Remember that thing Governor Ajimobi said? – By Chude Jideonwo

Last month, the Oyo governor, Abiola Ajimobi shocked the nation.

Footage of the governor speaking to students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) who had been grounded at home (for eight months from 13 June, 2016 due to a shutdown announced by the Rector), showed a white-hot rage: “If this how you want to talk to me,” he blasted the students for their effrontery in protesting the closure of their school. “Then do your worst. Eight months. Eight months? Is that something we have not seen before?”

Even now retelling the statements, I am shaken.

Let’s stop there and unpack the statement and its many ugly layers: you will find arrogance, you will find insensitivity, and you will find a distinct lack of compassion (if we wanted to get right to the point, we would call it wickedness).

Let’s ask a common sense question: How does a public servant defend a failure of duty based on how he or she is spoken to?

And then let us recall what exactly the issue is here.

LAUTECH is owned by the Oyo and Osun state governments. The two state governments are to each give the schools N295 million as subventions monthly. Oyo owes the institution N2.3 billion and Osun owes N5.3 billion. With this dereliction of responsibility, naturally, teachers in the school have been owed for 13 months. So five months ago, workers went on strike, and the school was shut down.

I know our country has degenerated so badly that the unacceptable has found its place into mainstream tolerance. But it is important to understand this: having students of a university sit at home for eight months is certainly, to put it mildly, not normal.

It should never be acceptable for students to have disruptions to their academic schedule. It sends to them, a clear message – that their country does not care about them. It fundamentally alters any pretentions to structure and order, and the reality of governance.

It costs the nation significantly because we spend more per student in multiple ways when sessions are interrupted – depreciation costs, inflationary consequences, loss of manpower hours as employees are paid for periods of low value (and still have to retire at age limit), double costs with each resumption, cost of maintaining the school at gap periods (including electricity and water bills). Remember that none of these costs are value-driven because they are incurred when the primary reason for the institution’s existence is absent.

Then there is the unbearable cost to the students, and then to the guardians of the students – all of the above doing their part to sustain a vicious cycle of national waste.

It bears repeating, however, that its most important damage is that it else sends a message to young people finding their way in the world that this is a fundamentally messed up country, where hard work isn’t rewarded, patriotism isn’t logical and the system eats its young alive.

It is important to restate this, even if tertiary school shutdowns have become a tradition since the Academic Staff Union of Universities organized its first national strike in 1988 and military dictators, who ruled Nigeria for a better part of the 80s and 90s, decided that wanton school closures are the solution to student dissent.

It is important to restate this for the sake of my own sanity even if I have been a victim of the most ridiculous shutdowns as a student of the University of Lagos in 2005.

Because things have now deteriorated so badly, that an elected governor can stand at a podium – after eight months of institutional silence as these students have begged and pleaded for audience – unafraid of consequence, to tell them, essentially, to go to hell.

This is not normal.

In response, rather than apologise, or pretend to contrition, his team decided that a more effective strategy was to share its own edits of the exchange, claiming that the governor ‘apologised’ to the students.

First, in the apology video, he did no such thing. “I am not angry,” was the best he said, and from a place of entitled smugness.

The fact that this public servant even thought the full video of his patronizing statements would make any part of the exchange acceptable is proof further than the events in themselves that the man’s style of governance is also… not normal.

“Students need to learn to engage,” he lectured them after failing them for 13 months. Makes one wonder, isn’t it the job of the leader who is also servant to first engage, to explain, to establish a frame of understanding, and to empathise?

How do you expect calm and restraint from young people whose progress has been cut short for eight months? Is it possible that this man would be restrained and orderly if his children were stuck so?

It bears asking if there is an understanding of the basic nature of service.

Because beyond the evident failure of governance that his action shows, there is an absence in understanding the massive failure in the value chain. He doesn’t know that he has failed, and so he doesn’t know that he should be ashamed, be sorry about it, and be apologetic.

That should shock us. Not because we didn’t know how these guys have always viewed the rest of us; not because we didn’t know the primitiveness that undergirds the thinking of our leadership set, but because, now, they have killed shame.

