- AKEREDOLU AND NURTW; INSENSITIVITY AT ITS PEAK –Wande T. Ajayi.
By Wande T Ajayi
Thanks to the prayers of the faithful, July 20 has come and gone and Ondo State is still peaceful. Left to the Executive Governor of our dear State, the fallout would have been deadly and massively destructive. Dabbling into the internal politics of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) is synonymous to fomenting unwholesome trouble. He not only did that, he bankrolled the glorified reward for brigandry and thuggery. Sadly, a massive #20,000,000 of taxpayers money was expended by the Governor. At a time when civil servants are yet to be paid!
But that ain’t my qualm with the whole quagmire. The insensitivity of the Governor to the yearnings of the State citizenry and his stark disregard for convention is what is really baffling. News started filtering in that young lads who wrote the 2017 West Africa Examination Council(WAEC) examination have had their results withheld by the Council on account of the refusal of the State Government to pay for their fees. This is highly insensitive. A government that has refused to invest in education is only planting a landmine in the state. Most of these students would likely miss out on this year’s admission process due to the new policy of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) not to allow awaiting results in the processing of admission. And yet our Governor can waste money on a frivolous event organised by a section of the mass who tormented our peace for a very long time until it was incapacitated by the immediate past administration.
Our bearded Governor should have taken a leaf from his predecessor who nipped the excesses of NURTW in the bud immediately he was sworn in and vehemently refused to patronize them. This, to a large extent, is responsible for the peace recorded in the state in the past 8 and a half years. The once volatile union had to dance to the tune of Dr. Segun Mimiko. They even had their election at the Dome! Unlike when people declared a curfew for themselves in previous years when a date is announced for such poll. The Governor patronising them again is going to take them out of their shells. And one wonders why the Governor had to come all that out for NURTW. But then we remembered, they were the ones used to ‘take over’ APC’s Secretariat during the primary days. The governor is rewarding thuggery when he should have invested in more productive ventures.
There is a growing disconnect between the youths and this government. This is largely owed to the fact that the Governor is ‘indisposed’ to it. It is learnt the governor said cause the youths and students didn’t work for him during the last election, he will not ‘give them face’. Ain’t that a pathetic excuse? Past governments in this state dealt with the youth and students with utmost care. Why is not far fetched! A large percentage of the society consists of this age group; Students and youths. Now, the Governor is ‘indisposed’ to them. He has refused to ‘oil’ a section that can foist untold trouble in the nearest future. Highly insensitive!
Yes, there is no denying the fact that the two umbrella body of students in the state have their own bad eggs. But do you throw away the bathwater with the child? One wonders why a former student unionist is not dealing with his constituency. In actual fact, the student and youth movement is the best way to develop future leaders who will take over. Why is the governor now refusing to develop future leaders but paying to develop future thugs? Preposterous! To what end? The relative peace on our campuses mustn’t be taken for granted else the aftermath will be untold.
Those who talk to Arakunrin Rotimi Odunayo Akeredolu should tell him the solemn truth. He will come begging and it might have been too late.
Thanks and God bless.
Ajayi is a social commentator and an ex-student unionist. He writes from Akure.