Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, is facing intense criticism over his handling of information management, specifically for not appointing a Commissioner for Information.
This decision has raised eyebrows among media experts, political analysts, and residents of the state, who are questioning his commitment to transparency and effective communication.
Abiodun’s recent move, which mirrors his actions during his first term, has drawn sharp criticism.
While he has filled 20 other positions, the crucial post of Commissioner for Information remains vacant, leaving many perplexed about his motives.
A historical review conducted by PLATFORM TIMES revealed that this is not the first time Abiodun has kept the Information Ministry without a commissioner.
During his first term, he left the office vacant for several months before eventually appointing Waheed Odusile, the former president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, as the Commissioner for Information.
However, even that appointment took 17 long months after Abiodun assumed office.
In stark contrast to his predecessors, who actively engaged with the media and the public, Governor Abiodun’s approach to communication has been notably reserved.
Past governors, including Chief Segun Osoba, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, held regular media chats, during which they interacted with the people of Ogun State in both English and Yoruba, demonstrating a commitment to transparency and accessibility.
Despite not appointing a Commissioner for Information, Abiodun has named a Special Adviser on media and a Chief Press Secretary.
Kayode Akinmade, a former Ondo Commissioner, was appointed as a Special Adviser on media, while Lekan Adeniran assumed the role of Chief Press Secretary.
Adding to concerns, Governor Abiodun has not visited the state’s two government-owned media stations, Ogun State Broadcasting Service and OGTV, since taking office.
Furthermore, he has not participated in live interviews at any of these stations, even five years into his tenure.
In response to these developments, PLATFORM TIMES sought the opinions of media experts, political analysts, and the residents of Ogun State.
The consensus among these groups is that Abiodun’s reluctance to appoint an Information Commissioner and his limited engagement with the media represent a concerning departure from established practices in the state.
This has raised questions about the transparency and openness of his administration.
As the controversy continues to brew, Governor Abiodun is under growing pressure to address these concerns and demonstrate his commitment to effective information management and communication with the people of Ogun State.
… Ogun Public Analyst Criticizes Abiodun For Lack Of Information Commissioner
In a candid assessment of the Ogun State government, Alhaji Ola Animasaun, a prominent public analyst and commentator, has raised concerns over the absence of an Information Commissioner in the administration of Governor Abiodun. Despite persistent allegations of a lack of transparency within the government, the Information Commissioner’s position remains unfilled.
As a respected voice on radio stations across the state, Animasaun responded to questions from PLATFORM TIMES regarding the governor’s consistent decision to keep the Information Commissioner’s seat vacant.
He remarked, “If this is not becoming a tradition under the current administration in Ogun State, it is imperative that an Information Commissioner be appointed promptly.”
He further expressed his disappointment, stating, “Unfortunately, a government accused of lacking transparency should be taking corrective measures in its approach to information dissemination.
He said “, “If it has not become a tradition of the current administration in Ogun State, then it is paramount that there should be an Information Commissioner by now.
“Unfortunately, the government that has been alleged with lack of transparency; should by now be corrective in its approach to information dissemination.
“With an Information Commissioner in place, perhaps a new information strategy could be encouraged. With the hope that the governor himself would come out of his “cocoon, to engage with Ogun citizens better; this time around.”
Ex-NBC Director,Eddy Aina Urges Abiodun To Prioritize Professional Media Team
In a candid statement, Eddy Aina, a prominent media figure and former Director of the National Broadcasting Commission, voiced his concerns about Governor Abiodun’s approach to media management in the State.
Aina expressed that the governor’s reliance on “Lagos media” was a recurring issue and urged Abiodun to appoint a seasoned media professional to lead his information team.
Reflecting on past occurrences, Aina lamented that a former governor once appointed a teacher as Commissioner for Information and Strategy in years gone by.
He argued that this trend of non-professionals in key media roles had a detrimental impact on public perception and appreciation of the governor’s achievements.
Aina emphasized that the success of Governor Abiodun’s administration depended on the professionalism, originality, innovation, and collaboration of his media team in highlighting the state’s development.
He cautioned that without a competent media strategist, the governor risked repeating the inadequacies in reporting his activities that characterized his first term.
Although Governor Abiodun may not seek re-election, Aina stressed the importance of having a skilled and experienced media professional lead the team, rather than relying solely on state ministry staff or other advisors.
He said “This trend is not strange in Ogun State as one governor appointed a teacher to occupy the post of information Commissioner years back.
“In all sincerity, I expect Governor Abiodun to have learned a lesson from the dismal performance of his erstwhile information team which almost buried the laudable things he did largely unreported making many Ogun State indigenes to undervalue his performance. Incidentally, the arrowhead of a vibrant team is the Information and strategy Commissioner missing in action.
