The End of 'Amala' Politics in Oyo State
History is the memory of mankind and philosophy of history is the analytical ability of man to distinguish correct from incorrect. Human beings have the ability to create ways to live better and even change the envioroment to suit their needs and wants. It is very true that the meaning we attach to our circumstances determines both our results and level of our fulfilment. With the neutrality and transparency of the National Electoral body headed by Prof. Jega, democracy has taken a new dimension in Nigeria . This has brought to end of 'amala' politics where corrupt godfathers will hand-pick inept candidates, bribe, rigging elections and render these political leaders as stooges. The politics of blackmailing, intimidation, and do-or-die, which has been responsible for violence and bloodlet in the State have been laid to rest. In order to move forward, the entire eligible voters of Oyo State have spoken with their votes to elect Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the new Governor to lead them to a comanding height of success, prosperity and greatnesss the State is known for ages. 'Ajise bi Oyo la rii, Oyo ki se bi enikokan' which means that Oyo always set the pace and never copy others.
The people of Oyo State have examine the activities of the present regime since 29 th of May 1999 till present day that culminate to twelve years of democratic government in the State with little achievements comparing to other neighbouring States. The Pace-setter deserves more that its receiving from those greedy and incompetent accidental leaders forced on the people. The people were tired of unfulfilled promises, rhetoric and lies from these set of leaders who prefer to loot the treasury when those people that voted them in power are struggling without three square meals, basic social amenities and living lives of financial desperation. The people decided to change these set of leaders who believe that greatness is property they accumulated within shortest time rather than great sacrifices and services they render for good of the citizens. The people were fed up with leaders without vision, focus, solutions, strategies, ideas and systems to build a strong foundation for successful life for them. These set of 'amala' politicians have done their worst to leave us in a state of insecurity of lives and property. The never appreciated the value of education. That was why our children were frequently sent out of schools because of teachers' strike action making the State education to be weak and chaotic. And these are the children who we want to become leaders of tomorrow and fill-up our civil services, public and private sectors!
A new Oyo State with clear difference under the leadership of Senator Abiola Ajimobi will start on May,29 with good governance, a professional civil service, elimination of corruption in government, a predictable, transparent, and accountable administration, democratic decision-making, the supremacy of the rule of law, effective protection of human rights, an independence of judiciary and a fair economic system as the basic reason why he was voted to replace the incubent Governor. All these can be achieve by recruiting a credible and competent cabinent of achievers, people of integrity and professionals to be based on merit and not solely on party allegiance . It is now time for functioning democracy that ensure the will of the people and not one that forced the people to follow it. Democracy that is based on principle of representative government, the rights of individual to participate and not creating fear on the citizenry with thugs, touts and murderers. It is time for peace, unity, democracy and progress in Oyo State .
The very first pressing issue I would like the new Governor elect to take into consideration is the issue of education and security. The new government should review all teachers salaries (scale) and their outstanding welfare packages agreed on should be paid promptly on every first day of the new month and not on the forty-two of the following month as before. The Education ministry should make it compulsory for all public and private schools in the State to operate well equipped libraries and must make an 'order' to ban pupils roaming on the streets during the school hours. All the 33 local governments in the State should have well-equipped public libraries within their compound or to be constructed within its jurisdiction area. Also, the state Ministry of Education and schools in collaboration with notable industries and corporate bodies in the state to organise quarterly excursions, schools debates, quiz, games and literary competitions which will attract considerable awards, prizes and certificates for those outstanding students and this must be televised and reported on all the State media.
More importantly,the lives and property of the people in the State are not guaranteed with the influx of political thugs, criminals and armed-robbery in broad day light. People live in fear everyday. Without security of lives and property , the State can not attract meaningful investments talk-less of achieving socio-economic development. The government should operate an Anti-Robbery Squad as done by other States to patrol around the cities and towns. The Police needs sophisticated ammunitions to match with armed robbers weapons, more electronic equipped police vehicles and motorcycles for patrols. Oyo State can break the record of policing in the country by institute more Police patrol vehicles and introduce special motorcycles with walkie-talkie for information dissemination and responding to crimes in progress.
