The Ogbeni governor has sent an excellent team of carefully chosen men
and women of honour to the House of Assembly for confirmation. With
the quality of assembled personnel it has been worth the wait. The
team was assembled carefully and craftily. This will not have pleased
whatever is left of the diminishing band of the Osun State ‘Peoples’
Democratic Party (PDP).
The complaint of the PDP has always been that the Aregbesola led
administration has not behaved true to expected type. In the mindset
of the totally discredited Osun State PDP, government is essentially
one long jamboree. In their way of thinking, government is all about
patronage and inevitably looty-sharing. So expect great disappointment
from that nauseating quarter with the quality of the new team.
With round pegs in similar holes the pace of an already admirable
government is bound to get even more invigorating. Ogbeni has put in a
lot in his eight months of action packed administration. Now armed
with a quality team it’s bound to get even more better. The
expectations of the people from the new team in quite straight
forward- expect delivery. After years of maladministration,
disappointments and promises unfulfilled cannot but be otherwise.
To fulfill greatly aroused expectations and anticipated delivery,
unambiguous targets must be spelt out for the new team. This will
provide a roadmap as to how to achieve the central tenor of the
programme upon which the party secured decisive electoral victory. The
precedents are there. In recent contemporary history both President
Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair used ‘public sector
targets’ (PST) to drive their ministerial teams. The PSTs had clear
timeliness attached to them. For this reason all the members of the
cabinet knew precisely what was expected and within which time-frame.
In our opinion this is a sensible way to proceed. Let there be no
doubt about it, Osun State is at the moment in a ‘catch-up’ phase. The
state has suffered with admirable forebearance the horrendous seven
and a half years which the locusts eat. The Aregbesola administration
for this reason is starting off from a very low base which means that
extra work, planning and oversight will have to be carried out. For
the expectations of the people to be met, the new, in-coming
commissioners have to show great dedication, meticulous attention to
detail and have a progressive, social democratic orientation.
The orientation is importanty. In democracies, governments are, or
ought to be driven by programmes. In this case the programme is
undoubtedly progressive and pro-people. The not unreasonably
expectation is in the direction of ‘life more abundant’ for the
majority of the people and their families. It’s about the provision of
better scholars which can provide the skills with which to compete in
a modern economy; it’s about greater access to healthcare facilities
in particular primary healthcare facilities; it’s about the
modernization of agriculture leading up to an agro-allied industries
Men and women of course do not make their history in ways which they
would have chosen. The road ahead is rough. The minimum wage tussel
and its accompanying cost inflation and distortions cannot be wished
away. As a further hindrance Nigeria today is at best a
quasi-federation. This means that the federating units (the states)
are going about their tasks with one arm tied behind their back. In
the absence of true fiscal federalism, it’s always going to be hard.
Because of this, extra work will have to be put in cplce to circumvent
the debilitations. It’s not going to be a tea party. Knocking the ever
can-do, vastly experienced get-up and Ogbeni Governor will provide
the overall direction at the top. A solid captain is at the helm.
Nevertheless, our exhortation to the new team is to always remember
the words of the great Algerian nationalist and revolutionist Franz
Fanon. At a propitious juncture in history Fanon admonished an entire
generation to be alive to its responsibilities, to remember it will
either fulfill or betray. The new so craftily put together has no
choice than to fulfill the great expectations already aroused.