Marketing Ondo State to investors—as the present administration is keen on doing—requires a more creative use of the official website; it is the most globally accessible item the government has in its toolbox. Sadly, those that should know are busy snoozing on the job! Continue reading…
Some 26billon Naira has been stolen from Ondo State account at Intercontinental bank according to reports from at least two media outlets, SharpedgedNews.com and Huhuonline.com. [Update, 7/25: here are screen shots of the articles on Huhuonline and SharpEdgeNews, click to view.]
What do I care?
I do care as a indigene of the state. I care because this is a serious allegation that needs to be proved convincingly by the instigators. However, there are no indications that the report is accurate. Continue reading…
I just came back from a 10-day visit to the home country. Nothing much is going on in the western axis except in Lagos and Mimiko’s Ondo state — which appears ready to emerge from a decade-old crust of lack luster governance.
The state-owned TV station, OSRC, is now wearing a new look, under the leadership of Channels TV import, Ladi Akeredolu-Ale. And from what I could discern, the first 100 days of Gov. Mimiko — which is just around the corner — will be marked by the commissioning of some projects, here is a sneak preview of what is happening:
- A Mother and Child Hospital — the first of several planned statewide — is being constructed in Akure, the state capital, and may be ready within the next 16 weeks.
- Construction has started on the first 700 of the 4000 low-mid income homes planned for the state. The hospital and the real estate development are the first wave of a series of public-private projects planned for the state.
- More than 30 small scale, solar powered water schemes are being built statewide.
- Urban planning, or re-planning of the state capital, particularly the major thorough fares.
On the national scene, the arrest and the corruption scandal involving Ndudi Elumelu’s gang at the National House of Representatives remains the big news. Elumelu was the Chairman of a National Assembly committee that investigated power project contracts during former president Obasanjo’s tenure.
Elumelu, whose committee indicted the past administration for gross negligence in the award and execution of the projects, is now in detention without elements, and under investigation for facilitating some $30 million (5 billion Naira) contract scam at the Rural Electrification Agency.
Even though I’m pressed to make a categorical statement on Elumelu’s arrest, but in the spirit of fairness, and guided by my knowledge of Nigeria’s style of power-play, l will be patient and defer from stating that Elumelu’s arrest now challenges the integrity of the entire national assembly.
“While I believe that the private sector should be allowed to blossom and grow the economy, I also believe that government, especially in a Third World country like our own, has its fundamental responsibility to ensure that it intervenes in critical sectors of the economy to ensure that the weakest in the societies are carried along….
I will use power anywhere I find myself in the interest of the majority of the people…The people should expect quality governance, transparency and accountability.”
This is a statement from the new Ondo State governor, Dr Segun Mimiko. And he will be held accountable by all means as the people thirst so badly for leadership.
The job of any executive can full of interesting gastric ulcer-inducing moments. This is not any different with the three-week old governor of Ondo state in Nigeria, Dr. Segun Mimiko. Remember Mimiko is the last Nigerian state executive whose mandate was proclaimed in the law court some 22 months after votes were counted.
As Mr. Governor has found out, all decisions have their good and bad sides, even if the intent for making the decision was good. As reported in the news media, Mimiko made two decisions immediately after the Appeal Court installed him the governor of Ondo State, located in the south western region of Nigeria: He froze the accounts of all the Local Government Areas (LGA, the equivalent of counties in the U.S). Then within days, he went on to kick out the Chairmen — the administrative head of the LGAs.
Mr Governor claimed there were reports of massive withdrawal for the LGA bank accounts shortly after the Appeal Court ruling. Also, the previous administration ignored a pending court order barring it from conducting the election that brought the LGA Chairmen into power.
In order words, the governor acted, first to prevent looting of public money, and second, to correct an ‘illegality’ of the previous government.
Can the governor take actions against the LGAs given that the constitution clearly states that power to sack LGA Chairmen lies with the state House of Assembly?
Can the governor correct an illegality with another illegality? Because that is what the sacking of the LGA Chairmen looks looks like, an illegality going by the constitution.
Interestingly, I have yet to read any opinion from the usually vocal members of the Nigerian learned community, the lawyers. The outbursts have been more confined to the agents of the political party (the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP) who feel “oppressed” in the matter.
And they have taken their case to the court of law to back up their claim that the governor lacks the constitutional power on LGA matters.
It will be interesting to see how the court acts as the final arbiter in this case.
And its decision may indeed be a saving grace for the embattled governor, who may have committed a constitutional and executive faux pas in the course of ‘doing right’. He will have to abide by the ruling, even if it means the chairmen have to go back to their posts.
As we await the court interpretations and pronouncements, Governor Mimiko is finding out rather quickly that being in the executive chair may not be as comfortable as it appears from a distance — for there are always fires to be fought.
As he puts his political expertise — and other fire-fighting skills — to work on this LGA fire, the debate continues whether he ought to have even started the fire in the first place. I don’t think he should, not in the manner he did, at the very least.
At last the battle is over and justice has been served in Ondo State. At last!!!
Agagu has been sent packing by the Appeals Court!