“Waiting for an incompetent government to fix things is much like waiting for Godot.”— C.A.A. Savastano.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines incompetence as: “lack of ability to do something successfully or as it should be done”. I am a lover of this dictionary. I prefer it to Oxford and Longman dictionaries among others; however, for the first time, I would have to disagree with the dictionary because of its definition of incompetence. If the dictionary had defined “incompetence” as Dapo Abiodun, the executive Governor of Ogun State, I would have scored it 100 percent.
When the above quote was weaved by one C.A. Savastano, the man must have had the Governor of Ogun State on his mind as waiting for the Governor to fix the hydra-headed problems rocking Ogun State is equivalent to waiting for Godot. To understand what it means for waiting for Godot, in what follows, I shall briefly explain.
In Albert Camus’ book, the “Myth of Sisyphus”, he presents to us the dilemma of man and the futility of his toils. He compares man and his existence to the life of Sisyphus who spent all his life rolling a big stone up a high hill.
Diligently, Sisyphus started his day rolling up the stone with all his energy- and strategies- and when he eventually succeeded in rolling it to the top of the hill, the stone would roll down. An unfortunate man, he would repeat the process(es) and the stone would roll down again after a lot of sweat and toil. Consistently, he kept doing that daily– rolling up the stone, stone falling, rolling it up again and again — until he died. Sisyphus worked quite hard but what did he achieve? Nothing. Yes, like “Myth of Sisyphus”, “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Barclay Beckett is another, of the many, examples of the theatre of absurdity— which is deeply rooted in the principle of existentialism. Waiting for Godot explains the nothingness of life. May we not be the metaphor for Waiting for Godot; because it is the metaphor for hopelessness and the textbook definition of nothingness. In other words, waiting for Governor Dapo Abiodun to fix the many problems that are wrestling Ogun State is like waiting for Godot to have his government hijacked by his aides, most of whom are more experienced in the art of politics than he is.
From the highhandedness of the SSG, Tokunbo Talabi, the Chief of Staff, Shuaib Salisu, to the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs, Rt. Hon Egebtokun who have passively usurped the administration from the Governor as a result of his inexperience in the art of governance, Ogun State is currently suffering from the asphyxiation that is a product of powerful tussle and incompetence. Consequently, the government is passive and unresponsive to the woes of the good people of Ogun State— an example of the clamour for help by the people of Ifo and Ado Odo Ota local governments of the state over the impassable road networks of the areas.
The residents of Agbado—Ijoko, an area of Ijoko, Ifo Local Government Area, that I know like the back of my palm have spent no less than 3 million naira— self-help— on trying to make the road networks in the area manageable for vehicles to ply. Their pleas and cries have fallen on the deaf ears of the state government. Similarly, residents of Ado Odo Ota, the most industrialised local government area, and the cash cow of Ogun State are exhausted of complaining about the lackadaisical attitude of this government towards their cry for help.
Earlier today, 30 September, 2021, in a video circulating online, some members of the Ogun State All Progressives Congress (APC) stormed the Office of the Governor in Oke Mosan to express their dissatisfaction and request the sacking of the SSG. The elderly woman who led the group complained of how hardship has enveloped the peoples of the state and how the state government had neglected the party members. She continued that the SSG pontificated that he is powerful and can do as he pleases— highhandedness. She further expressed her dissatisfaction with the SSG’s highhandedness and arrogance: here is the link to the video https://m.facebook.com/100001993211875/posts/4387290521347345/.
Trying to defend the Ogun State Governor and his cohorts will be equivalent to a people who have fallen in love with the oppressor and the oppressor’s corruption, the oppressor and the oppressor’s lies, the oppressor and the oppressor’s incompetence. Incontrovertibly, some youths in Ogun State will defend this administration even unto death even when it tramples on civic vigilance and responsibility. An administration that has over a week left the banks in Ijebu shut down over fears of being robbed— insecurity.
In Yorubaland, an aphorism goes that: “Koni buru buru ki Baba ni odowo omo oun lorun” which can be roughly translated as “A father wouldn’t commit the affairs of running the home in the hands of his dead son”. Whatever is referred to as the head leads. The Governor is the one whom we had voted for and we had trusted to effectively and efficiently direct the affairs of the state. It would be unbecoming at best and dispiriting at worst to see his administration hijacked by ordinary appointees.
To be persuaded by the Ogun State Government’s data boys who are mouthing—online— constipated rationalisations in favour of the politics of the belly, constantly saying that Ogun State is performing because of their own stomach infrastructure, while making ends meet for themselves, will amount to the funeral of Ogun State.
We are freeborn of this state and we wouldn’t waste away in silence to watch our state being mismanaged. Ogun State is a state of many firsts and we wouldn’t watch it move from the peak to its nadir. Every critique of literature or governance is not a hater of it; rather, they are persons who want the best out of them.
It is on the pedestal of the aforesaid that we implore the Governor of Ogun State, H.E Prince Dapo Abiodun to wake up from his slumber and assume the driver’s seat we had entrusted in his hands to turn the fortunes of Ogun State around. Should the administration fail, we wouldn’t remember Tokunbo Talabi, Egbetokun, and their ilks; rather, we would say: Dapo Abiodun’s Administration failed. My dear Governor, wake up and take charge!
Folorunso, Fatai Adisa writes in from Abeokuta.