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Democracy, as we all know, is a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting. Democracy as a system of government has gained wide adoption by many nations of the world because of its inherent doctrine of egalitarianism, equality and human rights. For this, it’s always described as government of the people, by the people and for the people.
It is a government of the people because the power of who becomes what resides with the people. It’s a government by the people because government officials are elected members from among the people (not from the military, and so on). It’s a government for the people simply because it is meant to serve the people, who have rights to prod the elected government officials on accountability and stewardship.
Never, democracy as a system of government can not drive itself. It’s driven by government machineries, who are elected members of society. The personality of these ‘machineries’ — a combination of emotional qualities, perception, orientation, experience, capability and behaviour — determines the extent to which ‘democratic doctrines’ or dividends are allowed to function in a polity.
Emotional qualities, perception, orientation, experience, capability and behaviour, as elements of ‘political personality’, go a long way in government administration and political discourse.
There is a dissimilarity, for instance, between a politician, who in his worldview, perceives politics as a ‘business’ and another, who in his opinion, takes politics as a ‘service’.
Similarly, a society that’s governed by technocracy or meritocracy would overtly be different in functionality and performance from the one that’s governed by quackery or mediocrity.
It would be wrong therefore, to examine the functionality or performance of a government without examining the personality of the machinery of that government. In this piece, I take the personality of the machinery of the State of Osun government as a study.
The principal machinery (the main mover and shaker) of the State of Osun government is Mr. Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola, the incumbent governor of the State.
Using the above yardsticks, this piece briefly x-rays the personality of the Governor.
On emotional quality as an element of personality, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is reckoned as an excellent emotion manager. Like I wrote in one of my previous articles entitled “Between Supplication and Worship: Oyetola Example”, the piece commended the governor for his maintenance of ‘equilibrium and emotional calmness’ between Mr. Oyetola (before voted into power) and Governor Oyetola (after assumption of power).
The orientation of the governor is evidenced in his perception of politics and governance as a service to humanity. His egalitarian, selfless and quality service delivery corroborates this position.
As an excellent emotion manager, Mr. Oyetola is a well-behaved person, whose calmness, gentility and liberalism are likened to the doves.
In the area of experience, Mr. Oyetola has garnered more experience as a technocrat in the private sector than in politics. And technocracy, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as a system in which people with a lot of knowledge about science or technology control a society.
Oyetola’s technocracy is what obviously continues to propel the State’s democratic practice, as clearly demonstrated by the governor’s capability.
From my over three decades knowledge of Mr. Isiaka, I have known him to be a silent achiever then in the private sector, and now in the public as governor. He has actually recorded many more great strides in the development of Osun than he makes noise about.
Some of the giant strides recorded by this silent achiever within just twelve months of governance, eight out of which constituted a retrogressive distraction by post-election litigation are highlighted below.
In the area of welfare and social Intervention, the following have been achieved by Oyetola led government:
— Prompt payment of full salaries of workers;
— Disbursement of over N1.13 billion to State retirees and prompt payment of their pensions;
— Recruitment of 20,000 cadets for the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, OYES, which has greatly reduced unemployment in the State;
— Recruitment of 2, 210 food vendors engaged to feed Osun pupils in elementary schools; and
— Continuous provision of free train ride during festive periods for Osun indigenes resident in Lagos and its environs, among others.
These are the successes attained in the infrastructure:
— Building of eleven service stations and provision of fire fighting vehicles in all the nine federal constituencies of the State;
— Opening of new and rehabilitation of existing rural roads for farmers’ and farm produce access across the State; and
— Construction and rehabilitation of township roads across the State, among other great strides.
In education sector, these are the strides:
— Provision of boreholes at 9 public elementary/middles schools;
— Erection of fence in 30 government elementary/middle schools for security and protection of pupils and government properties; and
— Provision of 967 furniture equipments for 967 teachers in elementary public schools in the State, among others.
The following achievements have been recorded in the Health Sector:
— Rejuvenation and revitalization of 332 primary health centres in each of the 332 political wards in the State;
— Overhauling of 9 general hospitals across the State;
— Provision of modern equipments in the hospitals; and
— Provision of drugs in all the rehabilitated health centres, among others.
Oyetola has introduced some reforms in the finance sector, and these include:
— Adherence to the usage of Treasury Single Account, TSA, policy;
— Statutory incorporation of the State tertiary institutions into the TSA;
— Implementation and usage of the Bank Accounts Monitoring System, BAMS, for monitoring and tracking of government transactions;
— Closure of all non-TSA adherent and incorporated accounts in the State; and
— Eligible status carrier of ‘State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability’, a programme of the World Bank, among other reforms.
The list goes on and on. It’s surprising that a State with the lowest federal revenue allocation, which had over 53% of its grossly inadequate revenue deducted for debts (incurred by previous governments) repayment from its monthly federal allocation as released by Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, between January and November 2019 (and this still continues), could still record the aforementioned successes within the short frame of time.
Written by Jimoh Olorede,
Mass Communication lecturer and researcher