” The final assessment of people will depend on how professional, original, innovative, and collaborative the media team is in showcasing the developmental strides of the governor.
“Governor Dapo Abiodun depended so much on Lagos media–print and electronic in his first term, and going by his Bohemian attitude to information regimen, there is every possibility of a repeat of his first term in reportage of his activities.
” In any case, he is not going to seek any election again, maybe that explains it.
“Alternatively, I guess he is banking on the State Ministry of Information staff, the SA and the CPS to do the job.
For me, I strongly believe that Governor Dapo Abiodun needs the service of a tested and thoroughbred media professional to head his media team.”
Aina’s message underscores the critical role of effective media management in shaping public opinion and recognizing the governor’s accomplishments.
… It Widens Gap Between Govt., Public, Warns Prominent Radio Analyst
A well-known radio analyst and public commentator,Ustadh Jibril Awwal has expressed serious concerns about the failure of Governor Abiodun to appoint a Commissioner.
According to Awwal, this oversight is creating a substantial divide between the government and the public.
Awwal emphasized the critical role of the executive arm of government in executing policies designed for the welfare of citizens.
He pointed out that the civil service is specifically designed to fulfill its established objectives.
To ensure effective collaboration between policy makers (political office holders) and career officers (civil servants), cabinet members are commissioned to participate in cabinet meetings and contribute to policy formulation alongside the governor.
These commissioners are responsible for overseeing the implementation of these policies through career officers.
Awwal stressed the importance of having a cabinet member who comprehends the rationale behind government policies and their impact on the average citizen.
He argued that the absence of such a figure creates a significant chasm between the government and the public.
Furthermore, he highlighted the vital role of cabinet members in ensuring the smooth operation of government information outlets and agencies.
The absence of these members negatively affected state broadcasting organizations, leading to the governor’s need to engage private news organizations at substantial cost.
Awwal concluded by noting that the absence of designated government spokespersons allowed rumors to thrive, as there was no official mouthpiece of the government during this period.
This situation has raised significant concerns regarding the government’s ability to communicate effectively with the public.
“The civil service is created, deliberately organised and staffed to meet the specific reasons for which it is established.
“For proper synergy between the policy makers (political office holders) and the career officers (civil servants) individuals are commissioned as cabinet members who sits at cabinet meetings to formulate policies with the governor. These commissioners are expected to oversee the implementation of these policies through career officers.
“For proper enrollment there’s need for a cabinet member who knows the why of government policies and how it will impact the man on the Street.
“The absence of this person will create a huge gorge between the government and the public.
“Aside from this, such cabinet members will oversee the smooth running of government information outlet and agencies. The absence of such did negatively impact the state broadcasting organizations as they were not properly funded. This led to the governor need to patronize other private news organizations at huge fund”.
“Also, rumour thrived as there was no designated official mouthpiece of the government.”
… Private Broadcasting School Registrar Accuses Governor Of Insensitivity To Public Opinion
Mr. Fatai Akinbola, a registrar at a private Broadcasting School in Abeokuta and a former Sports Editor, has raised serious concerns over the actions of the governor, alleging a lack of sensitivity to public opinion.
Akinbola expressed his concerns, stating, “It shows the governor is insensitive to the views of the people.
He simply does not believe in the two-way flow of communication. His style of administration does not cherish information dissemination and management.”
The accusations come as a significant blow to the governor’s reputation, highlighting the need for open and effective communication between public officials and the citizens they serve.
Akinbola’s criticisms bring into question the governor’s approach to governance and his commitment to representing the interests and concerns of the public.
“It shows the governor is insensitive to the views of the people. He simply does not believe in the two-way flow of communication.
His style of administration does not cherish information dissemination and management,” Akinbola remarked.
“The governor should appoint someone who is tested and respected in that profession.”
… Public Analyst, Abayomi Suggests Cost of Governance As Possible Motive Behind Abiodun’s Actions
Offering a contrasting perspective, Abayomi Babalola, a well-known public analyst and commentator, suggested that the governor might have valid reasons for not appointing a Commissioner for Information.
Babalola went on to explain that the governor might be exploring cost-saving measures and relying on his Special Advisers to fulfill the roles typically assigned to a substantive commissioner.
Babalola also pointed out that the significance of the Commissioner for Information’s office might not align with the governor’s priorities.
Furthermore, Babalola emphasized that the common people are primarily concerned with policies that affect their daily lives, such as access to food, quality education, affordable healthcare, and business opportunities.
He argued that the elite’s preoccupation with the appointment of commissioners is not a priority for the average citizen.
He raised concerns about the potential misuse of the Commissioner for Information’s role, saying, “We have seen in various states and at the federal level where a commissioner or a minister of information becomes the personal spokesperson of the governor or the president.
