OPINION: Politicians In Nigeria Need To Listen To Critics Not Shun Or Fight Them

👤 By Adenike Lucas, DENISAURUS News

I realised something this week, our political space has been overtaken by praise singers. Sycophants who abuse you just because you don’t support their political benefactors / leaders. 

I have been studying this trend for a while now, but the problem really became more apparent to me, when I saw what happened after Segun Showunmi dropped a public letter about the “slow-paced” performance of Dapo Abiodun, the Governor of Ogun State.

Based on his letter Governor Abiodun, who has been in office for the past six months without a Cabinet, has been “disappointing.”

READ ALSO: INTERVIEW: “Because You’re A Governor Does Not Mean You Can’t Listen To Advice,” Says Segun Showunmi

Mr Showunmi, who served as a Senior Special Adviser (SSA) from 2003 -2011, to a former Governor of the state, compared Governor Abiodun with past administrations / executive leaders in the state.

He said: “I make bold to say that in terms of the general perception of capacity, there is no gainsaying that Ogun has never had it so disappointing.

He stated that the “activities of HE Dapo Abiodun, perhaps it may seem that he is up to something. But what is with this winking in the dark?

“What are his handlers doing relative to what we are used to in Ogun State? The continuous statements about public-private partnerships seem to me that the Abiodun government has no clear agenda of its own. And in case it does it is going about things in a rather snail slow speed, which suggests a lack of preparedness. And to think his government put together such a large committee with a few good names to look at things is baffling to a patriotic citizen and lover of Ogun State.”

And so, some of those working for the Governor came out gun blazing.

“Your tactics of getting favour in every government stylishly by claiming being concerned is outdated, pls upgrade,” one of these loyalist of Governor Abiodun wrote on his Facebook page.

While another user of the social media app, Ifaponle Orunmila went on a group – The Ogun People’s Forum (Opf) to call Mr Showunmi “a bastard.”

Then the official response came from one of the new SSA’s in town. Emmanuel Ojo remarkably spoke about how the Governor had rehabilitated some schools and the intervention of his boss had saved Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE).

Mr Ojo noted that initiatives such as the Ogun Tech Hub were all worth celebrating. Then to show, he was very loyal to his boss, he added a punchline saying the Government headed by Governor Abiodun will not “give food to scavengers.”

Other words used to insult Mr Showunmi in Mr Ojo’s response includes: “political hyena.”

This evoked more wrath from Mr Showunmi, who went on to release another letter – this time directing his rage at Governor Abiodun.

In his new riposte titled – Dapo Abiodun: Setting the records straight, Mr Showumi lambaste Governor Abiodun, stating that his job creating initiatives were meaningless schemes.

“Mr. Governor claims he created a job portal. This is sickening. Come on, that cannot, with due respect, be listed as an achievement in Ogun. To borrow Ibikunle Amosun’s slogan, this is below our Ogun standard.

“He claims he is renovating a block per school. Is that not silly? Systemic thinking would have suggested that you finish a few schools before going to others. In case the incompetent fellows do not know how to score good points here, I would recommend the model used by Rauf Aregbesola in Osun; that is if they are not too proud to learn.

“He claims he is sharing money under some dubious arrangements termed okowo Dapo. He might please do himself a favour and ask OGD how the model of cooperative and community development was done; and I would particularly encourage him to ask about the matching grant scheme, so that he would stop irritating us, the good people of Ogun State, with laughable claims of achievements that are in no way near the ‘A’ standards we are used to.”

So the response came again from those loyal to Governor Abiodun.

They said Mr Showunmi was paid. He was paid guess how much. LOL (Laughing Out Loud) one million naira!

“One Million Naira from Ladi Adebutu (Akebaje) for the hatchet job,” they screamed in unison on their Facebook Page.

Why do we assume all critics are paid agents? Just because he has criticised the Government does not mean we should call veterans like Mr Showunmi names.

I thought the rush to defend the Governor was sign of the times. The need to show how loyal they are to the Governor, who remains friends with Gbenga Daniel – a former boss to Mr Showunmi. There is no doubt in my mind that sometimes soon, these aides will bump into Mr Showunmi at an event soon and they will most definitely see their boss hug him and shake his hands.

How many years did Lere Olayinka, a media aide to Ayo Fayose, the former Governor Ekiti say unpalatable things in defence of his boss? Among those he spoke out of turn to, in the defence of his boss, is Kayode Fayemi, who succeeded Mr Fayose.  After leaving office, Mr Fayose made up with Governor Fayemi and the pictures of the two, at the wedding of the son of the former Governor has gone full circle on the internet.

Mr Fayemi was not seeing hugging Mr Olayinka! Who knows even if he was at that wedding?

Have we not learnt any lessons from that? I don’t think so. If you look on their walls, they still have those posts about Mr Showunmi.

For people, who I hear are deep down, grumbling about how the government has yet to appoint them into office, to openly lambaste this Ogun veteran, something is wrong.

READ ALSO : Governorship Elections 2019: AMOSUN And Akinlade WIPED OUT While APC Wins Thousands Of Votes IN OGUN

Very typical of those in government. They want to show loyalty.

But it is absolute nonsense! How can we do this to a veteran. Mr Showunmi who served as a spokesperson to Abubakar Atiku – a former Vice President and also a Presidential Candidate of Nigeria in the 2019 elections?

READ ALSO : Outgoing Governor Of Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun, SUSPENDED From APC Over Anti-Party Activities

Should not they have just stated what they were doing asked that as true son of the state, he should join them in working for the progress of the state.

Besides, is not it their own slogan, “Igbega Ipinle Ogun, Ajose gbogbo wa ni ooo.” A discussion over a cup of tea and a long mull of the issue would not have been such a bad idea.

But, instead of taking to the criticism and working to improve on the recommendation of Mr Showunmi’s letter on how to get the state working, some people in the Governor’s team resorted to shooting the messenger.

They thought, who gave him the temerity to “yab” their Governor. His words must have struck a painful chord, hence the reason why the Governors boys swarmed many a page belonging to their political opponent, where they spent many hours calling them names.

I must say I myself, being the spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress in the UK from 2014-2017, know that the opposition would do nothing less than criticise in order to gain political advantage.

But at the same time, having read the 48 laws of power, which says one should learn how to use enemies, I would not recommend such a stern and wild attack on the person of Mr Showunmi.

Korede Oladipo – who has worked with Ladipipo Adebutu, a renowned member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP pointed out that the letter vocalises what many are grumbling about.

“Now, all this while, people are complaining underground and even some of them in that party or in that government are not pleased with the way it is, but because of it is their government, it will be a shame for them to talk,” Mr Oladipo popularly known in the state as Korede Coded explained to DENISAURUS News.

He said: “the media handlers of the governor are just doing a very bad job for him, because they have opened him to more attacks.

Korede Coded features in our December Long Read / Big Interview. The interview will be published at the end of the month.




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