EVALUATING AKEREDOLU’S FIRST 100 DAYS By Gbenga Akinmoyo
A lot of people use sentiments to decide on performance, for example the debate in football circles about who is a better player between Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo depends on whether you support FC Barcelona or Real Madrid. Similarly, some people argue that a 4-year term of office shouldn’t be assessed for performance at the half way mark let alone after 100 days. The same argument is manipulated by political pundits depending on whether the Governor to be assessed is from APC or PDP.
For me, that argument
does not hold water in the bucket. One of my sons is in class JS1 and he brought back home his Report Card at the end of the 1st and 2nd terms and I’m eagerly awaiting that of the third term. Therefore, to assess the performance of Arakurin Rotimi Akeredolu -Mr Governor, after 100 days is neither out of place or ill-informed. In fact, it may be a good idea to appraise performance of the Governor every 100 days, so that the true dividends of democracy can be properly accumulated during the 48 months of his 4-year tenure. The first 3 months have gone already so let’s use our microscope to x-ray his performance so far.
It might be difficult to do a fair evaluation given that the Ondo State electorate in October voted largely for a pot of soup, rather than on the basis of a candidates manifesto and/or campaign promises. I challenge anybody to tell me what Governor Akeredolu posited to the electorate, in specific terms, what he would do if he became governor. Therefore, while expecting nothing, we can only base performance on general expectations and let me state very quickly, as far as I’m concerned they do not include paying workers salaries regularly and promptly; building roads & refurbishment of schools & hospitals; etc because even a military government would honour those statutory commitments.
Frankly speaking, you would have expected that having contested and lost in 2012, Gov Akeredolu ought to have hit the ground running with a clear direction of where he wants to deliver Ondo State in 4 years time and the team that would get him there. Unfortunately, what we have seen is a mirror image of what Mr President did at federal level, spending months to prepare a list of recycled failures and 2 years later the country is suffering from the indecision.
Whilst we wait for the list of Commissioners & Board Chairmen-nominate, we can only take inspiration or otherwise from the appointments made so far since February. I have it on very high authority that approximately 60 political appointments have been made to date and in just one strategic office within the Governor’s Office, all the top six appointees are now occupied by indigenes of OWO LGA. If this is anything to go by then it seems like a repeat of Mr President’s skewed northern agenda as far as appointments are concerned. Not that it really matters, but not one single appointee from Idanre LGA.
On wages, salaries and finances of Ondo State I guess Mr Governor should be given credit ?? for promptly paying February, March, April 2017 salaries and in addition, clearing August 2016 arrears of his predecessor, but I’m amazed at the lack of transparency. Given that the monthly allocation to Ondo State and IGR in the last 24 months has averaged less than N2 billion, should Mr Governor not have been more upfront with the people and tell us where he got close to N16-20 billion, which enabled him to pay these salaries and also keep the business of government running for the last 100 days.
I my humble submission it is either he met a substantial and to be disclosed sum of money in the kitty or he is borrowing from unknown sources thereby increasing our indebtedness or perhaps he is robbing the Central Bank because the figures just don’t add up.
One of the major tests Governor Akeredolu faced early into his first 100 days in office was the issue of local government administration in the state. Regrettably, many of us, particularly in the legal profession, are extremely disappointed that Arakurin Akeredolu, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) allowed party politics and shenanigans to becloud his personal judgement & integrity in the handling of the matter, leading to the sacking of the properly elected Chairmen & Councillors on the whim of a comical court process posited at the doorstep of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in Ondo State. For crying out loud PRP in Ondo State, not Kano or Kaduna? That singular action is a crown blemish that has stained the Governor’s first 100 days in office and it will take a lot to redeem the battered image.
TO BE CONTINUED