There is that.

But perhaps we should ask ourselves – how did the governor come about this misguided confidence?

He explained it in the video: constituted authority.

According to him, the fact that he is “constituted authority” means the students should have kept shut, listened to him, and accepted his justifications uncritically.

He fully expected that his sheer presence of his superfluous ‘agbada’ was such a gift to the students that they should have been stunned into ecstatic silence.

And so “His Excellency” was shocked – shocked – that the young, educated people of his state, who were agitated after eight months of abandonment, could still find their voice.

Now, that, right there, is where we should get frightened.

That an elected leader – and there are many like him – still believe, even in a flourishing, adversarial two-party democracy, that they are constituted authority against which questions are disrespect, and questioners risk punishment.

Right there, stands the root of our particular brand of problem.

The respect, and, yes, the fear that leaders should have for citizens is mostly absent in the version of a social contract that Nigeria has.

Unfortunately, the fault for this anomaly doesn’t come only from those who lead.

Today, we have citizens who have ceded their right to be treated with respect. You only need to pay attention to conversation online to see a citizenry that has not only ceded that right, but actively denigrates those who would exercise theirs. People who believe that political affiliation means blind loyalty. Those who believe that relationships with government mean silence whatever happens. Those who believe that those who make high demands of government are being ‘troublesome’ or ‘unreasonable.

But if citizens want respect from their leaders, they have to demand it – and they have to demand it without reservation.

The defense of “constituted authority” is jabber. There should be no respect for leaders who have defaulted in duty.

There should particularly be no regard for Nigeria’s distinguished set of consistently, and aggressively, failing leaders.

Many of our leaders lack empathy. The steady erosion of incentives for demonstrable empathy and consequences for its lack has ultimately led to this death, of common sense. And so they have become, in essence, abnormal.

In that case, it becomes imperative to turn up the heat.

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Governments should be worried about how the public receives their decisions and interprets their actions. Government activity would thence be made only against the background of what citizens thinks, what the voters’ reaction will be, of the consequences of each step.

Even if it leads to pandering – that is only a small price to pay for the bigger gain that comes.

But it has to matter that the decision of those we have chosen to lead us must reflect our desires, our wishes, our imperatives and our preferences – and that their reactions must reflect an understanding of who truly calls the shots.

That is how a functioning democracy works. Unfortunately, Nigeria is a long way from this balance of power.

These guys in public office, and their band that lose perceptive when they get a job in government, don’t get it.

They don’t get it, at all.

Our urgent, continuous task is to make sure that they do.

PS: Upon going to press with this piece, it is important to remember that while LAUTECH has technically re-opened, students have yet to continue academic activity because lecturers have not yet resumed. So, indeed, the value chain remains broken.

 

Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED (www.redafrica.xyz), which brands including Y!/YNaija.com and governance communication firm, StateCraft Inc. Office of the Citizen (OOTC) is his latest essay series.

