” I desire the opportunity for public service so that my virtue of rendering my best to better the society should not grow old and weak through lack of use’
Undoubtedly, We are in a society that appreciates people who are economical with the truth. We often turn on the lights of our minds to casuistry and love to dance to sweet words and homilies even when in a cash 22 situation. We clap for claptrap from political merchants who promise to build a pyramid upside down when voted in, but we resent the frank-to-a-fault person who drives us to understanding our grim realities. One who will be bold enough to tell us that publicity does not come easily, profits do not come easily, knowledge does not come easily, nothing good ever comes easily”.
When a politician climbs the podium and reel out unrealistic expectations and promise by the most dreaded gods that he will make everything free for us, we walk in the air and shout Eureka, the Messiah is here at last.
Admittedly, we are in a society that send a stickler to the truth to Coventry. A political environment in which reactions to policy innovations often range from apathy to outright hostility. Our society is divided into people who command and who show concern. We often mistake one for the other. Is someone who tells us the bitter truth that our ailment is so severe that only harsh medicine will cure not better than he who rally up sentiments above reasoning and encourage us to wait for ethereal solution until we ultimately die of folly? We should start to notice a dissembler in our midst coming in the garb of a liberator to promise heaven and Earth. We should grow a liberating mind and do well by increasing our Public Sensitivity Quotients (PSQ) to accommodate not those who din into our hearing what we want to hear but he that “shock” us with what we should hear. That is settling for an unsettling truth.
The last time Oloye Adelabu Adebayo Adekola came on air to intimate us with his seven point development plan, he was explicit enough on how to put the plan on the ground. He is a man who in the words of Boethius “never builds on false ground and is never in ruins”.
We jumped to high heavens when he promised us free and quality education in both primary and secondary stages of our education. But kicked to hear the harsh reality on LAUTECH. He told us that we need to rethink our higher education funding in line with the global best practice. Some people frowned. He said, through out the globe, there Is no equality of opportunity for higher education. As if this harsh fact was not enough, some people could not credit their hearings when he pushed further that full government funding would be the kiss of death for University education as it will deprive the government the resources to focus on other equally important sector, yet, the cost of Funding Education will not only be too high but will definitely be unsustainable, It may ultimately push the government into bankruptcy. Many people in their comfort zone felt discomfited and shouted “why “? In their own thinking, “knowledge must not come with a price tag”. Adelabu knows better.
As if reading the minds of his listeners that fateful day, Adelabu pronto switched his line of thought to telling us how Universities abroad sustain their funding via enhancing their research base to boosting internal generation of funds and by also widening their scope of attracting significant funds from external sources via Grants from various Trusts and Foundations, Government lotteries, other Charities that assist by offering students maintainable loans that they pay back after graduation, etc. He reminded us how Henry Smith Charity, Foyle Foundation , Gates Foundation, John Lyon Charity, etc have made significant inroads into some universities in UK and thereby lessened their burden of scouting for funds. In those climes, he emphasised, nobody expect government to carry full funding of education on it’s tiny shoulders.
The amazing cap to the story was the inference he drew to the exorbitant fee paid in the private universities which people gleefully pay without any complaints. He is also quick to remind us that it’s time we sought intervention of private organizations to subsidise the school fees as part of their CSR, some people still yelled and yawned at the harsh ethics that reminds the mind of it’s purpose – critical reasoning.
On another forum, Oloye Adelabu Adebayo, the reform moulder, asked us to see good governance as a task for all. He asked rhetorically ” when the going gets tough in our private enterprises, do we persevere and push on or retreat in a fit of tears and give up”? He didn’t expect an answer only reflections. I can easily hatchback to a certain event when Oloye Adelabu Adebayo frankly refused to give money to some social misfits known as Area Boys praising him during a rally. Must we encourage indolence he fumed? But, his plea fell on many people’s deaf ears. In another breadth, one man in the campaign train, dished out crisp naira notes and shared to the urchins. Adelabu did not hide his disappointment, he told the “cheerful giver ” that we should rather teach those disadvantaged lot how to bake and be independent than spoiling them with a daily loaf of bread. Another harsh ethics.
Oloye Adelabu also fired another salvo at a radio interview program where he asserted that if giving power, his government will discourage politics of clientelism, favouritism and prebendalism. He vowed to oil the wheels of the state vehicle by putting only the round pegs in round holes. He also promised to crack all the codes and clog all holes through which money that belongs to the masses are siphoned by some unethical few in privileged government positions. Another bitter pill one may say. Painful though to the beneficiaries of the old order, that’s what we need to move to the desirable next level we are dreaming of.
The kind of candour and straight faced frankness that Oloye Adelabu Adebayo employed in his campaign is no doubt alien to Oyo politics, many people are won’t to discourage him that when seeking for votes you don’t bring out the pig in your poke. To Bayo, truth must be told at all times. This is the harsh ethics that not many people are prepared for. It reminds me of the popular lifeboat Ethics story of Garret Handin in 1974 on how best swimmers should be taken aboard the lifeboat. By God’s grace, this story, as they say, will be a story for another day. For now, let’s us set for “IPELE TOKAN”, THE NEXT LEVEL.