By Ojo Oyewamide
After his reelection, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, assured the people of Ondo state that he would not rest on his oars in his second term. Governor Akeredolu has repeated the pledge several times, even after his inauguration.
The essentiality of repeating the assurance has its roots in the wrongness of the belief that second term is a period of holiday. Unfortunately, this belief is shared by many. Its holders dread another term for any governor. They see it as a period of complacency, a time when governance slows down.
Opposition politicians sought to garner electoral advantage from it in the last gubernatorial election. They added it to their weapons of electioneering. “Second term is not good. Don’t vote for Akeredolu again. He will not continue with all the projects his government is executing,” they campaigned.
They acknowledged the fact that the Akeredolu government was executing life-changing projects. But they didn’t want the government to come back. Their mouths were not in agreement with their conscience. While their conscience admitted the obvious, their mouths spewed lies about the government.
They thought painting the idea of another term in the colour of a demon would do it for them. But the weapon failed to hit its target. It could not sway the minds of the voters to the side of the opposition. It was too weak to snuff life out of the second term ambition of the performing governor.
The truth is that any of such weapons fashioned against the kind of Governor Akeredolu cannot prosper. The governor is generally known for detesting playing politics with issues affecting the development of the state and her people. The people knew the governor would not go to sleep if given another opportunity to run the affairs of the state. That was why they voted for him in the last gubernatorial election.
It is still the dawn of Governor Akeredolu’s second tenure in office. Spurred by a sense of time, the governor has set forth at dawn. The sun is shining and he is making hay. He realizes that the almighty time waits for nobody. Before you know, it is over.
Given his actions and decisions in the last couple of weeks, morning is already showing the day. Governor Akeredolu is proving that his second term is not for holiday. He must justify the confidence and trust of the people of the state who have extended his mandate. He must dispel the fear of second term being nursed by most people. That is why the speed of governance has increased in the Sunshine state.
The governor’s actions have combined with his words to convey his assurance to the people of the state that complacency will not find a place in his second term. Within a month, his government is taking shape. Some cabinet positions have been filled. A number of other key appointments has been made. They are the people that will assist the governor in pursuing the programmes of his administration christened REDEEMED.
Conscious of the need to justify the trust and confidence of the people of the state, Governor Akeredolu said at the swearing-in ceremony of his four commissioners: “Our people’s expectation supports sustaining this bar of excellence and even raising it to an optimal level. It will be an unpardonable commission if this confidence is made to look misplaced and/or unmerited. Our administration is determined to exact the discharge of altruistic services from any appointee who will be invited to join in the journey for the REDEEMED. No public official will be permitted to shortchange the people under any guise.
“The second and final leg of the mandate generously bestowed on us has commenced in earnest. We had approached the people for the renewal of our mandate to serve them for another four years. Their response was overwhelming, unequivocal and direct. They have voted for continuity; it is their desire that we proceed on the journey to redeem the State from the shackles of misery, want and squalour.
“They spoke loudly enough. We heard the protests. We saw the love requited to show appreciation. We felt the pulse of approval for being truthful. We received, with humility, the admonition and counsel of the committed and untainted. We felt the nudge of the dispossessed and troubled. We listened to wailings of the vulnerable. We experienced the agitation of the palpably confused and disoriented, burning with the fire of youth. We saw, with our own eyes, the plight of the neglected, cheated and despised. We made a solemn pledge to tread the path leading to redemption. We will not depart from the course of rectitude.”
*** Oyewamide is Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akeredolu on Media and Publicity
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