“DON’T count the days, make the days count” is famously ascribed as an exhortation by that GOAT, Muhammed Ali. The message is clear and simple: live fully everyday. A phrase like it in Latin is Capa Diem – seize the day! It will be of great benefit to the people of Osun, the Glory of God and excellent legacy for the PDP government of Osun and its new Governor, Ademola Adeleke, if they can heed the call – as per service delivery to the people. Will they? Time will tell.
Everything in life is relative: a day is like a century for a man in the torture chamber while it is like an hour for a couple on honeymoons. A four-year mandate always seems long; in truth, it is not – for a man with a mission, of course. Between November 27, 2022 and November 27, 2026, there are only 1,461 days, and the sun goes on rising and setting. The people, who are with heavy expectations, are already counting days; it is for the government to make the days count. As of today, there are only 3 years, 11 months and 3 days left, with 26 days gone!
A party and a government with a 4-year mandate that wants it renewed thereafter must mind each passing day and make it count, knowing full well that endearing itself to the people cannot wait till the last few months. Indeed, it has only 3 years as the last year of the tenure is always loaded with political distractions and electioneering.
Of course, the Adeleke government is not to be envied as it is; it has been handed an alibi by an out gone government with a weird understanding of transition in government, which it refused to allow happen. It would have spared the Adeleke government days of unnecessary poke-nossing around inherited assets and liabilities and fussing up and about the mess it is now alleging. The government must come to terms with realities, however, and quickly realise that it is part of the hazards of government changing hands across party divide, and get on with its own programmes, if it has any. The APC national government wasted precious much time at inception cataloguing the disaster wrecked by the ousted PDP-Jonathan government as if the people were oblivious to them, and that was not the reason PDP was voted out and APC voted in. Today, it has not succeeded in remedying those corruption, insecurity and economy disasters it was wasting time in highlighting, if it has not arguably worsened them. The Adeleke-PDP government must be mindful of that and avoid that pitfall!
It is conceded that delivering dividends of good governance is not easy by any means in Osun. In a country where almost all states depend majorly on monthly accruals from the federation accounts, with Osun obtaining from it one of the least sums, and with IGR difficult to raise dramatically and quickly due to low productivity and widespread citizen suffering from economic and social hardship, where will the money come from for infrastructure and growing productivity? Meanwhile, the only way out of the wood for every poor and underdeveloped space is rapid build up of infrastructure and human productivity acceleration especially in agriculture and trade immediately, while making the most of education and information technology for medium term calculation. Even when stealing and waste are minimised, it is still a difficult task; much else when they are not.
However difficult and whatever the cost, it must be done. That is the basis for government, which we would remind ourselves here, especially the forgetful. The reason for government is nowhere better captured than in the opening paragraphs of the American Declaration of Independence: “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness – THAT TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, GOVERNMENTS ARE INSITUTED AMONG MEN, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
It cannot be stated clearer: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness pack a lot, and securing it as best as it can for the people of Osun, despite all national challenges, is the task for the state government. It is best for it to set about it now, if it has not already done so, making the days count, as the people count the passing days.