OPINION: Dear AA, The Time Is Now!

By Abdullah Abdulganiy.

I must start by extolling your efforts so far since you assumed the apex office of our state. No one, even those with the dullest brains, will disagree with the fact that you have hit the government running since you were sworn in as the governor of our dear state. In fact, those who are supposed to be your vociferous critics have since been in “sleep mode” after seeing your giant strides to take Kwarans to the dreamland. Indeed, it is no business as usual! And I call this a positive deviance. Thumbs up Sir!

Personally, I believe the el-Dorado is nigh and Kwara is projected to witness a massive positive transformation and rebirth in its social structures with your dynamic leadership style. You taught us how not to lead from the office by the way you move around the state to monitor the situations at hand. A reminder of how Nigerian leaders used to be in the past. A development which made me hurriedly dub you as the workaholic governor of our time. A notion which would later be refuted by many as hasty and too early. Ride on Sir!

These feats, notwithstanding, Your Excellency, it is important to remark that there is still room for improvement. I have never seen a perfectionist. And no one is an island. However, by adhering to criticisms – beautiful ones – it is possible the point of near-perfection is reached. Since you assumed office Your Excellency, Kwarans have been yearning for two main things: Your cabinet and your asset declaration. Both of which you have failed to attend to. Putting up your cabinet and declaring your assets publicly would go a long way in enhancing robust governance and transparency in your administration. If nobody is saying this, I am ready to take the bull by the horn to say it. I know the reactions from some quarters would be polemic. But I care less.

Your Excellency, let no one deceive you that everything is fine without putting up your cabinet yet. Things may of course be fine, but they would become finer once you put up your cabinet. Let me borrow this popular maxim in this respect: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk with people.” I know your aim is to take us far in Kwara which necessitates that you walk with people by immediately putting up your cabinet. I am sorry to say, you are not an island. You may have an idea about how the economic sector works given your background as a businessman, but how about education, health, environmental, and so on? You need to recruit experts as your commissioners and SAs in these fields to take Kwara far. And the time is now! A two-month old administration is no more nascent if you ask me.

I know the counter-argument of the above. Critics may say that you need enough time to search for better hands to make up your cabinet. True. But four months are enough to do this. To put it blunter, there is no significant concomitance between the time spent to put up a cabinet and the quality of such cabinet in some instances. South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and Senegal’s Macky Sall put up their cabinets days after their swearing-in. On the contrary, Nigeria’s Buhari spent months before presenting his cabinet to the national assembly. Some of the members of this cabinet would later turn out to be the albatross of his administration. In fact, this has not made Nigeria better than South Africa in any respect.

While I am an advocate of a qualitative cabinet, I also align with the logic that it doesn’t take donkey’s years to get one. There are promising Kwarans outside there – in academia, judiciary, politics, business, careers – who would make a resourceful cabinet. I therefore see no reason for the delay. Not to talk of the fact that as the governor, you hold the power to fire any erring or unproductive appointee. Matter-of-factly, you cannot satisfy everyone with your appointments. No matter how hard you try, you will still be tagged as an ingrate in some quarters.

To be sure, there is no personal gain accrued to my person if the governor puts up his cabinet immediately. It is clear like the 14th day moon that I would not be part of the appointees. And none of my immediate family members would be a part either. Thus, if there is a benefit accrued to my call for immediate cabinet building, it is that of the general benefit all Kwarans would benefit from.

In the same token, it is now incumbent upon you to make public your asset declaration so as to ensure transparency which has been a lost treasure in past administrations in Kwara State. I expected that you would be the first governor to do that. But Engineer Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State, has taken the glory. Nevertheless, it is not too late to mend. Accept the assurance of my highest regards. I wish you a successful and colorful administration.

Abdullah is an undergraduate of the better-by-far University of Ilorin.

Email: olamilekanhalarho@gmail.com.


DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.

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