Skip to main content

The Child Is Father To The Man, By Allen Sowore

November 19, 2021

The young appointee and son of the governor is christened " Babajide", which literally translates to 'the father has reincarnated' and Governor Akeredolu calls him 'Baba - Father.'

Since the unfortunate news of the appointment of  Governor Akeredolu's son, Babajide Akeredolu as the Director General of Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit, I have agonised and ruminated on what the title of this piece should be. 

Not until yesterday when l stumbled on Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem -" The child is father to the man." 

The first and last stanzas privilege the same rhymes: "The child is father to the man/How can he be? The words are wild."

We must begin to interrogate what is it that has gone wrong in Ondo State. Was there really a vacuum to fill intellectually ? Was the appointment done for lack of loyalists in the governor's camp ? Was it greed and covetousness ?  And as Africans, should we subject the exercise to spiritualism ?

The young appointee and son of the governor is christened " Babajide", which literally translates to 'the father has reincarnated' and Governor Akeredolu calls him 'Baba - Father.'

"The child is father to the man/How can he be? The words are wild."


Ironically, the governor has told us at many public fora how he used to address his own father as Arakurin - this is the origin of the appellation, 'Arakunrin', which he himself now carries around like a sore thumb.  The words are wild.

Of truth, one must empathize with Mr Governor. He has suffered abuses - spousal abuse and abuses by his own children. His wife, Betty is busy commercializing  and profiteering from the exalted office of First lady with reckless abandon, not mindful of the legacy her hubby will leave behind or what he will be remembered for. 

Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu - Akeredolu has since been carrying on unabated and unashamedly, the business of running and performing the key functions of four ministries through her phantom pet projects. 

Ostensibly, BEMORE has technically replaced Ministry of Education, FOWOSO replaces Ministry of Women Affairs, BRECAN replaces Ministry of Health and Boot Camp and Tennis Girls have displaced the once effervescent Ondo State Ministry of Sports.

Commissioners in these ministries were and will be mere figureheads - all they've been doing and will have to do (new commissioners were only nominated this week) in most cases will be to prepare programmes/proposals and hand over the approved funds to Madam First Lady for implementation. 

Before Babajide  was enthroned as  the COORDINATING COMMISSIONER - that is, Director General, Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit), he was in control and still in charge of the following: all consultancies with respect to salary payment platforms in Ondo State; Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); Ondo State Development And Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA); just to mention a few. 

Without any cognate experience or even certification as a medical doctor, Governor Akeredolu made his son, Babajide the Secretary of the COVID-19 Fund Raising Committee, at the height of the corona virus pandemic, simply because of the money involved then. 

Anywhere there's money to be made, you'll find the Akeredolus hanging around like demented hyenas. Recall the  whopping sum of N433m from the N4.3bn stashed in a secret account of the state government. I suspect a curse. 

Recently, Arakurin Akeredolu handed over to his son, the same ubiquitous Babajide, the management and consultancy of the state's forest resources following the irreconcilable differences between the governor and his erstwhile godson, business front man and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Klick Konnect Network,  Mr. Alex Ajipe. 

Greed! Greed! Greed!

If you want to see and study what's called 'satanic greed', please come to Ondo State. You'll find satanic greed walking and working around on 'koko shoes'.

In all of these, governance has been reduced to its ebb in Ondo State; it's the worst state of things in its annals. Health services have collapsed and education has been taken out of the reach of the people. Even water supply has now been commercialized. Payment of workers'  salary fractionalized. 

Greed! Greed! Greed!

I have read the position canvassed by the Ondo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) and other bootlickers on various new media platforms, where they have been trying hard to justify this outright nepotistic absurdity. I mean the appointment of Babajide as Coordinating Commissioner in the administration of his father.

How do you postulate and justify how a young man who had only just finished his compulsory National Youth Service Programme within the delightful ambiance of the Government House, Alagbaka, Akure suddenly become the most qualified person to set Key Performance Indicators for his father's cabinet members and by implications his father.  Not only that, Babajide is primed by his new appointment to determine the costs of all projects, items, contracts and monitor the implementation of same. Haba! Were dey disguise.

I dare say that if Babajide Akeredolu is qualify at all; his qualification is basically the fact that he's the "Governor's Son." Nothing more, nothing less. Shikena.

In all the agencies he had so far administered surreptitiously, in spite of enormous resources and express approvals, he failed woefully. Go and do your findings.

As John Selden opined: "Equity is a roguish thing." According to him: " For Law we have a measure, know what to trust to; Equity is according to the conscience of him that is Chancellor.."
Sadly, so also is governance  in Ondo at the moment in accordance with the conscience, judgement and sentiments of the son of the governor and his family.

Because: "The child is father to the man/How can he be?"

The poet asked.

"The words are wild."

But this is the situation in Ondo. It has never been this bad.