A former Chief of Staff to Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Prof. Adeolu Akande, has appealed to him to restore the virtue of compassion into his government.
Akande made the appeal to the governor in a statement he issued in Ibadan on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akande, a Political Science lecturer at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo, was Chief of Staff to Ajimobi during his first term in office.
Akande said recent actions of the government suggest that some elements in the Ajimobi-led administration had forgotten that the administration emerged in 2011 with a promise to protect the welfare of the people.
“Many recent actions of the government are at variance with its disposition at inception in 2011.
“This suggests that some forces who are not privy to the pledge of Ajimobi to the people have made ascendancy in the government to the detriment of what the government stood for at inception,” he said
He said no administration without the element of compassion would go down in history as successful.
Akande said that the primary responsibility of any government was to protect lives and property, adding that the sacredness of private property comes after preservation of life in terms of importance.
“A government has a duty to make all necessary measures to protect the property of private citizens just as it has a duty to protect their lives,” he stated.
He said that the furore generated by the demolition of the property of Yinka Ayefele, a popular musician, must have demonstrated to the government by now that it was an unpopular decision.
“Government is about the people and not the anger and emotions of the people in government.
“ The Yoruba captures this truism when they say a ruler rules with wisdom and not with stubbornness.
“The Ayefele saga has once again brought to the fore the need for the governor to rethink his government and review its personnel and focus as he embarks on his homestretch so that history can be kind to him,’’ he said.
Akande said he was pained that the lofty ideals that endeared the governor to the people in the early years had been abandoned and replaced with practices that could wipe out such achievements.
“It is more painful that many of the personnel who encourage controversial government decisions and actions claim innocence in private conversations and never identified themselves with those decisions, even in public,” he said.
Akande urged the governor to rethink his posture on the demolition of the building belonging to Ayefele and make amendments that would restore public confidence in his person and administration.
“Ayefele means many things to many people. His rise to grace in spite of a major life challenge makes him a model for a good percentage of our people.
“As a musician, he has been the purveyor of joy and happiness to many of us because of his melodious and philosophical music.
“As a philanthropist, he is a great shield for hundreds of thousands of people. As the promoter of Fresh FM, he is a trustee of public trust as the station has become the Voice of the Voiceless,’’ he said.
He recalled how the governor directed all government agencies to protect Ayefele’s building from demolition in 2012 during the dualisation of the Challenge-Toll Gate road in spite of persuasion from some forces to demolish it.
Akande pleaded that Ajimobi should exhibit this same compassion in taking measures that would protect Ayefele’s private investment in the state and restore public admiration for him.
“Government should open discussion with Ayefele and find an amicable resolution of the dispute. Ayefele needs to be protected because he is a valuable icon of our society,” he said.
He advised Ajimobi to extend the same sense of compassion to the handling of the subsisting issues at LAUTECH and the closure of tertiary institutions occasioned by the reduction in subvention to the institutions.
“I make this appeal because the governor is on the homestretch of his administration and there will not be such auspicious opportunity for him to etch his name on the positive side of history.
“Those who encourage the governor to embrace hard-line positions in his last months in government are not his friends and do not mean well for him and Oyo State,” Akande, a governorship aspirant, said.