Daily Times Online

Opinion

Agagu and the development of Ondo State (II)

Bamidele Adeladun

Long before his election, Agagu has shown his preparedness by publishing his manifesto, which focused on his mission in government. He therefore conducted his campaign in the most civilised manner addressing issues and devoid of abuses. In spite of the persistent abuse dished out in personality interviews, paid advertisements, political broadcasts and jingles on both the state owned radio and television, Agagu refused to reciprocate evil for evil knowing that the electorate was watching. This paid off bountifully in the landslide victory on the April 19 polls.

It was therefore true to tradition that soon after the declaration of election results specifically on 31st April, Governor elect Agagu set up two committees viz a transition committee to collaborate with that set up by the then outgoing state government for smooth transfer of power, a project planning and implementation committee headed by the Deputy Governor elect. The transition committee, headed by Olu Agbi, a former Secretary to the State Government and Coordinator of the Agagu 2003 campaign organisation, was made up of ex-commissioners and seasoned politicians who are capable of discerning any tricky situation. It is no wonder that the transition was smooth and cordial.

As early as 15th May, 2003, Governor Agagu inaugurated the Policy Planning and Implementation Committee of not less than 200 leading citizens of the state drawn from the political class, the professions, the business community, the traditional community and the academic across party, gender and political class.

The PPIC was broken into as many as 11 subcommittees of experts each with responsibility to examine and evolve proposals including a roadmap for execution by the incoming administration. The subcommittees which include one on Poverty Alleviation, Women and Youth Employment and another on the Polity, Chieftaincy, Mobilisation and Security among others are charged with the responsibility of drawing up road maps of calenderised programme for the administration to implement.

Whereas in these days of greed, it would have been far fetched to bring this extraordinarily elitist group together to work for the state free of charge, it became clear from the governorís inaugural speech that he is taking the matter of governance very seriously, certainly far beyond the greedy and corrupt disposition for which government has been known up until the recent past!

The Governor in his heart-warming, well written and well delivered speech promised that his administration will be modest in profile, focused in vision, efficient in delivery (timely execution of projects at the lowest cost possible) and transparent in conduct. These four-point cardinal convenants with the electorate of Ondo State are novel, original and far-reaching.

Governor Agagu has transparently appointed his SSG, and has ensured the emergence of a speaker without a godfather or sponsor for the House of Assembly, and has ensured the due clearance of his nominees for the post of Commissioners unhindered and after due process. The commissioners were nominated on Friday 30th May, 2003, screened on Monday June 2nd and sworn in on Wednesday 4th June, 2003.

The swearing in ceremony of the commissioners and the SSG gave the governor an opportunity to spell out his vision once more, so as to leave the Commissioners in no doubt that they will retain their jobs only upon good performance and positive public assessment.

He in fact asked them to be prepared to give periodic account of their stewardship to the PPIC. Governor Agaguís innovative style is being revealed silently and gradually.

Concluded.

ēAdeladun wrote in from Ondo.