One Year In Office: What Governor Dapo Abiodun Failed To Do - OPINION - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Friday, May 29, 2020

One Year In Office: What Governor Dapo Abiodun Failed To Do - OPINION

Dapo Abiodun
Governor Dapo Abiodun

By Olufemi Orunsola
It is no more news that the ever moving hand the clock has rolled in a full circle of a solar year since the incumbent Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun (MFR) took the oath of office on May 29, 2019. 

Expectedly, public assessments and appraisals of the performance of his administration have been trickling in from different quarters by individuals, group of individuals, pressure groups, and party loyalists as well as the opposition party.

Given the co-incidence of the governors’ birthday with the day on which he was sworn in as the government Ogun state, a pot-pourri of Diamond age birthday felicitations have flowed freely from far and near towards the Governor rated by many as a man of destiny. 

As a creative leftist however, I have thought it prudent to differ in my own typical way from the popular culture in my assessment of Prince Dapo Abiodun’s first year of office, hence this piece, “What Dapo Abiodun has failed to do!”

So, where went all the Noises? 
I make bold to ventilate my candid opinion that Prince Dapo Abiodun has denied folks who have gotten so used to the typical charade of political noise making (which characterizes governance in this part of the world) the continued luxury of being bombarded with loud noises about daily, weekly and monthly activities, policies and moves of his government in the last one year. But then, like Adekunle Gold the Nigerian high life musician rightly sang in his popular track tagged “Ariwo ko” (meaning kill the noise), the real question is “Is governance all about making political noises or transforming the lives of the citizenry slowly but steadily?”

Who’s The Alpha and Omega Here?       
Another thing, some critics say Prince Dapo Abiodun has failed to do is to arrogate the status of “I’m the Alpha and Omega Here!” to himself. I have heard folks says, “the man is too soft spoken and not self assertive enough for my taste”. 

It then occurs to me to figure out what do real servant leaders who have transformed their societies like Nelson Mandela do. Do they really go about, traversing entire cities and geographical landscapes to announce that the savior and defender of the universe have come to power as some expect Prince Dapo Abiodun to do? Or do they simply settle down to do strategic thinking that will transform their societies and back up same with corresponding action. 

Where went the office of the Friends of the Governor 
Without mincing words, Prince Dapo Abiodun has failed to personalize government to himself, his family or his innermost circle of trusted friends only, within the last 365 days in office. 

In a country where like Fela Anikulapo Kuti once sang “Paddy Paddy …….” has evolved as the norm over the years, it is understandable  to crucify a governor who chooses to extend the right hand of partnership to all, vowing to run all all-inclusive government. 

Can it be said that this governor that does not tolerate any friend of his carrying an official government embossed business card reading. “friend of the Governor: is really doing well? Well your guess is as good as mine because democracy is not a family business but government of the people, by the people and for the people. 

What’s the Difference Between Assertiveness and Aggressive 
While it is true that meaning resides, not in words but in man as communication scholars across the world have constantly affirmed, one area where critics of Prince Dapo Abiodun seem to have scored a point is the issue of his assertive instead of aggressive, stance, stand and style of governance. 

However, the last time I checked, “Assertiveness” according to Wikipedia “is the quality of being self assured and confident without being aggressive”. 

In other words, assertiveness is based on balance as it requires being forthright about your views while still considering the rights and need of others. Aggressiveness on the other hand means asserting yourself without regard for the rights, needs and feelings of others. 

Psychologists say that when you are aggressive as a leader, the power you use is selfish. You take it all out on your followers at any time without blinking an eye or giving a damn!

An aggressive leader bullies and punishes folks perceived as enemies, or “frenemies” (using the coinage of my friend, Wale Olaleye who described Friend turned enemies as frenemies) with demolition of structures traceable to them!

In all, Prince Dapo Abiodun (MFR) has indeed, within the last 365 days, failed to evolve as a false version of himself. He has remained cool, calm, collected, strategic, all-embracing, large hearted, systematic and a sympathetic servant leader of Ogun people beaming the search light of pro-active governance on the critical sectors of the state’s economy such as: education, health (as demonstrated in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic), Agriculture/Food, Security, Security Architecture, to mention but a few.

As I join well meaning Ogun citizens and fellow Nigerians to wish the Ogun State Governo who happens to be a Birthday mate of my son and my wife both born on May 29! I like to end this piece with two favourite quotes the one is from Marilyn Mason who said, "I never said to be like me, be yourself and make a difference" while the other is from one of the greatest revolutionary leaders of all time, Mahatma Gandhi who said, "In a gentle way, you can shake the world!".

Happy Birthday Prince Dapo Abiodun(MFR) and many more fruitful years of fruitful, transformatory servant leadership to the good peopl of Ogun State and Nigeria at large!

Olufemi Orunsola, a public affairs analyst and commentator writes from Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.

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