3 Governors and their New Year Messages

The Nigerian Tribune of 1st January 2009 gives an insight into the types and minds of the leaders we have (s)elected in Nigeria.

Permit me to zoom-in on two of such leaders.

Page 17 is a paid advert by His Excellency – Emmanuel Uduaghan the Governor of Delta State. His state is very rich (one of the richest three in Nigeria).

His message was captioned “Tough Challenges ahead but Deltans will excel”. The message opened with …”As usual with me, I am going to be direct with you about the prospects of our state in the New Year. It is going to be tough and challenging as can be seen by the crash in oil prices triggered by the global financial meltdown. However, amidst these gloom and burst, which in itself justifies our administration’s economic diversification program of building a DELTA WITHOUT OIL, I find a lot to be optimistic about”.

The message is filled with plans, promises and assurances such as …”I see us in the course of the year reducing poverty by empowering more people with our micro-credit scheme through the micro-finance banks …” and somewhere else ….”Complete the building of Asaba Airport and extend Osubi Airstrip runway, encourage utilization of Delta ports, build and export processing port at Koko” …..
His excellency’s picture is 3in x 4in … and of course a passport pose.

Page G2 is a paid advert by His excellency – Adebayo Akala the Governor of Oyo State. His state, in contrast, is in the league of non-oil producing states of Nigeria, and by extension, no deep wallet.

The entire advert has 75% of the page covered by the full length picture of the Governor and his deputy in their flowing Aso-Ebi, with the message carefully squeezed into a single column on the page.

His advert, captioned “New Year Message” opened with …”My Good people of Oyo State, before any other thing, let us give God all the honor, glory and adoration for his banner over us is love”. I guess he has been hosting the weekly Full Gospel Businessmen fellowship in the State House.

Continuing, he wrote … “My heart is full of joy as I share this momentous occasion to felicitate with you on the occasion of the New Year Anniversary” ….

Now, the proliferation of occasions, the sharing that goes with them, … ending in the Anniversary is just unfathomable.

The closest to a plan in the message reads … “Indeed, on our part as Government in Oyo State, we shall continue to work assiduously in moving the state forward through the provision of adequate social infrastructure evenly spread across the state”.

Even if what is being shared is a cake, it must be preceded by baking it! .. and to evenly spread things? Haba!

To fail to plan, is to plan to fail. It is clear that One Governor is planning to live as if tomorrow has come, while the other Governor is living as if tomorrow will never come, or rather … there is no tomorrow. One needs no soothsayer to know how the states will rank in the next 4 years, at most.

I got introduced to His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola as a friend on Facebook! He is the Governor of Lagos State (Eko o ni Baje O!), and of the AC stock. The other profiled Governors are of the PDP stock.

It will be nice to know the type of message Governor Fashola shared with his state, given his track record of clear thinking, accountability and focus in the development of Lagos, over and above sharing.

BRF, if and when you accept my friendship invitation … your comments and insight will be a good tonic for me in this “Anno di grande speranza”

Happy New Year!

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