…says don’t blame Jonathan for your failures
Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has been advised not to hang his failures in governance of the state on former President Goodluck Jonathan or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led Federal Government of the past era, but rather admit that he failed on his own to deliver on the promises he made to the people.
Challenging Aregbesola on his claims while addressing participants at “Ogbeni Till Day Break 2018,” held at WOCDIF Center, Osogbo, on Friday, where Aregbesola was said to have blamed his failure as a governor on the fact that his administration coincided with that of the PDP government at the centre, between 2010 and 2015, which according to him “was the most traumatised era in the history of Nigeria”, Media Adviser to ex-President Jonathan, Ikechukwu Eze said such thinking was neither sincere nor commonsensical.
Ikechukwu in a statement said, “I see this as the governor’s attempt to rewrite history by disingenuously seeking an accomplice for his dreadful failure in office.
“This should be prevented from entering public records, as he wished. Ordinarily, it is considered a courageous act in governance to admit utter failure, as the governor attempted doing. Unfortunately, in this instance, Governor Aregbesola’s confession bordered on treachery, since he was neither sincere nor commonsensical.
“Rather than be the hero he sought to be, Aregbosola ended up as an anti-hero whose admittance of failure became mired in cowardice and deception, once he ventured lamely to seek an accomplice or a fall guy in the past PDP administration.
“His attempt to pass the buck failed woefully, as the public has seen it for what it is: a spineless act of dishonesty and contrived rectitude wearing a mask of false alibi and specious altruism.
“In the first place, Aregbesola’s premise was wrong. Didn’t he realise that as semi-autonomous sub-national entities that control own revenues, states cannot reasonably yoke their fortunes with that of the Federal Government?
“Aregbesola should ask himself why his performance is far below the standards set by his counterparts in such states as Gombe, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Enugu. Like Aregbesola’s Osun, they are neither oil-producing nor high revenue earning states.
It would have been more honourable, and perhaps worthy of exculpation, if the governor had been man enough to take absolute responsibility for his monumental failure, without the futile effort to clutch at straws.
“That Aregbesola failed as a governor is a fact known to not only the good people of Osun State but indeed, all Nigerians. That he is also the architect of his disappointing performance is also incontrovertible.
“In the first place, an elected governor who waited for over two years before appointing commissioners or aides courted nothing but failure. Rather than apply discretion in policy choices, Aregbesola choose to lavish the state’s resources on grandiose white elephant projects that at best served as avenue for personal aggrandisement, to the detriment of workers’ welfare and the good of the people.
“One of such extravagant project was the Opon-Imo, an e-learning ‘tablet of knowledge’ meant to ‘solve all’ secondary education needs of the state, which sadly became one of the biggest scams in the history of the state, with many close to him allegedly complicit in a contract scandal worth billions of Naira.
“It is instructive that while he was fiddling with his tacky Opon-Imo project, the state which used to lead others in learning slipped into 29th position out of 36 on the scale of educational performance in Nigeria.
“Another was the ill-advised school uniform policy which generated the kind of crisis that almost crippled the education system in the state. If Aregbesola had not been clueless and bereft of productive ideas, he would have taken a cue from the governors of other states with a similar mix in the religions of their population.
“Those hard working governors knew better than waste state time and resources in enforcing a controversial dressing code for school kids.
“Nobody was then surprised when Aregbesola failed to pay the salaries of all civil servants and public sector workers for upwards of 12 months, a development that sparked unprecedented labour protests, and strident calls for his resignation.
“His failure in this regard was so glaring, that the predicament of Osun workers continues to elicit empathy and concern from across the country.”
He said the above and many other issues, has shown the world that Aregbesola lacks capability to run the state.
“It is this sordid state of affairs that pushed Justice Olamide Folahanmi Oloyede then of the Osun State Judiciary to take unusual step, by moving against the governor.
Apparently unable to bear the governor’s missteps and unending blunder any longer, Justice Oloyede had in 2015 petitioned the State House of Assembly over what she termed Aregbesola’s financial recklessness.
“It is therefore worrying that a man with this kind of odious public record would seek to compare himself with the administration of Goodluck Jonathan famed for its feat in reinvigorating education, reviving agriculture, strengthening democracy, and growing the economy to become not only Africa’s biggest, but the number one destination for foreign direct investment on the continent.
“It is shocking that leaders like Aregbesola are allowed to blow their trumpet as probable messiahs in this dispensation. Little wonder then that the administration in which he is a key player, inherited a robust economy that was rated as one of the world’s best performing in 2015, but within a year brought it to a state where it now serves as a reference point for poor performance,” he said.