By James Ogunjimi
Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, Ogun Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, Kaduna Governor, Nassir Elrufai. I can go on mentioning names but I’ll stop there. When you take a look at these names, something unites them and it’s the fact that they have a god complex. They act as alphas and omegas, their words are final and any attempt to question them always ends in trouble.
Last year, Ogun state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun came out to call Ogun state workers “stupid”. Their crime? They had the audacity to go on strike just because he refused to pay them their salaries and allowances? What nonsense? What kind of audacity is that? What happened to suffering and smiling? What happened to “the reward of teachers is in heaven”? Why should they insist on getting their own rewards here on earth? What happened to “don’t ask what your (state) can do for you, ask what you can do for your (state)?
For daring to down tools simply because he owed them, he called them stupid, locked up the state office of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and placed armed men in front of the building and days later, sacked the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Chairman of Ogun state.
Kaduna state Governor, Mallam El-Rufai on his part has always been arrogant and condescending. Those who hoped that he would drop that when he became Governor were worse hit when his arrogance came out in his handling of political appointments and the Religion bill.
When confronted with the lopsided nature of his appointments, he had told anyone aggrieved to climb a mountain and jump down. His handling of the religion bill too was a problem. While I support that bill completely, the refusal of the Governor to explain its workings to the ordinary people was a big minus. It paved way for religious leaders in the state to manipulate the truth of things to the people which in turn no doubt escalated things and defeated the real purpose of pushing the bill in the first place.
Come to Oyo state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, a man who broke the jinx, who against all odds got a second term. It is widely known that no Governor, no matter how well he performed has ever won a second term in Oyo state. AD’s Lam Adesina did not. Rashidi Ladoja did not. PDP’s Alao Akala did not. Until APC’s Ajimobi broke the jinx.
But breaking the jinx isn’t the issue, the Governor’s actions since he broke the jinx must be making Oyo state people wish they hadn’t empowered him with their votes. He has clashed with various bodies in the state. He fought secondary school students, had them arrested even. He locked up five secondary schools and refused to open them until the students and their parents went to prostrate and kneel before him. Hail Ceaser!!!
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) has been under lock and key since June 2016 because both Oyo state and Osun state, joint owners of the instutution, have refused to pay salaries and allowances of close to a year. Governor Aregbesola has been a serial offender in this regard but Governor Ajimobi’s arrogance through everything overshadows that. When LAUTECH students went to protest at the Oyo state secretariat, the Governor was seen (in a 3-minute video published by Sahara Reporters) taunting them, and asking them to do their worst.
The list is endless. Political leaders beg for votes respectfully and the moment they win, they become gods. There’s former Ekiti Governor, Fayemi who insulted his people everyday and called them illiterates. Why? They dared ask him to pay them. There’s former Ogun governor, Segun Osoba who when he was asked to pay pensioners, responded that he had not yet paid the living, they were asking him to pay the dead. There are Senators who become too big to answer to their constituency. There are Local Government Chairmen who order their people beaten up for daring to remain on the road when they saw him coming.
While it is impossible to know who will be good and who won’t be, it is important to ditch the idea of second terms. It is doubtful that the Senate would ever successfully pull this off but the electorates have the power to do this. They have the power to send every elected officer home after their first term.
And yes, while it is difficult to stop leaders from exhibiting the god complex, checking antecedents thoroughly before voting can be of help too. Most of those who attempt to contest elections have held positions at one time or the other. It does not have to be political. The way they ran their offices, their relationship with their staff, their handling of money in companies, the transparency, all these are factors that must be perused before giving any political leader votes to guide against or reduce the influx of people with god complex into the Nigerian political space.