It is the height of crass irresponsibility and rudderless leadership for any serious minded public officer to mount the podium of public discourse to advertise falsehood and distort facts so unashamedly to please the hollow rituals of his master’s ears. Rather than own up to failure and inability to meet certain targets, they go about whispering “sweet-nothings” as the lullabic tinge to send their master to sleep when the nation is suffering from unimaginable infrastructural decay. The fact that Edo and Lagos States did not grant space to Labaran Maku and his co-travelers on that innocuous good governance tour, is not enough grounds for him to be telling Nigerians bogus lies in such an inelegant manner, undeserving of a public officer feasting on tax payers money. Thank God that he got a spontaneous response of disavowal to his bare-faced lies when the audience had to boo him out of his shameless emanations and illogical presentation. With public officers like Maku, it is understandable why President Goodluck Jonathan appears fixated on performance.
It was good that the Edo State government disowned the good governance tour, otherwise, Labaran Maku and his team would have showcased projects that were exclusively sponsored and executed by Edo State government as those of the Federal Government. It would have been convenient for him to declare that all the beautiful road networks in Benin City and Edo State that he rode through and were constructed and transformed by the Comrade Governor, were all owned by Federal Government. We saw that political confusion coming ab initio; hence we distanced the State Government from such a needlessly wasteful adventure to save Edo State taxpayers money. The beauty of democracy in Edo State is that the people are heavily mobilized, conscientised and sensitized to know their civic obligations and rights as citizens of the State to demand accountability and service delivery from those who are duly elected to represent them. It was that consciousness that led to the spontaneous riposte from one Osadolor Ehizogie who saw Labaran Maku’s presentation as a “shameless display of government desperation to rubbish the visible works in Edo State through its propaganda machine”. Nobody can fool an average Edo mind. Never again!
Rather than apologise to Nigerians over Federal Government’s failure to fulfill its promise to the good people of Nigeria and Edo State in particular, Labaran Maku, already known for his verbal diarrhea, is busy embarking on sheer salesmanship with no products to sell. Apart from the re-surfacing of the Ugbowo-Lagos road presently being undertaken by the Federal Government and the newly awarded dualisation of Okene-Benin road, what again can Labaran Maku lay claim to? Unknown to him that the Benin-Warri dualised road had long been executed by the Obasanjo administration, Labaran Maku like a broad day thief, is crediting same to the Jonathan administration. What a pity? Let him go and visit the abandoned Benin-Abraka road and see for himself the dubiety of that project execution and the decay.
Having toured Edo State without any tangible Federal Government infrastructure, Labaran Maku and Mike Onolemhemen, in a feat of smartness tried to showcase Edo State projects at Five-Junction as one being undertaken by the Federal Government. The Amedokhian-Ukoni road in Edo Central, which was flagged off last year by the Works Minister, Mike Onolemhemen is still lying prostrate. I will implore the information Minister to visit Aduwawa road in Benin City and see for himself the rots on that road, bearing in mind that is the entry route into Benin City from the Auchi end.
We expected Labaran Maku to lay his mat and sleep on the Benin-Ore road since according to him; the road is now brand new. Thank God travelers are still passing through that road everyday and they could see for themselves the volume of work that has been done on that road. It is an open secret that roads in Nigeria are in decayed state as a result of long years of neglect by the PDP-led government. No one requires any rocket science to unravel the deceit going on across the country as a consequence of bad performance and leadership atrophy of the PDP-led Federal Government. When the Comrade Governor alluded to the PDP as a Party of rogues, he was almost crucified by the Party’s publicist, but it requires the ingenuity of a rogue to present an outright lie to wear the garb of truth.
We will implore Labaran Maku to go into the corner of his bedroom and ask God for forgiveness over his rabblerousing presentation in the name of being a government megaphone, presenting apocryphal report card and deceiving a nation that is already livid with anger over PDP’s non-performance.
Prince Kassim Afegbua Special Adviser, Media And Public Affairs To The Edo State Governor.