“Accountability” in Oyo State: A New Word in Alao-Akala’s Lexicon

In a few days, it will be 40 days since Baba Adedibu (may his soul never rest in peace), began rotting in hell. According to Yoruba customs, the 40th day of one’s demise is a celebratory one, if the departed was aged and spent his/her life productively. Baba Adedibu, by all accounts, was aged and spent his life “productively”. And so, on that day, Molete, in Ibadan, and its environs, will be agog with pomp, jollifications and probably pageantry, as few well-wishers, but hordes of past hangers-on, stampede to out-do each other in savoring the day. Amala, the staple food of us, Ibadan people, and the cornerstone of Adedibu’s politics, will be in abundance. All you have to do is show up at Molete, and you will be served a sumptuous brunch.

Our host-in-thief (sorry, Host-in-Chief) for the day, will be no less a person than the execu-thief, (sorry again, Executive), governor of Oyo State, Chief Alao-Akala himself. The governor was out of the country when his benefactor, his god, his omniscient, his omnipresent and his omnipotent, kicked the bucket. And according to Muslim rites, Adedibu had to be buried within 24 hours. Alao-Akala was unable to publicly match president Obasanjo’s two gallons of tears shed at his funeral. By the time he returned to the country, the ants and termites had begun to have a field day with the man who was single-handedly responsible for the truncation of the development of the so-called Pace-Setter state.

My wife had asked on Adedibu’s death: “So, Adedibu is mortal after all?” Totally apolitical as she was, it seemed to me that she actually thought Adedibu would live for ever; and that Adedibu along with his hangers-on, especially those who directly benefited from his political shenanigans, also thought he would never die. Even when it seemed pretty clear that the end was near; when hitherto routine medical check-ups became medical emergencies, Adedibu and his lackeys (Alao-Akala included) basked in the delusion of omnipresence, spending money to keep Adedibu breathing. In the end, he gave up the ghost in the nondescript premises of the Immigration Services at Agodi, Ibadan, as he sought to re-new his passport in order to travel to the UK for better treatment.

How incongruous! Adedibu wanted to travel to the UK for better treatment? What about the University College Hospital (UCH) located literally a stone’s throw from the Immigrations offices at which he breathed his last? What about the Adeoyo Hospital; the Oluyoro Hospital; and a host of other hospitals in Oyo State? Why could he not go to any of those hospitals and receive a first-class treatment from first-class doctors? Baba Adedibu, in his quest for political power and relevance, had sacrificed his life at the altar of greed and political hooliganism; sold his birth right (and almost sold the birth rights of the rest of Oyo State people) for a seat at the Amala table. Hospitals in Oyo state, under governor Alao-Akala – the quintessential Adedibu “boy” – do not treat the ill. They can not treat the ill. They nurse the dying and accelerate the dying process. There are hospitals in Oyo State…heck… there are hospitals in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, the former capital of the old Western Region, that have bamboo poles and tarpaulin for bed, here and now in 2008! There are hospitals in Ibadan…forget about Lanlate, Kisi, Igbowo, and Igbo-Ora – small towns and villages…with lice-infested beds, unsanitary toilets, empty pharmacies, absent doctors and ill-trained nurses.

There are schools in Ibadan…heck…let’s talk about the used-to-be-famous Government College, Ibadan (GCI) at Apata…there are schools in Ibadan that do not have windows in their classrooms; that do not have chairs and desks in their classrooms; for which teachers have to buy school supplies like chalk and dusters with their own money; that students and teachers (male and female) use the tree-line and bushes for toilet. There are schools in Ibadan, secondary schools, where the students’ ideas of a science laboratory or library are figments of their imaginations. For Chrissakes, there are schools in Ibadan that do not have assigned teachers!

