SAVING OYO FROM ETHICS RISK
Oyo state is stinking. Succinctly put, this was the conclusion of one of the governorship aspirants under the Peoples Democratic Party , in Oyo state as expressed on page 14 of THE NATION of 3rd December 2010. My agreement to this candid opinion is total. Like a purulent boil,Oyo state is emitting some putrid smell as a result of the political iniquity that has been allowed to fester in the pacesetter state. If much effort is not geared towards revamping it, the state may soon fall under the categories of Ethics Risk.
Ethics Risk is a case in which perception is a reality and global analysis and findings are grounded on this belief. Unfortunately , in Nigeria , there has been no longitudinal study on Ethics compliance, its too obvious to agree that all in dices of an ethically challenged state are manifesting in Oyo state. How then can we reverse this ugly trend and put the state back on ethical footing?
General perception about Oyo state is that of a mercantile state where all one needs to do to win any election is to set aside a huge cache of stolen wealth and to boot, use same to hoodwink voters into selling their votes. If that does not work, arrange some political jobbers and thugs who know how to 'impiss' a sitting Governor.
The political melodrama unfolding in Oyo State right from the inglorious era of the late Garrison commander till date has only exposed the chink in the amour y of the political gladiators in the state. They fit snugly to the description of a politician by Abraham Lincoln who in a speech to Illinois Legislatures in 1837 said' politicians are set of men who have interest aside from the interest of the people and who to say, the most of them are taken as a mass of people who are step removed from honest men'.
As another election approaches , how can the politicians in Oyo state wean themselves away from 'Amala politics'? How can they operate from ethical stand point? The only sign of campaign visible in the state is the plethora of the billboards and posters dotting the landscape like daisies in the spring. This reminds one of what Wole Soyinka aptly called 'Governance by Billboards'. It is an erosion of electoral integrity and and prostitution of Democratic ethics.
If in Democracy, as Louis Brade once said, the most important office is the office of the citizens, it follows logically therefore that those who are seeking for votes in Oyo State should be put to task, This time around , the electorate have to assess the level of ethical standard of the aspirants.
Enough of political grandstanding and perfumed rhetoric. Let the aspirants come out clean with their manifestos which must be issue based and be prepared to be judged later on whether their promises have been kept sincerely or merely honored in breach.
However , there seems to be a ray of light after the Stygian darkness. My prayer for a better day for the people of Oyo state seem to have been answered . Recently, I was invited to Oyo state NUJ center to witness a media briefing by a female aspirant vying for senate seat under Oyo Central Senatorial District. As i watched this woman of substance from a close distance to 'the hot seat' where she sat , i was enamored of her manifestos neatly packaged in form of a newsletter. The hallmark of her speech that arouse my feelings was how she has founded and singly funded a Foundation through which she had performed over two thousand surgeries with 100 percent success rate since inception of her free surgical program covering the eleven Local Government Council in her senatorial District. She also reiterated her commitment to accomplish 'a no patient left behind policy' in this exercise.
Another plus recorded, is the free NECO forms she has distributed to indigent students all over the 778 wards in her constituency. The woman is the Harvard trained daughter of a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
If Oyo State people are really desirous to bring the state out of its present comatose state, they should be prepared to shun parties high wattage rhetoric and assess candidates on individual merits. They should as a matter of sacrifice for a better morrow,discountenance money politics and avoid the Greeks gift now coming from the camps of beneficiaries of the old order. They should vote a credible , purposeful and visionary representatives irrespective of the political party affiliation. If this is achievable, they would have saved the state from Ethics Risk.
Isiaka Kehinde Adeniyi
91 Abayomi Iwo Road, Ibadan, Oyo State