Our Dear Edward Onoja And The Capacity Question

Democracy and representation aver that, in a democracy, government serves as a representative because it is elected by the people. However, it is important to take into consideration the capacity of those that occupy public office which is a reflection of state capacity in itself.

Incidents that have happened in the last months pose the question; Do Mr. Edward Onoja, the Kogi State Chief of Staff and his cronies have the required capacity to lead Kogi state?

First let us start with salaries, Mr. Onoja by May 2017, on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programme on Channels Television, boasted that Kogi state owes workers 12 months’ salary. In his exact words “We are owing Kogi workers 12 months’ salaries, not 15 months”

More worrisome is that Onoja, the Governor hit man sees nothing wrong with the state owing workers 12 months’ salaries.

We are yet to understand why Onoja will deliver such a derogatory message on behalf of the Governor to Kogi workers who are undergoing trauma and pains arising from hardship created by the government they elected into office.

Onoja on his Facebook timeline makes no pretense that Bello government is the best in the world. Let’s ask Onoja, how many models of governance has he studied before arriving at a conclusion that a government with leprosy hand is the best in the world.

I am not angry with him on that, I understand, having studied geology and mining, he speaks from very limited knowledge on the issue of governance, democracy and democratization. Although his ignorance is pardonable, he has demonstrated an apparent lack of capacity in his ability to identify what governance means.

In case Onoja has forgotten, there is no more education in Kogi state; all tertiary institutions are better described as an unused museum. Unfortunately, Onoja’s sense of logic is that those who ask them to do the right thing are the ones frustrating Bello administration.

The energy Onoja and his team are putting to recall Mr. Dino Melaye, a Senator from Kogi state, further confirms their disillusion about what oath of office means. Onoja ought to know, Bello is the governor; therefore he must accept responsibility, take control and lead. That is what democratic accountability demands.

Onoja has severally accused the opposition party of manipulating the tertiary institutions strike with the aim of gaining political advantage and ascending to power on the wings of the crisis in the education sector. What an intelligent Chief of Staff and Commissioner for information we have.

Onoja’s lack of capacity became more apparent in his approach of describing non-performance in Kogi state as allegations of mere perception, not reality. If Onoja had done his job as he ought to, he would have built the capacity of the governor to know the implication of none performance in a liberal democracy like ours.

Does Onoja know Kogi state at the moment is the worst performing state in Nigeria? Does he also know that those who ought to occupy leadership position are people with the required capacity who can update ideas, subject existing knowledge to the test of reality? Does Onoja know that they are holding Kogi State back? One of these days, we shall start classes for them on democracy and democratic accountability.

It is more damning that this lack of capacity is coming from a man the governor sees as the egg head of his stay in office. Doesn’t Onoja know that Democracy is not about, public officials living large, workers salaries yet to be paid, while bailed out funds cannot be accounted for.

Onoja has repeatedly said; the real enemies of Kogi state are those who for opportunistic reasons seem to have resolved that they will not allow Governor Bello administration to have a moment of peace. But, Onoja must know, his lack of capacity to do his job which misleads our governor is the real problem and will continue to be the problem.

Audu Liberty Oseni



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