And so it is, that in the “Pace-Setter” state that boasts of a moribund Water Corporation, a dead Ministry of Works, a skeletal-services Ministry of Agriculture and a corrupt Ministry of Land and Housing, the governor is indicted by the EFCC for corruption. How, in God’s name, could a do-nothing governor embezzle (or is it misappropriate?) so much money that the EFCC could not even wait for him to be out of office before indicting him? If the EFCC could be so brazen and specific about Alao-Akala’s crimes while he still occupies Government House, Agodi, what would it do once he no longer enjoys immunity? Alao-Akala’s current indictment (“current” because more are bound to come), for stealing, covers only the period between January and December 2006, when he became governor by surreptitiously sticking a sword (not a knife) in the back of Rashid Ladoja, leading to the infamous kangaroo impeachment. This indictment, dated February 26, 2007, is just now made public, nearly a year and a half after it was finalized – an indication to ever-suspicious people like me that the EFCC was kept at bay by the “grace” of Baba Adedibu. I am convinced that when Alao-Akala’s current tenure is scrutinized, the EFCC will find a miscellany of corruption crimes that will make former governors Fayose and Alamieyeseigha look like saints. While Adedibu walked the face of this earth and Alao-Akala received the backing of Baba Obasanjo, no one dared touch the governor. Now that Adedibu is forever gone and Obasanjo’s influence is waning (even his own daughter was arrested by the EFCC), Alao-Akala’s fish is beginning to swim in shallow waters.

Specifically, the EFCC concluded:

1. That a contract for the supply of text books to Oyo State Government was awarded to Macmillan Publishers Limited for the sum of N630,614,750 and that the company had already been paid N586,470, 647.50 while a balance of N61,000,000 was still outstanding.

2. That the contract was highly inflated as investigation revealed that Macmillan Publishers Limited spent only the sum of N98,356,574.76 to execute the contract.

3. That Macmillan inflated the contract to the tune of N488,114,073.50 and had already refunded the sum of N10,000,000 to the Oyo State Government.

4. That a contract for the supply of text books to Oyo State was awarded to Evans Brothers Publishers for the sum of N630,000,000 and that N504,292,602 had already been paid.

5. That Evans Brothers Publishers expended the sum of N108,141,026 to execute the entire contract.

6. That Evans Brothers Publishers inflated the contract by the sum of N396,151,185 and had already refunded the sum of N12,000,000

7. That a contract to supply the Oyo State Government with text books was awarded to Longman Nigeria Plc for the sum of N39,724,300 and the sum of N29,000,000 was paid.

8. That Alao-Akala released the total sum of N190,000,000 to 19 lawmakers of the State House of Assembly for Constituency Projects though the Government checks were issued in their individual names.

9. That a contract for the computerization of personnel payroll and identity cards production for the Government of Oyo State was awarded to Mega Connections Limited for the sum of N182,700,000 and the company had been paid N143,903,812.50

The report also stated that “a comprehensive report on Mega Connections, another company allegedly used by the Akala government to inflate contracts” was in progress as at the time of the report.

When Alao-Akala first came to town as governor in 2006 and started to award the book contracts, I spoke with a Special Adviser and a Commissioner in his administration and registered my dismay at the fact that the governor’s pictures appeared on some of the books as if they came from his personal funds. Little did I know that those hitherto reputable publishing homes – Macmillan, Longman and Evans Brothers – had descended into the lowest abyss of the quid pro quo type of corruption. Kickback, the oldest form of corruption, where the contractor hyper-inflates the contract and shares the booty with the civil servant, was in full play. In order to secure Adedibu’s blessing to run as governor during the last elections, Alao-Akala’s roguery went into over-drive as he donated a brand new car to each of the 18 lawmakers that helped impeach Ladoja so that he could become governor in 2006. The funds for the cars were channeled through Adedibu to make it appear like Adedibu donated the cars. Adedibu, we all remember, was the first to tell anyone listening that he had no farm, neither did he have any factory; his income came from politicians. Apart from giving Adedibu millions in stipends, Alao-Akala also (in 2006) donated cars to select traditional rulers, the Alaafin of Oyo being one of them. In fact, the Alaafin first rejected the car given to him for the puerile reason that it did not befit his position as Alaafin. He also did not think he should have been given a car of the same make and model as those given to lesser traditional rulers. And here we are in 2008, the Alaafin is yet one of the traditional rulers to whom the Alao-Akala government gave brand new cars while thousands of his subjects struggle to eke out a decent living. It is a shame that a Grade “A” traditional ruler like the Alaafin will display such protean principles and mortgage the future of his subjects with the largesse corruptly acquired by a governor without an iota of expiated guilt. Governors come and governors go. The Alaafin should know better. In Oyo town, there are thousands of his subjects who disagree with Alao-Akala’s government. No traditional ruler should be seen as taking sides with any politician as blatantly as the Alaafin does.

