard norm in every organized working organization? And to Governor Amosu’s action, can we also pose did he not realize that paying workers’ salaries promptly, whether in a developed or otherwise state is sacrosanct?
Still, given the acknowledged standard of Nigerian politics, it is almost certain that the clowns explored by Mr. Fayose prelude to the poll were transient. Consequently, the Governor-elect in the next four years may be accused of more defects than his present predecessor. But Fayose has the opportunity to prove wrong this permutation.
If these are what we contend with in Nigeria’s political landscape, then what legacy are we passing on to incoming generation and what does future hold for us a nation?
The United States of America (USA) and her western allies (societies) though are not free and really democratic in the right sense of the word and as the world is being hoodwink to believe. Yet, these countries pride themselves over ‘social organization’ and practice of issues – based politics which fundamentals are intellectualism, dynamism and productivity.
I paid a particular attention to the last US 2012 Presidential debates and electioneering campaign – featuring incumbent Barrack Obama, IIinois (Democratic Party) and his opponent, former Governor Mitt Romney, Massachusetts (Republican Party). In all of their outings, I watched very pleasant and inspiring showings by the parties’ candidates. I saw display of genuine dexterity, potentials, coherent, sequential and practical analyses of socio, economic, security and political issues relating to US, her citizens and the rest of the world. Honestly, I hailed and joined in the US traditional slogan – “God bless America”. While the rigorous campaign and debate lasted, there was no cases of harassment, intimidation, attempt on life and killing. It is too bad and very regrettable that these features are lacking in our political system.
In the end, Obama won the election with 51.1 per cent of the popular vote to Mitt Romney’s 47.2 percent – a four point margin difference! The result was too close and that was in spite of effort of President Obama to graphically articulate, defend and justify some of his administration’s policies. If US were to be Nigeria, that result would be manipulated and altered as it would call for a re-run, especially if it had gone the other way.
Every democracy is very expensive in the world all over. But the standard US and western world promote is about “sound mind with results”. This, only money, manipulation, intimidation and harassment will not be enough and earn victory for the political aspirants. American political standard is not cosmetic, crude, caricature and unsustainable as witnessed in this part of the world.
The Nigerian political standard is certainly due for an urgent and holistic review. In achieving this, the target is to engage public and private political institutions as well as other interests to start the crusade to develop and promote politics of potentiality, initiative, diligence, accountability and consistence. It is time this country says no to ineptitudes in business of governance and service to the people. Ultimately, efforts should be geared towards entrenching “real” progressive political ideology; mentoring and grooming iconic and legendary political characters.
Rivers’ Anarchy in Adamawa and Edo
In 2013, Nigerians and the world watched perhaps the political drama of the year when the Rivers state legislative chambers turned into a fighting ring. The fracas was between pro-Governor Amaechi and the ‘rebel’ legislators – the latter minority schemed to unseat the Speaker and subsequently the Governor. Specifically, five factional law makers were slugging it out with 26 pro – Governor House colleagues! It was indeed an unpleasant and a shameful scene. The rebels in the House eventually lost the fight. Almost a year later, the same scene is playing out in two states – Adamawa and Edo.
About five of 27 legislators are currently pursuing impeachment plot against the embattled Adamawa state Governor, Muritala Nyako while in Edo, four out of about 19 legislators are leaving no one in doubt that the Speaker and Governor, Adams Oshiomhole will be sacked! These are very inexplicable and brazen disrespect to the rule of law, a conduct unexpected of these supposedly honourable men and women. So, what is President Jonathan is up to on all of these? Unless there is an input from him, merely sitting and watching will be too dangerous. It is certainly “Too cold For Comfort.”
The SAMBA Shocker
Up till the moment, I still struggle to stomach the 1 – 7 trounce of the 2014 hosting country of the ongoing world football tournament – the Samba Brazil, by the rugged and tactical Germans team, Tuesday night. What happened or went wrong? Is the Brazilian team under illusion of the old respect and regard of her supporters? The defeat was definitely unbearable to the team and the country, especially as history confirms the loss as the first in the 39 years of the Brazilian squad. Well, the Samba team have another opportunity this weekend to console itself, the fans and ultimately to consolidate its position as one of the world best football squad and country. Or what is the essence of winning in another climes and failing on own soil? I wish the poor Brazil well.
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