AN OPEN LETTER TO THE EKITI STATE GOVERNOR-ELECT
Permit me to briefly interrupt and take a minute or two from your expectedly packed schedule, as you prepare to take the reign of office as the next Executive Governor of Ekiti State.
In the last couple of weeks, I have watched your Excellency reach out (and still reaching out) to great men and women of Ekiti State extraction, and in varied walks of life, their political leanings or persuasion notwithstanding.
I was particularly enamoured with the picture of you going on all fours in front of your elders, particularly the veritable and iconic Afe Babalola. No, not even winning a governorship election would make you forget who you are or where you are coming from. An Omoluabi is an Omoluabi any day.” Omo ti abire ko le gbagbe orisun re” (a well-brought child will never forget his source). Deeply grateful for the pride you made me feel upon seeing that particular photograph.
I have seen you offer the olive branch to leaders, men and women of opposing parties, including those who fiercely contested the election with you directly. To you, there was no victor, no vanquished. Wish our political gladiators in Nigeria will take a cue from this.
I have seen your Excellency leave the comfort of your home and surroundings to go meet these men and women at their own stations, in their own comfortable environments. How truly humble and unassuming!
I have seen your Excellency come down from your new elevated height, to the humble levels of the common Ekiti man and woman to show and express your appreciation to these people for giving you the opportunity to lead them. To you, every Ekiti man is important and has a role to play somehow, irrespective of their station in life.
These things are not usual in our polity, your Excellency.
Governance is never easy (sadly, many in your shoes pretend it is) and, like the proverbial saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”, his Excellency is duly, even before being sworn in, letting all and sundry know that he alone doesn’t know it all, that he
alone doesn’t have the answers and, therefore, would need the contribution of the entire village to build a better Ekiti.
Your Excellency has recognized the enormity of the task before you and wisely seen that, to succeed in this onerous task, one would need the brains, the knowledge and the experiences of those that came before you – sort of, we’re all in this together; for Ekitiland to grow and become the Ekitiland of our dreams, we need every hand on deck.
That, in any language, is the definition of humility and generosity in leadership and, because of its uniqueness in our political space where winner usually (but utterly wrongfully) takes all, I find that deeply heart-warming, highly commendable and definitely worthy of emulation by others.
Ekiti people are blessed to have you for the next four years, at least, and the next eight – by God’s grace.
Your disposition further builds in people like me, the hope and the confidence that, somehow and in the not-too-far future, this country of ours will achieve its potential as a great and wonderful country. We only need to have more BAOs everywhere throw their hats into the ring of governance.
Your Excellency, I am certainly not given to praise-singing anybody, but it will be remiss of me not to acknowledge that you are truly a breath of fresh air in this tainted political space of ours.
I dare say this also, that because you’re the very first of the hundreds of thousands of the products that our alma mater has produced in its exactly 40 years of existence to become a governor anywhere in the country, I am pretty certain that every graduate of Ondo State University, Ado Ekiti/University of Ado Ekiti/Ekiti State University (OSUAites/UNADs/EKSUites) everywhere will be watching you with pride and expectant of the legacy you have obviously set out to build in governance. Current students of our alma mater will certainly be looking up to you for the height you’ve reached and taking a cue or two from your slowly evolving enviable leadership disposition.
We sure are proud to call you one of our own.
Ebimomi, an Economist and CEO of FDIB Ltd, a foreign investment consulting firm, writes from Abuja