In Nigeria, the news recently. “I must be sincere with you that the appointment was made but the governor frowned at the development after he discovered it and he has since reversed it,” said an anonymous aide to the State of Osun government on the appointment of certain Mrs Oyinkansola Akande as Personal Assistant to her husband, Femi Akande, the state Attorney – General and Hon. Commissioner for Justice
The reversal promulgated by Governor Gboyega Oyetola has removed any capacity for pains to social justice, and the Osun social order construct secured from probable upset that could affect the beauty, order and harmony of government and governance in the state. Oyetola is a man of virtue who acted the reversal by right reason, not passion; and his virtue in the context is basically the rule of reason, the privation of it could have been integrity compromised and public morality punctured.
In the particular situation, Femi Akande, the Attorney – General of the state ought to know and he knows, there must have been stark conflicts within him between the recommendation of the intellect, reason and the will, free action over the appointment of his wife as Personal Assistant to him. But he chose the will, blinded by passion, desire against the guidance of the intellect such that his conscience must even now be experiencing internal conflicts and disturbances to warrant division and disharmony in his innermost being. Why?
Femi Akande is a rational being, meaning, his conscience bridges the gap between the approval and reversal of the appointment and it did that by applying the latter to the former, with the blame for the wrongness of the controversial appointment situated in his the state Attorney-General office that holds out in the first instance, advisory legal relations to the state Governor on all statutory matters, including appointments.
Femi Akande’s conscience obliged him to act the way he acted against the ruling of the intellect. And as with all human beings, the judgement of the conscience is always obeyed, even when it is wrong; conscience, more frequently than infrequently, makes erroneous judgement on the rightness or wrong of an action.
In effect, the promulgated reversal, an ordinance of reason for the common good, not fostering any private interest or nepotism is a moral judgement, a just concern for social justice, social peace, and social respect for the people of Osun. The promulgation must have considered the nature, location and circumstances of the appointment, and deployed procedural, retributive or corrective and restorative or interactional justice proportionately by the strictly objective and fair application of relevant established rules to cause impartial adjustment of the matter: the reversal of the appointment under unbiased processes, without fear or favour, affection or ill will, delay or denial!
The reversal is speaking, first to the integrity of Oyetola, showing grace under pressure, shooting trouble skillfully that deciphers his skill from charlatan trade, and then, to the cohesive integrity of his All Progressives Congress (APC), the governing party in the state. The Governor has not caused any obstruction of justice or done anything that could corruptly influence or impede the administration of justice in the matter.
Not in Oyetola’s character to do anything of such, real or imagined. He has no iota of intent to obstruct, and indeed, he did not. Poetically, he felt pains by the appointment scandal, an undeserved injustice to his person, his APC governing party, his government and the Osun public good.
Elsewhere in Nigeria, with the opposition party in power, a simple reversal of political appointment would obstruct enforcement of relevant lawful regulations and shamefully trigger reprehensible internal rifts, unresolved, eternally unresolvable and ceaseless hemorrhage, boxing the party into its most familiar terrain of self-liquidation.
Oyetola is a god of justice, giving primacy to reason, making right reason the moral standard, the utilitarian concern for telling the truth to Osun people; listening attentively; showing humility, modesty and flexibility; not playing nepotism, favouritism; and not taking everything personal to get easily offended or angry. Mr Governor, morally constituted, applies moral sensitivity, moral order, moral judgement, moral motivation, moral maturity and moral implementation as he navigates Osun government and governance in a fair and responsible way.
Oyetola’s public morality, harnessing his cognitive ability (the intellect), business and social skills, moral principles and sense of purpose, gets the existing and prospecting public issues, problems identified and addressed; moral, material consequences of public policies on Osun people, explored and palliated; conflicts of public interests, resolved; and the state knitted by fairness, decency, equity, propriety, probity, objectivity and impartiality.
Little crucify Femi Akande. One can violate ethics all the time if one believes something is intrinsically morally right, informed by the cause of the action taken, one’s mindset or thinking and intended effect or impression. One other universal fact, ethical understanding gets increased or improved in one as one gets experienced, relationships formed; and just as personal values get improved over time, the common or societal beliefs, traditions, and work ethics also get increasingly developed in one.
Femi Akande has hugely ethical advantages, entrenched in his father for his own deployment in public life. The father, state arch father, Chief Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun and pioneer national chairman of APC, at his inauguration as a newly elected governor, refused to be sworn-in on any of the Holy Writs as though he’s a Muslim. He rather raised his hand as he took the oath of office. He is not morally evil; he has not shown to be above human nature or superior to it; and he’s not an atheist or just somebody amoral either. His morality does not rely on religion. Yet, the moral restraint agency in him, driven by the combined intellect (reason), common values and traditions, and personal beliefs and experience is hyper-reactive to evil and immoral action. No Pope or Imam behaves morally than him and his government is widely acclaimed the best in the time past.
And hear this story, lavishly in town under the Akande governorship. Some building contracts, the massive, sprawling state government secretariat buildings, in line for public biddings. A Lawyer, too well known to the then Governor Akande reportedly ferried his bidding documents for a walkover, favourable consideration supposedly on the strength of familiarity, favouritism but got the shock of his life when the bulk of the biddings submitted by bidders stopped on the table of the erstwhile governor, known for applied moral absolutism and he minuted, “ *_*I know this person to be a Lawyer , not building contractor_** ,” signed and dated in red ink on the Lawyer‘s bidding papers. And that ended the prospects of Mr Lawyer to get any of the building projects.
Spare Femi Akande of nasty, scathing attacks. And spare the APC-Oyetola government of Osun.
*OLUSESI is Assistant Director, Directorate of Publicity, Research & Strategy, All Progressives Congress (APC), State of Osun*
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