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Tell Tinubu, Ondo State Is Angry!

What is politics? According to Professor Harold Lass- well, politics is “who gets what, when, how”. In other words, politics is basically about the allocation of resources. Resources are scare but needs are many, far more than available re- sources can cope with at any point in time.

In economic terms, demand outstrips supply; so, some needs will be met while others will be denied or postponed. The main duty of the government is to allocate resources: How much will be allocated to de- fence, to education, to the provision of infrastructure, to energy supply, etc.

Will salaries and pensions be paid as when due, will there be training, for what category of officers and at what cost? Will there be a salary review, when and what quantum of increment? In deciding “who gets what, when (and) how”, those who make the decision set priorities, us- ing differing parameters: national interest; interest of the poor and downtrodden; their own selfish and personal interests; primordial interests such as ethnicity, religion, social status or stratification; political considerations, among others.

So, often, the closer you are to those in power, the more are your chances of getting values allocated to you or your interests. Those in the corridors of power benefit more from the privileges the government dispenses than those who are far away from it. You must belong, as they say, to participate in the sharing of the spoils of office. The dividends of democracy can be discriminatory! Today, in Nigeria, we have a new Sheriff in town: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He came to town with new faces, as it were; a new set of men and women who now call the shots in various sectors of our national life.

Men and women who were nobody yesterday are the Very Important Personalities of today. Together with their principal, they are the ones who, today, make the decisions of “who gets what, when, how” They can decide to favour or marginalize you. They can give or deny you your dues.

If you do not belong in their circles, you will only watch the largesse they dispense waltz its way around you and land on someone else’s lap. Or they may choose to fling it over your head for another person to catch. You can decide to worm your way into their heart by whatever means possible. You may also choose to lie low and allow even this to pass.

Nothing lasts forever! Where are yesterday’s strong men and women? Where is Muhammadu Buhari and his all-powerful coterie of cabals? They are all men and women of yesterday. They have all lost power, relevance and glamour. A little more time and today’s men and women of power will also join them. As Zik told Ukpabi Asika, “No condition is permanent”! And nothing lasts forever! For the umpteenth time, my people of Ondo State are complaining of being marginalized by President Tinubu.

The first time was when the president chose his ministers, service chiefs and the pillars of his administration. My Ondo state people were miffed that those who did not contribute as much as they did to the making of the Tinubu Adminis- tration got far more than Ondo State that contributed far more. In terms of the number of positions given and the importance and relevance of those positions, Ondo State believed it was marginalized. Many of them complained to me. Write it, they commanded me! But we counseled restraint and accommodation. Let’s give the president another chance! Let’s allow him time and peace of mind to settle down and gather the levers of power and the reins of office in both hands.

One year later, Tinubu’s ice has refused to thaw; his coconut leaves, rather than soften, have gotten more toughened. This is what my Ondo State people are seeing, and saying, with the recent Board appointments announced by Tinubu. It did not take some people much time before affixing State of origin to the 550 Board appointments rolled out by the president.

According to them, Ondo State got only six whereas Osun state got 22. Why zero in on Osun? I would have loved to see them reel out the allocation to other states. But why Osun is not far to fetch. Osun is Tinubu’s purported state of origin.

In the last presidential election, he lost that state and, incidentally, also the Lagos State that he claims, to both Atiku Abubakar’s PDP and Peter Obi’s Labour Party respectively; but he won Ondo state handsomely with a princely 68% of the votes cast. But both Lagos and Osun, two failures, have benefited more in terms of appointments from the Tinubu administration than Ondo that gave its all. Why? Why is failure being rewarded while success is being derided?

And I remembered the street football we played as children called “work-andeat”. To work for others to eat is a curse. Isaiah 65:22 says: “They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat… My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands”. Ondo state and its people need deliverance from the curse of working for others to eat! One of the posts I received reads: “Osun, 22; Ondo, 06.

The difference is clear (like) 7UP! Who did we offend? What is our offence? Why the discrimination? Why the oppres- sion? Why the shortchange? These and many more questions we ask Tinubu and the APC leadership (and) people (APC leaders) like Chief Pius Akinyelure, Ambassador Sola Iji, our distinguished senators, members of the House of Representa- tives, Honourable minister, etc. Ondo State won (the presidential election for Tinubu/APC) with the highest number of votes (68%).

We were given 6 over 550 of the Board appointments while Osun state that lost the election was rewarded with 22 over 550. Where did we get it wrong? Who did we offend? Where is the justice in APC’s motto and slogan? Well, time will tell!” I was sarcastic in my response to the complainant: “Get an Ondo state person to become president! Also, get the Ondo state indigenes who are close to Tinubu to push harder for the State and not be selfconscious alone. If Aketi had been alive, it most likely would have been different. Aiyedatiwa does not have the same influence Aketi had on Tinubu.

Besides, he (Aiyedatiwa) is too engrossed in his own survival battle to have the time to lobby for political appointments for anyone. When Buhari was president, Daura and Katsina benefited more than other towns or states in the North. Ditto Jonathan’s time as president. Obasanjo, for obvious reasons, benefited the Igbo more than the Yoruba. Let’s thank Tinubu that, at least, he has not marginalized the Yoruba. Osun is Yoruba. So, we thank Tinubu for little mercies!“

I am sure you know I was just trying to give my people cold comfort. Nothing at all justifies the snobbish treatment and cold shoulders they believe they are getting from a man they supported with all their being. But if you think the Ondo state people are the only ones complain- ing, you are mistaken: Some APC women leaders have expressed their grouse that they were yet to be com- pensated for their contribution to Tinubu’s success at the polls. Many who are hopeful or who have been penciled down for appointment are agitated and apprehensive that time is going.

One year is gone already. But, truth be told, I do not envy the president. To make appointments may appear easy on the surface but, in actual fact, it is not. The pressure, the blackmail, the pull and push are better imagined than experienced, especially with all the rumour flying around about appointments being sold and bought. So, Tinubu has to shine his eyes. I heard that he makes efforts to see everything before any- thing escapes to the public.

That is not going to be a small job. On top of that, he has other things to do: Foreign trips to source for FDI; meetings to attend, ECOWAS waha- la, his health to attend to, NLC incessant strike actions, ASUU warming up for its own strike, Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar’s ceaseless jabs, etc. He has governance to also attend to. He must also find time to unwind.

Ayo Fayose as governor of Ekiti state told me that if he had a thousand appointments to make, they would not be enough to take care of everyone who contributed to his success at the polls. That is the bitter truth. Everyone who worked for Tinubu cannot get an appointment. Not everyone who worked will have the opportunity to enter the dining room whereas some who did not lift a finger will end up sitting at the head of the table! Such is life!

That, however, does not excuse the (deliberate or oversight?) marginal- ization of anyone. Awujale (Ogun state) celebrated 90 years and got GCON. Yoruba leader Pa Reuben Fasoranti (Ondo state) took pains to visit Tinubu on a wheelchair at the Presidential villa but returned empty-handed. He thereafter cel- ebrated 98 years and still got nothing. Pourquoi?

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