THE administration of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is two years. The political implication of this fact is that the administration has come to the middle of its tenure in the governance of Ondo State. There remains therefore, all things being equal, less than two more years for the administration to deliver on its promises to the Ondo State inhabitants before the onset of another election in the State.
ARAKUNRIN Rotimi Akeredolu has hit the ground running, giving the impression that as he is one of the people, he was there to listen and to act on their behalf, thus changing the nomenclature and address of the Governor of the State, to my fellow man, Arakunrin. However, while some political cohorts in the State have seen this change of salutation as a ruse, many of the commoners in the State have perceived the name ‘Arakunrin’ as being a nomenclature in creed, truth, and deed. To the former, the Governor has its own agenda, aside party aspirations, while the latter see the Governor as a listener who does what he promises to do for his people.
THE administration came in at a time, when the economy of the state and the nation loosened very grim. Workers were groaning under the yoke of unpaid six months’ salary and contractors could not deliver on their promises due to lack of funds, In addition to these, several building of educational institutions in the state wore sorry sights, and roads in Ondo State were nothing but death traps. In addition to this, the cries of workers who were unjustly relieved of the jobs at the State owned tertiary institutions were hopeful at the inauguration of their new government.
WITHIN a space of two years, this administration has touched the lives of people. Those who fell under the sledge hammer of unjust retrenchment were reinstated to work with benefits; Civil servants smiled to the bank every month for their salaries, while only one month arrears of the owed salaries is yet to be cleared. Several primary schools have a new look, and the environment is such that encourages learning. Specifically, the administration had embarked on development programs in the agricultural sector through distribution of cocoa and cashew seedlings; establishment of rice production projects and fertilizer blending plants, amongst several other projects. Added to this are several road projects in all the Senatorial districts and the pursuit of the establishment of a Dock in Ondo State, as well as the relentless pursuit of the profitable exploitation of Bitumen in the State. Thus, the rural areas are being opened up through road construction and rehabilitation and efforts are ongoing to provide potable water to the citizens of the State. In other words, the people are having a feel of government in their local areas.
HOWEVER, THE HOPE observes that contrary to the promises of the administration, the people are being alienated from local governance by the continual use of local government caretaker committees. The existence of caretaker committees implies that the loyalty of the selected would be to the Governor who selected them rather to the people. People at the grassroots have also complained that the local government committees have not attended to their needs and complaints as expected. In the spirit of democracy, it is expected that this administration would allow the people to govern themselves at the local levels through a fair and free election soonest.
IN addition, the tertiary institutions are still groaning under reduced funding. Government allocation to tertiary institutions has been reduced to about seventy per cent, and government presence in the form of capital projects has not be too visible. Beyond this, most tertiary institutions in the State are groaning under the yoke of inadequate staffing and infrastructural negligence. In some, the effect of the increment in students’ fees has not been noticeable. The secondary schools also need to refurbish in order to encourage learning. Many secondary schools administration are also groaning under the heaviness of limited funds to recurrent activities.
FURTHERMORE, THE HOPE also perceives a discontent among the members of the ruling party members. The disaffection that followed the adoption of direct primaries had thorn the party apart . The aftermath of these is reflected in the dismal performance of the ruling party in the just concluded Presidential and Senatorial elections.
IN conclusion, THE HOPE commends Arakunrin Akeredolu for his uncommon couage of solving workers’ welfare and his developmental strides in the
State but admonishes that more efforts should be directed at rescuing the educational sector from collapse; entrenchment of democracy at all levels of governance in the State and also the closing of ranks in the ruling party of the State in order to deliver the proceeds of good governance to the people.