By Mutiu Iyanda
Dear Governor Makinde,
When I read that you have decided to let the world know you have N48 billion worth of assets, I was perturbed that you may not be able to protect yourself from knocks from different segments of our society because many people still do not believe that we can have people with high level of integrity in governance considering systemic corruption since independence.
After reading the news, my argument while discussing with other colleagues, was that how would a governor exposing himself to pro bono public scrutiny by declaring such assets knowing that many colleagues are not willing to do. After second thought, I realised that you are fulfilling part of your inclusive governance and transparency promised during campaigns.
I also realised that your action is part of elements that would actually determine your readiness to fulfil the social and economic contracts you signed with the people and residents of Oyo state. As the Code of Conduct Bureau in the state awaits directives to verify your assets, I have gone scientific and analysed various views on the declaration. Mr Governor. My 7 day sojourn in the heaps of comments and reactions from the Nigerians, especially social commentators and professionals have shown that the public has evaluated your action using personal and functional tactics.
As at the time I was with them, they have scrutinised your action within the macro and micro socioeconomic issues in the country, particularly in Oyo state. Two categories of the evaluators exist. I discovered that despite the level of corruption in our country, you still have some people who believe that your style of politics is quite different. I see this category of people as pro.
The other camp does not believe that you have such assets. Even, if you have the assets, they must have been acquired through favouritism and other means. They believe that ends must be considered before seeing any politician as a messiah who will turn their biggest problems to biggest opportunities for them. I classify this group as anti.
Mr Governor. It is good to realise that these groups, in spite of different ideological orientations towards your action, believe that declaring the assets is not enough. If truly the assets have been acquired through hard work and integrity over the years, your administration should be able to implement the personal template that ensures the growth of the fortune at the ministries, agencies and departments in Oyo state.
While sieving their comments and reactions, I expect to discover the same level of praising and eulogising you received during campaigns. But it was not. With this, I realise that Nigerians and people of Oyo state are watching you, waiting for the four years to end and dissect your actions and inactions for another four years consideration.
At this juncture, Mr Governor, it is highly imperative to ensure that you do not deviate from the policy thrusts you presented to the public during campaigns. The failure to adhere to your policy thrusts would enhance the realisation of the fear being exhibited by the anti group. Already, they believed that the last day of your administration is appropriate to gauge your integrity about protecting public funds from looting by proxies. Considering the age-long corruption in the public institutions, the anti group is not convinced that you would be able to maintain, integrate and adapt your personal values to the governance structure in Oyo state.
As you think, I also discovered…
Mr Governor, as you thought about the public reactions regarding your action few days after the declaration, I felt that it would be good if I let you know that people across the country had significant interest in the action. For 7 days, I was with them; they sought information about your assets, your personality and how good governance would be delivered in Oyo state.
With that, I decided to explore their 118 views along with their interest in the assets, your personality and good governance. For the purpose of easy comprehension, as you continue reading this letter, I have dubbed the interest in the assets, yourself and good governance as AGOG Index.
For the pro-public evaluation group, it is obvious that you had good image among them. Their evaluation connects with the AGOG Index by 89.0%. This implies that one unit of positive evaluation increases their interest in the AGOG Index by 89.0%. In most cases, they see you as a person who doesn’t need to embezzle state funds, receive kickbacks from contractors, inflate contracts among other forms of highly placed corrupt practices. “All he has to do is to watch out for saboteurs in his government.”
Mr Governor, despite the good image, this group swung a little when your action was evaluated within functional level. Their one unit of evaluation only established 56.9% increase in AGOG Index. This calls for reflection! One of the members of the group informed that you need to set up a committee, comprising intellectuals and subject matter experts, who will work with you as you implement your strategic plan for the state.
Yes. As you expect, anti group’s evaluation of your action had a negative impact on the AGOG Index. One unit of their anti-evaluation strategies decreases their interest in the Index by 99.9%. In fact, it facilitated their interest in seeking information on how you acquired the assets and the extent to which you have been able to change humanity through the assets before becoming governor. “There is no outburst here. Nigerians should stop celebrating nonsense. How many people did he employed with assets of over N48 billion.”
Mr Governor! There is a reason to rejoice. In spite of the group’s anti-evaluation strategies, their interest links with the Index by 98.2% when they did the evaluation using functional approach. This indicates that they are groping how the assets would prevent you from looting the state funds and deliver the right dividend of democracy to the people and residents in Oyo state. “Declaration of asset is nothing compared to having good intentions for the state.”
Mr Governor. I hope you will examine the insights holistically towards inclusive governance and social protection you promised the people and residents. By the end of your first tenure, I hope your actions and programmes would be sufficient enough to ensure second tenure for you.