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What the people of Ogun don’t need

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By Luqmon Adewunmi

LET me state at the very onset that the good people of Ogun State would rather have their government focus on development than be burdened by the current tide of bad blood between the present government under Senator Ibikunle Amosun and that of former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. The state deserves better.

At a time when other parts of the world strive to better the lots of their people, the least our government in Ogun State should do and be seen to be doing is invest very scarce resources in endless vendetta, which, at the end of the day, will draw the hand of the clock backward rather than engender development.

In the last two weeks, the national media has been awash with paid advertorials, the first wave of which were sponsored by the Ogun State Government, where details of the report of a Land Probe Panel, set up by the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration were published.

The said advertorial, totaling 10 pages gave blow by blow details of purported ills committed by Daniel while he was in charge of the state between 2003 and 2011. In response, Daniel also went to the media pointing out in detail why he is not guilty of all the purported findings of the Land Panel.

For those who have been witnesses to the acrimonious politicking in Ogun State in the past six years, it is clear what and who the target of the government action was.

*Senator Ibikunle Amosun

But that is not as important as the cost of this acrimony to the suffering masses of Ogun State, who would rather have access to good, decent and functional infrastructure, employment, good education, security of life and property and access to quality health care than be fed with tons of government gazettes and paid advertorials all directed to show and prove how a previous administration did not deliver on democracy dividends to use the well-worn cliché.

This, I must state, is not making excuses for any failures that may have been recorded by the Gbenga Daniel administration in the state. The fact is that it is the responsibility of the state to bring to justice, all those who must have one way or the other, committed one offence or the other.

But we must also be mindful, when doing this, to avoid creating the impression that what is being sought is not justice for the people but political witch hunt. My point is that history will judge those in leadership, not on how much they are able to find out what others did not do right but rather on the quantum of their contributions to changing the lives of their people.

When a state government  duplicates this job and hurriedly passes judgment, people then begin to suspect the real intent. I have taken time to read both the advertorials published by the Ogun State Government and the response of Daniel and think that if it was true that a number of the conclusions of this Land Panel are issues being dealt with in the ongoing trial of the former governor by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), that Daniel is right in claiming that the government released the report and caused same to be published so as to preempt the case already being handled by the EFCC.

As I write this, the people of Ogun State are already making comparisons between the two administrations. Senator Amosun ha spent over a year in office already and on the streets of the state, people are beginning to worry over the slow pace of development.

They are looking over at Lagos and thinking that if Babatunde Fashola had taken such a long time to settle-in, he never would have been able to record the kind of achievements that have singled him out as case study for a responsive and responsible government in Nigeria and beyond.

The people of Ogun State do need the great news from these panels. It neither puts food on their table nor pays school fees for their children nor gets them the jobs they need. Let the machineries of state take care of the jobs for which they have been created while the government sits properly to concentrate on impacting on the people.

If Amosun succeeds in generating against the past administration, a pile of damning panel reports as long as the cap on his head but fail to leave Ogun better that Gbenga Daniel left it, I am sure history would judge him very harshly.

*Luqmon Adewunmi, a social commentator, lives in Akute, Ogun State

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