When Governors Look To Heaven For Economic Salvation
The alarming rate at which elected officials are outsourcing their statutory responsibilities to God is fast reaching a frightening crescendo. In Benue State, what seemed like a revival or crusade was held to lift up the burdens and economic hardship of the land to God with expectations of the miraculous.
This piece was written by Ayodele Adio. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.
The occasion had in attendance the governor and his entire cabinet, a former governor of the state and now senator (George Akume) and a former chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party and also senator (Barnabas Gemade) amongst other high profile individuals. The sight of these statesmen, technocrats and politicians helplessly throwing their hands in the air and shedding crocodile tears, in the effort to arouse public sympathy ended up provoking indignation in many of us.
To think that these individuals have decades of experience in governance, top notch trainings and enviable global exposure but would resort to such shocking display of powerlessness means they are either cold hearted or are intellectually bankrupt. It is worthy to note that anytime an elected leader says, “God will help us” or suggests that we lift our eyes to the heavens, be sure that a colossal mistake has been made in electing such a person and the society will regret this deeply.
Since politicians are quick to depend on religious mysteries to confound economic and socio-political setbacks, it would only be right that we expose their feet of clay. There was a certain Joseph in the bible, who rose from the prison to become prime minister in Egypt and midwife the country through a period of economic turbulence.
Not once did Joseph call for a national day of prayer to save Egypt from famine, he had already instituted clever policies, that emphasised savings in times of surplus, and certain austerities in times of famine. There was food in Egypt throughout the seven years of famine because a 30 year old prime minister was visionary, strategic and had an impeccable management skills.
After the genocide had ended in 1994, over a million Rwandans had lost their lives. The country’s economy was in a total mess, life expectancy short, and children were dying at an alarming rate. Paul Kagame became president and the rest is history.
Rwanda grew its GDP at an average of eight percent for over a decade, life expectancy doubled and the rate of children dying under the age of five was reduced from 230 per 1000 to less than 55 per thousand. Avigdor Liberman, a former foreign secretary of Israel made the following proclamation, “No one believed, neither in Rwanda nor outside it that this small, divided Central African country would recover and rise from the ruins”. If Mr. Kagame could do it, why can’t Governor Ortom? Or maybe Kagame is favoured of God and Ortom isn’t and hence the need to seek the face of the Almighty more ardently?
For Goodness sake, Benue State is supposed to be the food basket of the nation, blessed with magnificent soil and hardworking farmers; hence to leave the people only to faith would be nothing short of irresponsibility on the part of the executive. That carefully managed theatrics of clever politicians, using religion to manipulate the masses has proven a master stroke each time it is deployed but someday the wind will blow so hard and the buttocks of the proverbial hen will been seen in the open. When that time comes, the oppressor will then become the very victim of a social structure turned volcanic.
Rather than gaze into the cloud in search for what will never appear, the governor of Benue is better off rolling up his sleeves and harnessing the tremendous potentials of his gifted State. It is okay if the governor does not have all of the capabilities to galvanise his state forward, no one does, but what smart leaders do is to get the best brains together in a room, hand them a bold and compelling vision and task them to create a road map and not waste their time in a crusade.
“God cannot be mocked, whatever a man sows that he shall also reap”.
Ayodele Adio writes from Abuja.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.