To the discerning minds, what Alao-Akala is doing is steal enough money with which he can create his own niche, establish his own connections and power base, and buy up everybody who is for sale in Oyo State in order to facilitate his re-election in 2011 since Adedibu is no longer able to rule Oyo State by proxy. He may have scant formal education, but a fool he is not. He knows that all his adversaries now smell blood since Adedibu is gone and they will go for the jugular. And, in fact, they have started to sharpen their knives in readiness for the kill. Senator Ajimobi, one of those that lost last election to Alao-Akala, is upping the ante and bombarding the print and electronic media with anti-Alao-Akala rhetoric. Ladoja, Alao-Akala’s sworn enemy, has now gotten more intrepid than ever, demanding a seat at the table of governance – something that he could never have dared when Adedibu owned Alao-Akala and Oyo State. Traditional rulers – those that Adedibu used to tell to go to hell – now blackmail Alao-Akala to the hilt. Everywhere in Oyo State now, so-called Elders fora are springing up, each with a demand of how Alao-Akala should govern the state. Even dead-wood politicians like Richard Akinjide, former attorney-general during Shehu Shagari’s maladministration has something to say too! The man had nothing to say to Adedibu when the “garrison commander” was with us. In a nutshell, the house that Adedibu built with the spittle may very well be brought down by ordinary dew. Welcome to the word “accountability”, governor Alao-Akala. This promises to be a long tenure after all.

Written by
Abiodun Ladepo
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4 comments
  • Up akala, akala will win in 2011 if anybody likes it or not. His projects are not in intentions but action. That is why people call him the action governor.

    On alaafin, he is a father of all, so there is no way he will not step on some taes in other to nmake things riht. Kaaaaabiesio. Long live the king.

    Akala ni joooooooo

  • What is it that AKALA has done wrong, this man ha performed in two years what other old slow and dirty Gorvernors failed in four years.

    if you say he is stealing money, why dont you bring the proofs and let the government deal with the situation, A christian Akala, sponsored twice the formal populations to MECCA the holy land while the LAMIDIS and RASHIDIS said they were keeping the money for intended projects.

    was it not the same Ibadan people that jailed a fellow ibadan man while an Ogbomoshp Akala came to release Him?, in terms of Education, Akalas achievements by far outways his predecessor’s. it is trhe first time in oyo state after Awolowo that all secondary school pupils recieved scorlarship for SSCE. what of the mighty projects in OYO, IBADANnot to talk of OGBOMOSHO. i think ibadan folks have forgoten that oyo state belongs to oyo people i.e. OYO<,OGBOMOSHO,OKEOGUN AND IBADAN. am always surprised when i hear some people say they are ibadan elders, they forget that IBADAN is a no man land. an Oyo man can become the Olubadan but the revers is not posible in oyo town and other towns, so i see the so-called elders as people that are yet to know the implications of thier actions.

    Meanwhile, Unbehalve of the ENTIRE YORUBA RACE, i demand an appology from mr Abiodun Ladepo for his unrully touch on the traditional endeavours.

    You or anybody is not qualified to talk of a HIGHLY RATED YORUBA KING the way you did, Do you even know the meaning of KAABIESI? only God can jurge them. i am realy disapointed in you, i actually tought you are a respectable writer but you just made a fool of yourself because even LAM ADESINA knew how he went to beg the ALAAFIN in his palace, Akala will also tell you what he dfaeced on the CAR saga., however, even if AKALA distributes aeroplanes, is dont think it is too much for your traditional Fathers, Akala is a thoughtfull Governor who knows the right thing to do to the rioght people at the right time. I BEG you, dont you ever include the Kings in your writeups in a derogatery manners again.

    AKALA NEEDS our prayers and suport to diliver in the first term, if he performs and everybody can see his performance, what stops him him for going for second term, ‘one good turn, they say deserves another’

    nobody should be biased in any thing…. please dont mind my unparagraphed article, i just had to intervein in a rush.

  • I do not have much to say but I know that Oyo State problem has grown beyond ordinary situation. The man you replied to was telling the truth but because he is from Ibadan you made him to be economical. If you go to lagos you will know the difference between a capital and the other cities. If Ibadan contains 60% of oyo state population then Ibadan merits a good share in oyo budget.

    I am from Oyo State. I am very sad that every part of the state now were of the opinion that Ibadan is already developed and that places like ogbomoso and oke-ogun should also have infrastructures and develop so that Ibadan will not again be synonymous to oyo state. Ibadan was the only capital of the old western region that has failed in it bid to become a state offcourse because of the attitudes of the few selfish thieves and other enemies from other towns and cities.

