The general notion in developed societies of the world is that Government should be a centre-piece of a thorough think-tank, turning out classical, time tested, value added and far reaching products/services /policies for the total good of the citizenry.
But where it becomes insensitive, lacklustre, pedestrian and not far-reaching in its approaches and methodologies in meeting public expectations, such Government becomes a subject of ridicule and is at the receiving end of public outbursts.
Such is the situation with Ogun State Government on Tuesday, 6th October, 2020 when it overreached itself in motivating the ultimate winner of BBN 2020, Olamilekan Agbelesebioba (alias Laycon) with mouth-watering gifts of a 3-Bedroom Bungalow, cash of N5 Million and, capping it with an Ambassadorial status of Ogun State Youths; for what it called a sterling example of emulation of character and conduct throughout the duration of the stated programme.
The discussants saw the Ogun state government gesture as lacking in merit, sensitivity, focus and thus, a misplaced priority. The Penpushing Online discussants thus came up with the following:
*That arising generally from various stakeholders’ contributions on the subject, ‘gifting and elevating’ an already-made star in cash, house and ambassadorial role by the State Government, in the face of extreme needs across key sectors begging for attention, is not only condemnable as a misplaced priority, but an insensitive and irresponsible act by the Government.
* That the implications of the largesse are far reaching on the psyche of the youth; partly, as it would be seen as an endorsement of a what has been described as anti moral; as well as emboldens and distracts the youths who are already lost in what constitutes easy way to riches and fame, not to believe in intellectual endeavours (like education) to succeed in life.
* That Government should not be seen as encouraging/glamourising immorality in any form particularly as it relates to wider condemnation of the BBN programme to the neglect of various serious minded people who as a matter of social growth needed government supports for research work and other valuable projects.
* That this approach to governance could precipitate legal actions from well meaning members of the State, requesting for legislative authority to check such insensitive and unproductive disbursement of tax payers’ funds and resources of the State.
*That the alternative options of motivation for government should have included: constituting an annual event to celebrate, motivate and reward excellence across board including sports, education, entertainment, socials, etc to enable the young ones have something positive, intellectual and morally elevating to look up to.
*That as a fallout of the public outcry on this gesture, Ogun State Government should always endeavour to gauge public opinion and reflect the feedbacks in policy direction and delivery of democratic dividends beyond cosmetic actions and tokenism as a deliberate policy to entrench enduring legacy.
*That the state government should as a matter of urgency declare a state of emergency in the Education sector in the state to reposition it and attend to the needs and level of dilapidation in schools across the state
*That the state government should quickly attend to the bursaries of Ogun students and celebrate those of them who are making the state proud in their academics and other fields of endeavour
* That the state government should leave frivolities, tokenism and showmanship aside to attend to the plight of pensioners who earn as low as N5,000 monthly and those who have not received their gratuities till date having retired from service for years
* That the state government should set up a robust Youth engagement forum or Youth Summit, to aggregate measures to achieve Omoluabi Youth development instead of choosing for the Youths what it thinks is best for the Youth through selective, ill- conceived and uncoordinated political showmanship.
It is the general opinion of the Penpushing’s stakeholders that the recent motivation gesture of Ogun State Government towards the winner of 2020 Edition of BBN, Laycon in form of mouth-watering gifts (Cash and House) as well as Ambassadorial status, is a misplaced priority, insensitive, over reaching and disincentive to the aspirations of the majority of the citizens. Rather, an enduring and equitable system of rewards should be instituted by Government across boards.