The ‘Owambe’ Governor – By Allen Sowore

Governance is a serious business. It’s an exercise of authority- application of scarce state resources. But what do you do when the Chief Executive of a state relegates and reduces governance to the background. When a governor with all his liturgy decides to splurge, what can you do ?

That’s why the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo said that
“While many men in power and public office are busy carousing in the midst of women of easy virtue and men of low morals, I, as a few others like me, am busy at my desk thinking about the problems of Nigeria and proffering solutions to them. Only the deep can call to the deep.”

Ondo State is not so lucky this time with this quality of a leader as postulated by Awo. Rather the Sunshine State is endowed with a character akin to the Yoruba Owambe – a party freak governor.

One is not playing politics or making things up. Of truth is that, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, has attended more than eight hundred Owambe parties across Nigeria particularly in Ibadan in the last four years, depleting scarce state resources. Few of the parties attended recently are highlighted below with dates:

  • 1st December, 2020, Akeredolu was in Abuja to receive an Award from the Association Of Community Pharmacists Of Nigeria (ACPN).
  • On Thursday December 3, 2020, Governor Akeredolu attended the Service of Songs for the late Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Amope Makinde.
  • On the 4th December,2020, Governor Akeredolu was at the Funeral Service of Reverend Tola Oyediran at the All Saints’ Church, Jericho, Ibadan.
  • On December 12th he was at the wedding ceremony between Morolake and Oyebanji held at the Kola Daisi Civic Center Banquet Hall, Idi-Ape, Ibadan.
  • On Sunday, December 13, 2020, Mr Governor joined the engagement ceremony of the daughter of Dr. Segun Olugboyegun held at the GRA, Ikeja-Lagos.
  • On the 16th December, 2020, our Arakunrin was at the 71st Post Humous birthday of the former Governor of Oyo State held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

The state government spends average of six million naira anytime Mr Governor travels out of the state. Arakunrin attends at least three Owambe parties in a week. You can make use of your calculator to see how much the state squanders on these” official jamborees”

This same governor, has refused to swear – in elected counselors in the 203 wards of the state citing paucity of funds.

I’m yet to see the governor’s visit to the the people of Ayetoro community in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state, who are passing through untold hardship as a result of the ravaging sea incursion which has almost wipe out the entire community.

Mean while, residents of Ibadan are complaining bitterly about the frequent presence of Ondo State Governor in Ibadan every weekend. They said they could no longer cope with the sirens of two governors at a time, saying it makes them feel like they have two governors. They wondered if that’s how Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde disturbs the peace of the people of Ondo State ?

The popular joke in Ibadan is that if you extend an invite of the birthday party of a year old baby to Governor Akeredolu he will gladly attend. The situation is so bad that sometimes, the organisers don’t need to invite him directly. The presence of one or two his friends will attract him. Sometimes, he arrives at the party before the celebrant.

For Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, it’s party after party. Nothing will happen ! He’s a regular gatecrasher in many sprees in Ibadan. That’s why he’s nicknamed Governor Mogbómoyà.

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