    I have read your comments so I do not want to mention names but ohun tobaje ti baje nan, we can only look for solutions.

    I suggest that the only solution is prayers to God. Another is that Ibadan state should be created immediately so that people from other parts order than Ibadan will also fill important and have assess to billions like Akala(to develop their towns politcally).

    The truth is that Ibadan ti pe lori imin eesi keesin si ti ba ni be. The Olubadan is an office of respect and should never be dragged into messy politics as you have done in your write-up.

  • I agree that Akala is a thief but you were sometimes economical in telling the whole truth. I read the Alaafin open letter wherein he rejected the car gifts. He stated that it was improper for Governor to be distributing cars to monarchs without inauguration the State Traditional Council. Though I agree that the cars were procurred from N1bn loot that Akala stole during Ladoja impeachment. You did not elaborate about the select monarch that benefited from the car gifts that Alaafin rejected at that time. It is naked truth that the now lousy Olubadan was the number beneficiary of the loot. At that time, he did not criticise Akala. He and Soun accepted the gifts but you did not elaborate this because of your bais against non-Ibadan in your write ups. Personally, I do not think it is bad to buy cars for Obas. These were the traditional rulers that Ladoja maltreated and refused to pay salaries. Most traditional rulers (except Alaafin, Olubadan, Soun and few others) could sustain themselves during Ladoja’ s reign. We the people of Oyo State see your write up as attempt to ridicule non-Ibadan especially the highly reverred Alaafin insitution. When I read the Punch News that Ibadan elders are more interested in the recently N27bn that Akala looted but advised the public to ignore the N1bn loot that he stole during Ladoja impeachement, I laughed. I noticed that these so called Ibadan cowards/hypocrites always cried because they could mot impose their whims and caprices on the Governor. Oba Odulana should tell the whole world where he kept the Saloon 607 Cars that he and Soun received from Akala during the 11 months that Akala was impeached. It is not enough for EFCC to indict Akala for N1bn loot, Ibadan elders should allow the agency opportunity to unravel the identities of the Obas that received 607 Saloon Cars that were procured from the loot. Besides, you alleged that Alaafin sided with politicians but you did not mentioned Olubadan and Ibadan elites open support for Ajimobi as their adopted candidate. It was the same Olubadan that purpotedly banned Adedibu from partisan politicis, yet he turned himself Ladoja and Ajimobi boys because he needed them to deal with Alaafin and destroy Yoruba Traditional Insitution. Besides the car gift, this Olubadan was also a beneficiary of the recent N27bn loot. Though he argued that he was not given another car the second time, yet Governor Akala sqaunder part of the loot to renovate Olubadan’s palace preparatory to his coronation. Then these lousy Ibadan elders did not criticise him because he was doing thier bidding. Ordnarily, I do not support Akala for being spendrift but your write up is prejudicial, selective and highly subjective. What is Olubadan and elders council’s business with candiadates screening. they planted seed of discord among Ibadan indigenes. Adedoja was from Ibadan but elders (sponsored by failed politician-Ladoja) became ANPP spokesmen, cursed Akala during election and thereafter but refused to testify for Ajimobi during the hearing of election petition. They pushed Ladoja to declassify councl of Obas into zones, withdrew Alaafin consenting authority. After Ladoja was impeached, he also lost attempt for re-election. They staked thier integrity on Ajimobi and he has also failed. Politics aside, Ajimobi was somebody I respect and I even voted for but for alligning himself with bunch of these Ibadan idiots (enemies of progress), I pray Allah to deliver this gentleman from the bondage of this elite club. Next time you write, please always verify your facts and be objective in your analysis. I am not holding brief for Oba Adeyemi in this matter. One thing is clear though-that Olubadan is oversteppng his boundaries these days. He and Soun went to court to challenge Alaafin’s charimanship, they lost. Both supported Ajimobi and vogorously campaigned against Akala, they lost. Akala offered Alaafin, Olubadan and Soun Car gifts procurred from N1bn loot. Oba Adeyemi rejected the gifts, both Olubadan and Soun did not. Then who is the saint. Oba Odulana is acomplice in Akala’s loot and he nd his Ibadan boys lacked morality to challenege the governor. Let us allow Akala to name the beneficiaries of the loot.