The good people of Osun state, long denied, are now reaping the
dividends of democracy. A democratic spring of initiatives is now
being witnessed. New schemes and initiatives are coming out by the day
and there is generally a feeling of optimism and well being, the
future is very much brighter.
There is however no gain without a cost. The entire process called
Osun state has to be re-engineered. This cannot but be so. The
covenant between the people and the government was irrevocable cast
away by the Oyinlola maladministration in the seven years which the
locusts eat. Today with the vigour of a new enlightenment, there is
now an imperative to initiate a new social contract between the
government (of the people and for the people) and the governed.
A social contract rests on the mutuality of benefits between two
consent (equal) partners. In the instance of contemporary Osun state,
the government must deliver on great expectations. We are already
witnessing the benefits of delivery and of promises fulfilled. The
deceit, the crass opportunism of the unlamented Oyinlola interregnum
is fast receeding from the memory. Vigorous new schemes and
initiatives are already in place to tackle unemployment, inadequate
access to healthcare facilities, environmental degradation, the
modernization of agriculture and so forth.
In return, the governed have to play their part in assisting the
government to reinvent the processes as well as the concept and the
modus operandi of governance. This is vital as the government and the
people of Osun state move up to the next level. For a start, we must
be always conscious of the fact that the government operating as it is
in Nigeria’s contemporary distorted quasi federalism is fighting with
one arm tied to its back. Osun state as a non-oil producing state is
very low down in the allocation of revenues from the federation
Frankly, this will not have mattered in a proper fiscal federalism.
The state will have been able to exploit for its own gain its untapped
internal resources. In this course of action, the funds necessary to
build up the state’s internal physical, fiscal and social resources
will have become available. Alas, under our present quasi-federalism
this is not so. Because of this the government as in admirable Lagos
state will have to fall upon and operate within its own ingenuity.
This is the crux of the matter, and this is where the assistance, the
co-partnership with the people, with the governed comes in. To provide
the services, there is a very vital role for the governed to play. If
we may go back in time to our contemporary history there is a lot to
be learnt. We may in this context remember the administration of
Herodotus created by many as the founder of the discipline we refer to
today as ‘History’.
In his mea culpa ‘THE HISTORIES’ the Greek historian famously pointed
out that: “A person who does not know anything about the events which
occurred before he/she was born will remain forever a child.” We must
absorb the lessons of the past as we prepare for a better future. The
sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo was equally up against it. To finance is
commendable programmes he had to ask for contributions in terms of
taxes from the populace. This created a lot of problems as well as a
temporary loss of electoral support. He nevertheless and the rest is
Decades later, the Ogbeni Governor will have to toe the course set by
his mentor. A new better future can only come into play through a
co-partnership between government and governed. In Osun state we are
all stakeholders! It behoves each and everyone of us to assist the
valiant efforts of a people-oriented government by playing our part.
This is a government of delivery and we must all assist them by paying
our rates, our taxes and doing voluntary contributions.
Ogbeni Aregbesola is going to deliver the goods, the dividends of
democracy. There is a great future ahead. Let us all to a man and
woman help him to re-invent the ethos of governance, a new
co-partnership between the government and a consenting people. Therein
lies a glorious future!