Governor Adeleke and Nepotism-cum-Cronyism Questions , By Jimoh Olorede

Last week, the much-awaited list of Osun cabinet members was unveiled by the State government, and since the unveiling, public criticisms and accusations of favouritism, tribalism, nepotism and cronyism have been trailing Governor Adeleke's appointments. 

Based not only on hearsay evidence but also documentary proofs, Governor Ademola Adeleke is too unfairly tribalistic and nepotistic in his appointments. Although this may not amount to violation of law or any section of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria thereof, it however raises some questions on the Governor's moral qualifications and justifications. How on earth would Governor Adeleke explain his moral justifications for allocating about 25 juicy positions (7 permanent Secretaries inclusive) only to Ede, his country home in a state with not less than 30 local government areas, especially where some were not given any political appointment? 

This is a sheer display of nepotism by Adeleke, which is the act of using one's power or influence to get good jobs or unfair advantages for members of one's own family. It's also an immoral subscription to cronyism, which is an unfair practice by a powerful person of giving jobs and other favours to friends. Favouritism, cronyism and nepotism all interfere with fairness because they give undue advantage to someone who does not necessarily merit this treatment, and this is a moral offense that Mr. Governor has committed. 

One of the most basic themes in ethics is fairness. Reacting to this, Aristotle said "Equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally". Is the governor wittingly or unwittingly creating some psychological sense of inequality in the state? The fact that the uppermost prominent position, governor, comes from Ede should suffice. If he had treated equals equally, he would definitely have some justifications. Dissecting Aristotle's assertion, Mr. Governor should know that there's no moral justification for treating equals unequally and unequals equally. If my guess would be good enough based on his unfair treatment, the governor perhaps believes in George Orwell's assertion that "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". So, an animal can eat another unequal animal. Based on this belief, 25 juicy political positions, and still counting, can go to Ede while some other parts of the state have none!

How would the governor morally justify the following juicy political positions and portfolios allocated only to his home town, Ede? 

1. Governor of the State;

2. Chief of Staff;

3. Commissioner for Federal Affairs

4. Commissioner for Works

5. Commissioner for Special Duties; 

6. Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovations;

7. 'Ede in Diaspora' Commissioner for Finance;

8. Commissioner for Rural and Regional Integration Planning;

9. Executive Secretary SUBEB;

10. Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Media;

11. Not less than seven (7) Permanent Secretaries;

12. Newly appointed Osun State Polytechnic Rector;

13. Local Government Service Commission Chairman;

14. 3 other Board Chairman;

15. Senior Special Assistant on Mineral Resources (to be announced); and

16. Others yet unknown.

This is an insult on our collective moral sensibility and unity as a people of Osun State. Apart from the morality questions, this obvious unfairness also queries the meritocracy of the appointments. If I may ask, is governor Adeleke telling us that the best hands in Osun are only of Ede extraction? Similarly, critics bemoan Adeleke for not only appointing his nephew, who is a young graduate, Tunji Adeleke, but also absurdly as a Chairman of a sensitive and experience-requiring Local Government Service Commission Board. 

Just as I was putting this piece together, the news of sack of the Rector of the Osun State Polytechnic (Osoly) Iree, Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo by the governor broke. He didn't stop at this as His Excellency immediately with "Executive Order", unscupulously channelled through the Ministry of Education, appointed Mr. Alabi Adeyemi also from Ede, as acting Rector without recourse to due process.

If we fail to check and rise against unfair 'executive and immoral behaviour' of our politicians in power, especially their politicization of our education system, we would all be doomed to fate and the consequences of our inaction. Even if the Rector has erred as alleged, which I doubt and will confirm because I know Dr. Odetayo very well, the protocol would have been followed and due process upheld by appointing the Deputy Rector, who is meritoriously qualified to succeed Odetayo. So, because he's not from Ede, luck unfortunately forsakes OSPOLY Deputy Rector, Gboyega Oyeleke who, unlike the newly appointed Ede-born Alabi, is a doctoral (Ph.D) degree holder, and this doesn't hold sway to Mr. Governor. 

Furthermore, this kind of immoral executive behaviour of Mr. Governor, giving lucrative portfolios to his relatives and cronies, is corruption-prone. He's the Executive Governor and Commissioner for Works; what's the meritorious and moral justification for appointing himself as a Commissioner? Even if any governor in the past did this, should we also tow that same unwholesome path? With all these appointments only in Ede and more to be made, coming to the governor's office in Osogbo is only a 'ceremonial formality'; the 'real deal' would be done in Ede, which is now obviously an extension of Osun State Government Secretariat. 

*Dr. Olorede writes via [email protected]/08111841887.* 

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