Governor Ajimobi’s Daughter And The Deserving Koboko – By Isaac Oluwasogo

Power, especially in a confused society like ours spread like gangrene. It becomes an insoluble dilemma to explain how the opportuned minorities that rides on the wings of the majority tends to confer the same power on their family members. Over time, there have been an un-constituted and assumed level of power that is being given to either the wife or the children of Nigerian leaders. Powers are unnecessarily arrogated to them, thereby leading to creation of money-gulping offices.
This unfortunate development makes them look sacred, untouchable and have an unrestrained regard or respect for the masses. It is in our democracy that you cannot distinctively separate the overbearing influence of the family from the supposed elected leaders. A country that over emphasizes immunity clause beyond the boiling point- a double barrel trouble for the helpless and hapless common men- as they (masses)  suffer verbal abuse from the father, the children or the wife without a proper reconfiguration of their cerebral grandstanding also delve into an unthinkable intellectual assault of the souls of men clamoring for their rights.
This is a social malady that has outlived its age on our terrestrial ball as a nation. The very undoubtedly known reason why the daughter of the Governor of Oyo state could hurled a verbal abuse on the protesting students. This imbalances and wrong sense of judgment that emanated from the odociferous mouth of the Mr. Governor’s Daughter seems to be a general syndrome of Nigerian leaders. These occurrences are products of the wide gap differences that exists between the leaders and the led.
Ajibola Ajimobi labeling the protesting students as “Generation of mannerless children…..” is a statement that is far from the Centre of deep reasoning. And a show of utmost disrespect for the unfortunate development that ransacked the smooth running academic program of the institution. She belongs to a class system that has completely eroded her level of human reasoning vis-a-vis the reactions of the aggrieved students. After all, she might not have experienced what it means to have a school closed down for a month not to talk of about eight months. She only reads or hears about it has a natural phenomenon in Nigeria education system.
I wish the Governor’s daughter will do well to put herself in this condition and stop suffering from the incessant diarrhea of the mouth. She can take a deep reflection by picturing herself among the number of heads that took to the street to demand for their future. May be if she can think like an evolved Homo sapiens that is made up of a well-developed brain, she will be human enough and not spit out such a gall. And may be if she did not understand what it means to be mannerless, history is there to judge. What about her sibling that was caught in sex scandal?
This and many more are the debilitating results of living on the masses common wealth and still have the gut to run bad mouth on why they have decided to be liberated from the siddon – look approach given to the closure of the school.
Mr. Governor’s Daughter, I am trying to borrow you some currency of common sense to know that silence weighs more than untutored courage in the public sphere. Do well to know that life only gave you a chance to be heard because of the poor political structure that we have. You are not in any way different!
This will however remain a reoccurring decimal unless the Nigerian leaders begin to enroll their own children into the same system that they destroying. And until there is no class system again as suggested by Karl Max, it is then that this show of absurdity would be brought to a staggering halt.
Egbinrin ote, base n pa ina okan lokan n ru” (The seething cauldron of rebellion; the death of one rekindles another.
@isaacsogo

“Generation of Mannerless Children”, Governor Ajimobi’s daughter reacts to protesting LAUTECH students

As reactions continue to trail the outburst of Governor Abiola Ajimobi at a protest organized by students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technolgy, LAUTECH, the governor’s daughter has gotten involved in the controversy.

Mr. Ajimobi’s daughter, Ajibola, labeled the protesting students “Generation of Mannerless Children” on her Instagram page.

“Generation of Mannerless children, they don’t respect their parents, how will they respect the Constitution” , the governor’s daughter said in apparent reaction to the students’ outburst on January 9.

Ajibola Ajimobi who got married last September is believed to be the second child to the Oyo governor.

LAUTECH students had on January 9 protested the continued closure of the university since June last year.

While addressing the protesting students, an angry Mr. Ajimobi told them to do their worst.

The Oyo governor, whose state jointly owns the University, miffed by the outbursts of the protesting students, said the closure of the university for over 7 months was no big deal.

“Your school being locked for eight months is no big deal. Is your school the first to be locked, if this is how you will come to talk to me, go and do your worst, I dare you,” he said.

Nigerians have continued to lampoon the governor since the video was released as Ajimobi continued to trend on Twitter on Sunday morning.

Reacting to the governor’s daughter’s statement, aware, the Senior Assistant to Mr. Ajimobi on Media, Yomi Olayinka, said the governor’s office is not aware of it

“As the governor’s spokesman, I am not aware of this development and I cannot comment since I am not aware,” he said.

When asked what he feels about such comment even if he aware, he said, “Well, I will call Mrs. Ajibola to ask her what she meant by that, but for now I don’t want to speculate, so I can’t react to anything of such.”

LAUTECH has been shut since June 2016, due to the inability of Osun and Oyo states to meet their obligations financially to the institution.

Screenshot of her Instagram post 

 

Source: Sahara Reporters

Whether I owe salaries or schools are closed, I remain governor, says Ajimobi.

A video where Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo state, is seen boasting to students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) has since gone viral.

The aggrieved students staged a protest to his office over the closure of their school, but the governor felt they were unruly.

“You are complaining that your school has been shut for eight months. Am I the person who closed your school?” he asked.

