By Adeola Badru
According to the Webster Ninth Collegiate Dictionary, the government is the ‘act or process of governing, administering or exercising discretion over a political unit.’
In understanding the innate meaning of the above definition in the true sense of it, the government 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 a lot of the people at any point in time, more often than not, while not consulting prior with the target beneficiaries of the government decision(s). 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.
An apposite exemplification of the above is the panic road-tarring / mending expedition of the former administration in Oyo State in the wee hours of its last days in power.
To begin with, one would be tempted to begin to wonder whether that administration was in a deep swoon occasioned by a drunken stupor all this while that made it not to understand that those roads needed attention before, particularly when it was revealed through this writer’s inquisition that those roads had already been approved and pencilled down for rehabilitation since nothing less than three years ago. And, of course, because the move was panic-induced, quite a lot of mistakes were obviously made in these rehabilitation moves.
For one thing, many of such roads collapsed even before the road engineers’ presence was removed from them, and a good example is the NASU Secretariat / Tolulope Shopping Complex road opposite the Trans Amusement Park that caved in even before the last road-making equipment left the site.
For another thing, it is discovered that many roads leading to cul-de-sacs were tarred while thoroughfare roads were left ‘weeping’ for attention. This is most obviously a bad and faulty government discretion.
Barely a month ago, the whole of Oyo State was 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.
Yet, this is an administration that is yet to clock one month in power. This is a 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 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.
We are all evaluating the structural foundation of the Engr. Seyi Makinde administration in Oyo State now, and with all what one is seeing 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 Oyo State. And, on the above premise, this writer wishes to submit that it is high time that bitter and partisan politicking was given the boot not only in Oyo State but the whole of Nigeria altogether.
This writer further posits that for us not to just be counting mere calendar age for Nigeria as a country but 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’.
For instance, it is quite a possibility for a ‘leftist’ political party to be fielding an enigma as her candidate in a given election, while the so-called ‘rightist’ party would be fielding a villain. And, of course, an electoral mistake cannot be undone in a jiffy.
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. We should try to understand the difference between RULERS and LEADERS.
Rulers come in to arrogate the glamour of governmental power to themselves alone and use same to inflict heavy injuries and pains on the Ruled, without seeking to care a hoot whose ox is gored, thereby turning themselves into ‘CONSTITUTED AUTHORITIES’.
Leaders, by contrast, come in to understudy the LED, understand their peculiarities, pains, expectations and yearnings and use the instrumentality of governmental power to remove LABOUR from them and substitute the same with FAVOUR.
Also, Rulers practise what this writer aptly terms as ARMINIANISM, while Leaders practise INCLUSIVITY. One can only visualize how Oyo State could have been in metamorphosis, assuming e “GBE BODI E” crooner was elected as governor in the March 9th gubernatorial election instead of Engr. Seyi Makinde.
Governor Seyi Makinde 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.
Obviously, it is proved that nobody tangoes with God and wins. This writer wishes to strongly appeal to the good people of Oyo State to endeavour to cooperate vibrantly with the incumbent government of Engr. Seyi Makinde for us to experience an enduring betterment in Oyo State this once.
We should all have it at the back of our minds that no government the world over succeeds without the cooperation and vibrant support of its citizenry. May we do not go back into the era of AJUMOSE but ANIKANJE again.