Article from benue.info
By Ayodele Adio
The alarming rate at which elected officials are outsourcing their statutory responsibility to God is fast reaching a frightening crescendo. In Benue state, what seemed like a revival or crusade was held to lift up the burdens and economic hardship of the land to God with expectations of the miraculous. This occasion had in attendance the Governor and his entire cabinet, a former governor of the state and now senator (George Akume) and a former chairman board of trustees of the people’s Democratic Party and also senator (Barnabas Gemade) amongst other high profile individuals. The sight of these statesmen, technocrats and politicians helplessly throwing their hands in the air and shedding crocodile tears, believed to arouse public sympathy ended up having a soporific effect on some of us.
To think that these individuals have decades of experience in governance, top notch training and enviable global exposure but will result to such shocking display of powerlessness means they are either cold-hearted or are intellectually bankrupt. It is worthy to note, that anytime an elected leader employs the usual narrative, “God will help us” or suggests that we lift our eyes to the heavens be sure that a colossal mistake had be made in electing them and the society will feel the pangs in their bellies.
Since politicians are quick to depend on religious mysteries to solve economic and socio-political setbacks, it would only be right that i expose their feet of clay. There was a certain Joseph in the bible, who rose from the prison to become prime minister in Egypt and midwife them through a period of economic turbulence. Not once did Joseph call for a national day of prayer to save Egypt from Famine, he had already instituted clever policies, that emphasised savings in times of surplus, and certain austerities in times of famine. There was food in Egypt throughout the seven years of famine because a 30 year old prime minister was visionary, strategic and had an impeccable management skill.
After the genocide had ended in 1994, over a million Rwandans had lost their lives. There economy was a total mess, life expectancy was a sorry state and children were dying at an alarming rate. Paul Kagame became president and the rest is history. Rwanda grew their GDP at an average of 8% for over a decade, life expectancy doubled and the rate of children dying under the age of 5 was reduced from 230 per 1000 to less than 55 per thousand. Avigdor Liberman, a former foreign secretary of Israel made the following proclamations “No one believed, neither in Rwanda nor outside it that this small, divided Central African country would recover and rise from the ruins”. If Mr Paul Kagame could do it, why can’t Governor Ortom (pictured)? Or may be Kagame is favoured of God and Ortom isn’t and hence the need to seek the face of the Almighty.
For Goodness sake, Benue state is supposed to be the food basket of the nation, blessed with a magnificent soil and hardworking farmers, to leave those people to faith will be nothing short of irresponsibility by the executive. This carefully managed theatrics by clever politicians, using religion to manipulate the masses have proven a master stroke each time it is deployed but someday the wind will blow so hard and the buttocks of the proverbial hen will been seen in the open. When that time comes, the oppressor will then become the very victim of a social structure turned volcanic.
Rather than gaze into the cloud in search for what will never appear, the governor of Benue is better off rolling up his sleeves and harnessing the tremendous potential of this gifted state. It is ok if the governor does not have all of the capabilities to galvanize his state forward, no one does, but what smart leaders do is to get the best brains together in a small room, hand them a bold and compelling vision and task them to create a road map and not waste their time in a crusade.
“God cannot be mocked, whatever a man sows that he shall also reap”.