“If you want to go violent, we are here waiting for you. Whatever you want to do, do it. You are supposed to have little respect for constituted authority, no matter what.”

The students were more interested in being heard than listening to the governor.

From the tone of his voice, Ajimobi tried to pacify them. Sensing that the approach would not yield result, he lost his cool.

“Eight months of what?” he barked and the students responded.

Then he said: “And so what? Is this the first time that a school will be closed?”

They still did not fall for his subtle intimidation, and he said: “If things get tough, I won’t be affected. Go and do your worst.”

He explained to them that Oyo and many other governments lacked funds.

Having realised that the students would not give in, he said: “I’m not gonna talk to you, and If you want to start troubles, go ahead. This government will not tolerate nonsense from anybody.

“If you want to be troublesome, I dare you, I’m ready for you, let’s see what happens then.

“What we’re saying is that some of you should have little respect for constituted authority, no matter what. Whether I pay salaries or … this is the constituted authority for Oyo.”

Watch the video below:

 

Ajimobi Urges Citizens To Shun Corruption, Embrace Intergrity

The Oyo state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has drummed up support for the APC-led administration in the country, calling on all to eschew corruption and encourage templates of integrity, sacrifice, and selfless service as exemplified by the spirit of Christmas.

Governor Ajimobi stated this during the 2016 Christmas carol and thanksgiving service held at Agodi Gardens, Parliament road, secretariat Ibadan.

He said the present administration is aware of the poor state of the economy, which has exposed the citizens to suffering and hardship, stressing that necessary steps are being taken to address the challenges.

While noting the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest the recession presently facing the nation’s economy, Ajimobi also stressed the need for all be more understanding.

The governor therefore called on the people to follow the rules and injunction of the Holy Bible, by learning to forgive, accommodate, and embrace selfless service.

He however noted that corruption must be stamped out at all levels for these efforts to yield desired fruits.

Dignitaries from all walks of life, graced the 2016 edition of the carol service which is the sixth to be observed by any Governor in the State.

Furthermore, in a sermon, Bishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Mr Sunday Ola Makinde, condemned the high level of corruption in the society right from the church leaders to the politicians to the judiciary and security agents.

He said the greater the number of churches and mosques in the country, the greater the level of corruption and sinful acts in the society.

According to him, “church business has become a money spinning business in the society today”.

He said politicians, religious leaders and other people in high places have corrupted the image of God, through unfulfilled promises, bribery and false prophesies.

He then re-iterated the message of the governor, asking citizens to maintain integrity in all they do.

Oyo guber: Tribunal decides Ladoja, Ajimobi fate today

The Oyo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal will on Tuesday give judgment on the petition filed by former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja, of the Accord Party, against the victory of Governor Abiola Ajimobi in the April 11 governorship poll.

Ladoja is challenging the declaration of Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the governorship poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The state Police Command said on Monday that it had deployed its men in the venue of the ruling, warning that anyone, who had no business with the tribunal, should stay away from the premises.

Police Public Relation Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said the state Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade, would lead the operation.

He said, “We have enough well-equipped uniformed and plain-clothed policemen comprising operatives drawn from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, mobile police, Counter Terrorism Unit, Explosive Ordinance Department, State Intelligence Bureau, Dog section and mounted troops.

“The deployment has since commenced to forestall any breakdown of law and order. All the personnel deployed have been adequately briefed. The CP will personally be in charge of the operations. He has warned anyone, who has no business at the venue and its environs, to stay away.

“He further warned would-be miscreants, hoodlums and other social elements against fomenting trouble before, during or after the tribunal judgment as any erring person or group will be arrested and prosecuted.”

The awaited ruling has generated a lot of tension in both camps with words being traded by supporters and party chieftains.

 

 

Credit : Punch

Oyo State Governor Replaces Removed Transformer With A Bigger One (SEE PHOTO)

Reports provide that the Governor of Oyo State,  Abiola Ajimobi, has bought a new transformer for the community that lost a transformer, which was removed by the donor.

On hearing the news of the removal of the transformer, it was gathered that Ajimobi brought in a bigger transformer to replace the one that Teslim Folarin allegedly removed, after donating to the community.

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