An Open Letter To His Excellency Engr. Seyi Makinde:
Congratulations on your victory at the polls. Your success, in a way, was a personal victory for me as I was one of the many who prayed and worked for your success.
Excellency, your emergence, and that of Engr. Raufu Olaniyan, as the Governor and Deputy governor of Oyo state, seems to have signalled the beginning of better things ahead for the good people of the state.
The widespread expression of love with which people continue to greet you, now fondly calling you “GSM”everywhere you go, is overwhelming. You are like a long-awaited messiah who has come to turn around the fortunes of the state.
However sir, you may just fritter away this enormous goodwill that you presently enjoy within the first 100 days in office if care is not taken. The very same people hailing you will wonder if you are indeed a messiah, or ask if they should wait for another who is to come. Whether or not this would happen is all in your hands, sir.
The euphoria of election victory is over and now is the time for you to hunker down, choose your team, and execute your campaign promises of providing succour to the improvished citizens of Oyo state. Enough of thanksgiving services at churches and mosques already. To be honest, it is becoming boring. Now is the time to give thanks to God through quality service delivery to the people of Oyo state through governance based on fairness, equity and justice. Now is the time to speedily commence fulfilling your electoral promises to the people before politicians distract you with their selfish requests.
Your excellency, now is the time to assemble men and women of impeccable reputation who will help actualise your laudable aspirations for the state.
It will not in any way speak well of your government to appoint men or women into sensitive positions when they have unresolved issues with the law bothering on fraud and misappropriation of public funds. Even though it is true that our constitution states that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty, if someone has been accused of dipping his hands into our collective purse, such a person should be given the honour of being allowed to clear his or her name. They should not be rewarded with sensitive positions in government. No matter how highly placed a person is within the Party’s hierarchy, if such a person must be compensated for whatever reason, it should be done in a way not obvious to the public.
Your excellency, the present romance with the people will not last long when you make questionable choices in picking men and women who will work with you. The opposition is patiently waiting for you to announce a choice that can be used to cause distractions for your government.
Sir, you are a very successful international business owner. You will agree with me that no person of your reputation, world over, would consider anybody with pending matters of fraud and misappropriation of funds in court for a position in their business until they are exonerated. Excellency sir, If you will not consider such persons for your own business, please resist the pressure to do so in Oyo state. Sir, by giving appointments to such persons, you may be unwittingly aiding them to destroy evidence, or intimidate potential witnesses, especially when the matter for which they were accused was committed against Oyo state.
Your Excellency, we know you are every bit of an astute man. Please do act like one. Be firm, God made you governor of Oyo state. No man should be allowed to take the credit. Don’t hand ammunition to the opposition to take pot shots at you.
Your Excellency, I also want to applaud your choice of Chief Oyebisi Ilaka as Chief of staff; Tara Adefope head of Due Process and Prof Saheed H.A Malik as Chairman, Oyo state Muslim Pilgrims Board. These appointments without any doubts, are top notch. It is a clear case of placing round pegs in round holes. I implore your Excellency, to doggedly pursue this line of excellence with which you have started. Do not allow anyone stampede you into appointing people who will bring your administration to disrepute. Your are Omititun; fresh water. Please work with fresh and young people. If we must recycle from the old, let it be people with impeccable character and integrity.
And lastly sir, do not forget to fulfil your electoral promises to the people..
Kolawole Alabi is a public analyst resident in Ibadan,