A message to Alhaji Governor Ajimobi whose state capital is under water while he and principal state functionaries are on Hajj in Mecca

August 27, 2011


Alhaji Ajimobi, Oyo State Governor

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Attention of Dr. Adeolu Akande, Chief of Staff

Dr. Festus Adedayo, Media Aide to Alhaji Governor Ajimobi




Quite a few people who have my phone numbers call me or SMS me from time to time to complain about the deteriorating social and infrastructure conditions in Nigeria.  Some call up to “agree” with my positions in various essays OR air gripes about the political situation in Nigeria.  I generally listen but often suggest that they take the time to write such as comments on my blog.  I’ve even had to type out a few and post as responses for older readers of my blog – older than me, that is.

This text message got me out of bed as I tried to enjoy the peace and quiet of this environmental Saturday and I’ve decided to post it as well as information reaching me about the Ibadan major flood that has cut off family members from each other, whole areas from the rest of the city, etcetera.

And to think that as the city of several millions is under nature’s lock-down, the new governor of the state is in far away Mecca – where sizeable proportions of Nigeria’s ruling class always are at Hajj time – the everyone-to and for-himself kind of “governance” in Nigeria is apparent.

Here is the SMS:

“Aunty, good morning, Ma.  E joo, iru ilu wo l’a wa yi gan na? [Please, what kind of country is this?”  All our roads av bn washed away, mr. governor n hs team in mecca! While Jumoke Akinjide ws distributing grains in Abuja, trailer loads of grains were being offloaded in her father’s house in d koro koro [openly for all to see] eyes of all.  Se na like ds we go dey dey. [Is this how things are going to remain?]  No passable roads?

First of all, a young lady who makes her living visiting women in their homes to give pedicures and manicures, coincidentally, lives in Ms. Akinjide’s Ona Ara Local Government constituency had called out to me two months ago that Baba Nla bridge that links her area with the city had been washed away and pleaded: “Mommy, e ba wa ko nkan si paperMommy, please help us write something in the paper”.   As far as she and many are concerned, my Blog is still a “newspaper” like my old newspaper column in The Nation on Sunday!

T., the young lady also called me this morning that she had taken her two children to Bodija yesterday evening when the clouds brought near-darkness by 5.00 p.m.  She’s glad she did because the metal piece – perhaps local government officials – improvised as a bridge has now become useless as of this morning.  Her children are still at Bodija with friends.

Thousands of people in Ibadan are cut off from destinations and/or homes, including a young man on holidays from Britain whose family was worried sick when they did not know his whereabouts by midnight.  He had finally called after escaping to a hotel where he remains as I write this.

Religion is a personal thing, Alhaji,  but the Muslim religion’s injunction that all adherents visit the Holy Land in a lifetime is for ONCE, if affordable, and it makes one wonder why you would take this period of settling in to make what  is not your first trip to Mecca.

It is unconscionable for a state government to shut down due to a religious trip because I understand the House Speaker is also on this Pilgrimage, and as things go in these parts, you must have gone with a retinue of aides, family, friends just as the Speaker must have tagged along his own retinue – ALL AT OYO STATE EXPENSE???

This kind of problem makes me wonder if a state governor and House Speaker should in future NOT belong to different faiths.  At least if this profligacy of wasting scarce resources at state and “federal” levels must continue at the expense of long-suffering Nigerians, principal state officials would not be on pilgrimage while a state is left to its own devices, especially in Nigeria’s interpretation of democratic practice that sees state governors holding the purse strings in almost ALL disbursements.  In the American form of presidential system that Nigeria claims to practise, the President, Vice President as well as the next person in line to the presidency – the House Speaker, are NEVER away from the seat of power at the same time.

This is NOT good governance, Alhaji; this is taking Oyo State residents, millions of whom took your election as a freedom from PDP bondage – for a big empty ride.  When the Greater Hajj comes around in two months, I hope there should not be another need for this to happen.  For your information, Idi-Ishin, Odo Ona, the whole of Nihort, Gbekuba, Joyce-B (Ring Road Area), Apete, etcetera, are in horrendous conditions, many already cut off from other parts of the city.


Saturday, August 27, 2011



Nigerian newspapers and online news sources
  • 234 Next News site
  • Bella Naija Magazine
  • Business Day Newspaper
  • Daily Champion Newspaper
  • Daily Independent Newspaper
  • Daily Trust Newspaper
  • Elendu Reports News site
  • Emotan Blog
  • Huhu online News site
  • jhova blog Blog
  • Leadership News site
  • Linda Ikeji Blog
  • National Daily Newspaper
  • Nigeria Plus News site
  • Nigeria Village Square News site
  • Nigerian Observer News site
  • Osun Defender News site
  • PM News Newspaper
  • Punch Newspaper
  • Sahara Reporters News site
  • Sun Newspaper
  • The Guardian Newspaper
  • This Day Newspaper
  • Tribune Newspaper
  • Vanguard Newspaper

    Emotan 77
    Former publisher of the women's bi-monthly, Emotan (1977-1984) and op-ed ... now publishes her writing here

    Bridging Loans. Get a decision today
    We have access to unlimited funding, assuring competitive levels of capital per deal.

    Abuja food delivery, call +234 803 369 4078, +234 809 833 944
    Afang, edikan ikon, egusi, oha, okro, white soup, jollof rice, yam porriage, moin-moin, white rice & stew ...

    Home interiors inspired by Heritage African fabrics
    Handmade cushions, bedding, apparel and more

    Hand crafted cards by Christiangraffiti
    Inspirational notecards and greetings that touch the spirit and pierce the soul