Health is wealth. The government should embark on project to have standard public health centres in all the cities.. Alll the thirty-three local governments in the state should be funded to operate and manage mini-public health centres within its authority compound or jurisdiction area. These centres staffed with trained and qualified medical personnel will be providing general health education, preventive services, family planning education and contraceptive, specific occupational health promotion services, screening for illness (such as taking blood pressure) and treatment for minor illness and injuries. This will make medical facility get nearer to the people. Medical care should be provided in all accredited and organized care services and vigorous efforts should make to induce physicians and other health workers to practice in rural areas.
The new government should be able to provide its citizens with adequate clean water and undistruped electricity supply. Electricity use is in nearly every home and all living things depend on water. The average person in the cities may use 200 litres (about 50 gallons) of water or more for their personal needs each day. There is need for regular clean and safe drinking pipe-born water by making practical rehabilitations and facelift of existing treatment plants at Eleyele, Asejire and Osegere water works. Without regular supply of electricity, there can never be meaningful industrialisation. The result of irregular and epileptic power supply have adverse effect on standard of living and quality of life of the citizens. There State government needs to provide more megawatts in addition to PHCN supplies to save this ugly situation.
Meanwhile, the State is growing in population and there is urgent need for new and expanded community transportation alternatives. The best way to touch people lives at the grass-root level in moving from one area to the other is by providing standard public buses services to ply all the cities and villages as low income individuals reside in rural areas. This will render services to students (students in school uniform should be free of charge), peasants, high-low income earners, all government workers as well as person's with disabilities which cannot be denied full access to public transportation facilities. The Bus-Transit System should be controlled by experienced and effective Road Traffic Management Authority. Also, it is high time to resolve the issues of the NURTW imbroglio, taxi cabs (and kabukabu) identity and proper registration and a beffiting State identity colour. Government should provide public parkings for cars and motorcycles to reduce traffic-jam and illegal parking in the cities.
In order to boost sports development and information in the State, the government should mandate all thirty-three local governments in the state to build Mini Sports Complex in their locality. This will develope sporting competitions among the youths and eventually promote the state recognition in sporting activities nationally and internationally. The state ministry of youth and sports should resuscitate 'Olubadan Cup' soccer competition among all nursery/primary schools, promote 'Principal Cup' soccer competition among all secondary schools in the state and 'Governor's Games' competitions to feature all sporting activities involving all the 33 local governments in the state in collaboration with Oyo State Sports Council, notable companies, corporate bodies and individuals in the state. Liberty , Adamasingba and Ogbomoso Township stadiums can be used respectively. The new government should try to resuscitate The Sketch Publishing newspaper with effective management board to create an avenue through which the activities and programmes of the state are made known to the public. The newspaper will provide a feedback mechanism through which the state government can judge the reaction of the masses towards its policies and programmes
In addition, the Waste Management Authority should embark on placing plastic bins or drums in strategic places for people to drop their refuse and this will be emptied every-midnight by the refuse collecting lorries. The bins can be separated (paper, iron or metal and rest of the waste) in different colours for re-cycling. The cleaning of streets and roads should be extended to other cities and towns in the State. The cleaners should be in complete reflective uniform for their safety and not those seen on the street tying their reflective jackets to their waist. Environmental sanitation should be reveiwed.
Naturally, the good people of Oyo State are ready to pay their taxes when the government identify the major areas of their life that needed attention to make them successful, happy and fulfilled. Senator Abiola Ajimobi is sure of more responsibility if his regime can achieve good governance with free, qualitative and functional education, good health services in all the cities, food security, employment opportunities in well industrialized cities, regular supply of drinking tap-water, good roads network linking all cities with a reliable and effective bus-transit management, adequate security to protect the lives and property of its citizenry, undisrupted electricity supply, low-cost housing estates and housing loans for low-income earners, social security packages for handicapped or person's with disabilities, street and traffic lights, public libaries, public tap-water, public toilets, public phone boots, street namings, road sign posts and other social infrastructures. He will surely become a Messiah and will the first ever Governor to elected for second term in Oyo State . This feat is very possible for an achiever.
Written by, Adewale T Akande (M.ed.Educ.Mgt),(M.sc.Political Sc.) University of Ibadan . Author, Educationist and Road Traffic Safety Consultant. Barcelona, Spain. Tel: 0034-600877296. E-mail: