OP-UNEDITED | Akeredolu’s Dilemma: Redemption With Determination – By ‘Yemi Adebowale
By ‘Yemi Adebowale
Intra-party politics began in Ondo state All Progressives Congress, APC, the day Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) was declared winner of the 2016 governorship election. Sadly, the decent politicians are unable to play dirty or talk down others in attempt to be relevant and included in Arakunrin Akeredolu’s redemption government.
I have listened carefully to rumours of proposed appointments, especially on who should be Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chief of staff in the new government. Most articles and news reports I read certainly come from those financially capable to use media to influence decisions. Some reports casted shadow over the competence of Akeredolu to take a swift decision and hit the ground running. This is bad omen and top level desperation from those who want to serve in positions where LOYALTY and TENACITY tops the list of qualities required.
I have on few occasions had discussions with AKETI and I know he is highly knowledgeable and can take swift appropriate decisions. The people of Ondo State are the priority of this government and every appointment made must reflect that the true redemption time is now.
For the SSG, Akeredolu does not need a desperate career politician who can at any moment of the redemption process pull out to contest for other portfolio or sabotage the government for negotiated political advantage. SSG is a high-ranking appointed executive branch official whose main responsibility is to assist the government achieve its vision and objectives through the provision of advice and guidance. In addition, the SSG handles policy-making and oversees the implementation of decisions, policies and programmes as well as the operations of government ministries, agencies and parastatals. This office requires top intellectual competence and not just political popularity.
The Office of Chief of Staff is the administrative seat of the Governor as it coordinates Arakunrin’s activities and ensures that the machinery of government runs smoothly in order to create an enabling environment for effective governance. The Office is structured to discharge its mandate of providing proactive and effective support base for the Governor, in an efficient manner. Undeniably, it is the engine room of the Governor’s office.
An online newspaper, Breaking Times, on February 27, 2017 published a report ‘Akeredolu at Crossroads over choice of SSG, Chief of Staff’, I quote;
“For the office of Chief of Staff, there are two contenders from within the traditional ACN camp in the APC. They are Hon Solagbade Amodeni, the former chairman of Akoko South East Local Government Area who later became a commissioner under the immediate past governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, and the current Deputy State Chairman of the APC, Hon. Ade Adetimehin, who stood behind the governor during the crisis that trailed the governorship primary last year.
A source close to the governor claimed that Akeredolu wanted a man with some intellectual capacity, which may work against Amodeni and Adetimehin because they are believed to be graduates of technical colleges.”
For an office responsible for strategic management and support base for the Governor, a degree from Harvard or Obafemi Awolowo University is the least of what is required to perform excellently well. It largely requires accessibility, loyalty, political intelligence, good public relations, commitment to excellent service delivery, effectiveness, and a proactive character.
Like many Ondo State people excited about the prospects of Arakunrin’s government, I want to see a respected, loved and familiar face that will not create a gap between the people and the government. This appointment is most important to the youths and entrepreneurs as the office decides how much of our creative ideas get to the table of the governor and how much access the people can have to Arakunrin who is willing to run an open government.
Those whose names have been suggested have political history that we can look back on, to understand who is readymade with qualities for such appointments. The interests of the people of Ondo State must be first considered ahead of political or zoning bias.
’Yemi Adebowale is a public affairs analyst and the Publicity Secretary of Ondo State Youth Frontier (OSYF) , writes from Akure, Ondo State.
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