Good Governance Tour - Oshiomhole Was Right

Edo State governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has a peculiar way of rising to any occasion. He did it again, recently, when he shunned the minister of information, Labaran Maku, who tried to "poke nose" into what was essentially the governor's affair.

Before the revelation by Oshiomhole, the rest of us were told that the so-called "Good Governance Tour" was sponsored and financed by the Federal Ministry of Information. Little did we know that it was, indeed, a public relations job perhaps given to the minister by inept, non-performing governors.

Otherwise, why would a state governor accept to foot the accommodation, entertainment, security and out-of-pocket bills of a federal government official doing some moonlighting? Oshiomhole queried why he should use Edo State's money to finance federal projects. Clearly he was right to object, unlike his Imo State counterpart who saw the tour as a public relations stunt that he needed.

Since that tour, the government of Imo has been using snippets of what members of that team were paid to say as proof of its performance. Does it not arouse the curiosity of a discerning mind that a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government official went to a state controlled by an opposition party and heap encomiums on it for a job supposedly well done? How much was the deal worth?

Early on, we had questioned the constitutionality of the tour which was introduced during the military era. We also pointed out that the federal government and, for that matter, its officials were in no position to play the senior-prefect role over state governments even if they were of the same party. It amounts to meddlesomeness.

Furthermore, we warned that the tour was another evidence of profligacy on the part of government and its officials who, when cash-strapped and on the brink of irrelevance, resort to projects that have nothing to do with either the government or those they govern; they end up serving only the pecuniary interests of the officials concerned. Oshiomhole's reaction to the tour has proved us right: the minister is merely trying o sell the unsalable. The tour is of no relevance to governance at either the federal or state level.

This is a democracy, a system of government in which separation of powers among the tiers of government ought to be clearly defined. The federal government and its officials have no business going to pass uninvited comments on what is going on in a state, and, to add insult to it, ask the state to pay for that interloping meddlesomeness. We salute the courage of Governor Oshiomhole and hope that other governors would see the tour for what it is: a waste of time and resources.



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