SIR, 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 it. Your Excellency, your emergence, and that of Mr Raufu Olaniyan, as the governor and deputy governor of Oyo State respectively, 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, the euphoria of election victory is over and now is the time for you to settle down, choose your team and execute your campaign promises of providing succour to the impoverished citizens of Oyo State.
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 bordering on fraud and misappropriation of public funds. 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 if 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, the 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. If you will not consider such persons for your own business, please resist the pressure to do so in Oyo State. Sir, giving appointments to such persons 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 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 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 Professor Saheed H.A. Malik as chairman, Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Board. These appointments, without any doubt, 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 to stampede you into appointing people who will bring your administration into disrepute.
You are Omi Titun (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. Lastly sir, do not forget to fulfill your electoral promises to the people.
- Alabi, a public analyst, lives in Ibadan