He said “sincerely, I am indifferent about the governor not appointing individuals to man one or two ministries for some reasons. Note that the information ministry is not the only ministry being affected.
“We may attach importance to a particular office or ministry while the Gov doesn’t buy into such importance.
“This happens in many cases where he probably feels he has individuals who can handle the assignment of the office without necessarily designating a substantive commissioner there. Maybe he believes in his numerous SAs to do the job
“The Gov may be looking at ways to reduce cost of governance and feels that some ministries can do without necessarily having a substantive commissioner so no need spending much on such.
“I think since Alh. Olaniyonu left that office under the administration of Sen. Amosun, occupiers of that office have not been fantastic as to justify giving prominence or special attachment to the office. Practitioners and professionals in that field have to up the ante
“The common man out there is not really interested in which office gets occupied and which one gets left out. What brings food to the table? What policies ensure good/affordable health and education? Which policy is conducive for businesses and industry to thrive? The interest in occupying a commissioner’s office is the problem of the elites.
“We have seen in various states and at the federal level where a commissioner or a minister of information becomes personal spokesperson of the Governor or the president.
“We have seen them become propagandists for the governments . We have seen them even become sources of disinformation to the people rather than sources of information.
“If the Governor now feels he doesn’t need such and he is not sure of the readily available hands to perform the true role of the commissioner for information nko? Again, what if the Governor needs a proper propagandist and he is not sure the readily available hands can do such or are too refined or too professional to do dirty jobs?
“My conclusion is that since our arrangement has given these governors the liberty to choose and cherry pick, we have been left at their mercies.”
… Media Expert, Arowojolu Criticizes Abiodun’s Communication Strategy
In a scathing critique, the newly honoured Doctor and renowned media guru, Dr. Ayo Arowojolu, has taken Governor Dapo Abiodun to task for his approach to communication within the government.
Known for his unfiltered candour, Dr. Arowojolu stated, “Governor Dapo Abiodun is the one scoring own goals, as he lacks a coordinated communication strategy for image and information management in 21st Century Governance.”
In a stern assessment, he added, “If you ask me, that’s the surest way for a government to self-destruct. What can a cabinet do without someone to drive the communication of the whole gamut of government policies, programs, and actions?”
Dr. Arowojolu highlighted Governor Abiodun’s missteps, asserting that he is treading a path that has made him largely unpopular.
He said that despite having the expertise of former NUJ President Abduwaheed Odusile at his disposal, the governor’s lack of accessibility to the media has hindered progress.
“If you ask me, that’s the surest way for a government to self-destruct.
“What can a cabinet do without someone to drive the communication of the whole gamut of government policies, programmes and action.
“Dapo Abiodun is threading on a path that made him largely unpopular. He got one of the best hands in the media in the mould of former NUJ President, Abduwaheed Odusile, but no magic could be done because he himself as the Chief Image Maker for the government made himself almost recluse and inaccessible to the media.
“With due respect to Mr Governor, by this latest action of his, he lacks the adept knowledge and finesse of contemporary governance which has moved away from the ROUTINE to the more serious CREATIVE and STRATEGIC functions. Too bad”.
… Lack Of Media Chats Sparks Outcry Over Accountability and Governance
In a striking revelation that has left residents of Ogun State disheartened, Jamal Bakare, a concerned citizen, raised a pertinent issue about Abiodun’s tenure.
Bakare expressed his disappointment, highlighting that for the entire five years of the governor’s term, he has not seen fit to engage in a popular media chat – a tradition observed by his predecessors.
Adding his voice to the growing discontent, Bakare commented, “Our governor has refused to hold a media chat, where he could address the press and promptly receive feedback on his stewardship. It’s truly lamentable that Ogun State finds itself in such dire straits!”
… Former Press Club President Express Concern Over Governor’s Elusive Interaction With Media
Nurudeen Salako, a former president of the Press Club at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic in Abeokuta, expressed concern about the absence of a robust opposition to keep Governor Abiodun accountable.
Salako emphasized the vital role of government accountability in achieving good governance and delivering the dividends of democracy.
He remarked, “It is disheartening that the state lacks an active opposition party that can constructively critique the APC administration, pushing it towards progress and development.”
Yearning for an active Civil Society Organization (CSOs) in Ogun State dedicated to the principles of good governance, accountability, and anti-corruption, Salako voiced his lament, “How I wish we had a vibrant CSO presence in Ogun State – they could have held the Dapo Abiodun-led administration accountable. Sadly, the governor has fallen short of the expectations of the Ogun citizens.”
As the call for increased transparency and accountability intensifies,
Ogun State faces mounting pressure to address the concerns surrounding the governor’s limited media interactions and the perceived dearth of oversight in the state’s political landscape.
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