Monday, June 15, 2009

The Governors Forum and Harvard University Brouhaha!

Hopefully, the recent email from Prof. Robert Rotberg will put the Harvard University brouhaha to bed. From an email published on the Saharareporters website, the much publicised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was “only between Prof Rotberg’s Program and the Governors Forum”. It was NOT a formal agreement between Harvard University and the Governors Forum. And according to Prof Rotberg “the MoU was meant to be the first step in the exploration of a possible training program and as a means of signifying the intent on both sides to work together to craft such a program”.

Opinion seems to be somewhat divided on whether it is right for the State Governors to sign an agreement (MOU or whatever you call it!) with a foreign University for a training program in leadership, good governance, education policy and economic development. Some social commentators argued that, it is a given that most of our Governors are pretty useless and have no clue. And if Harvard University is the place they can be taught, then we should let them go! To them, the Governors will at least be exposed to first class educational facilities, good roads, and potable water supply.

I beg to differ with such arguments. We do not need leaders that want to learn on the job. Our infrastructure is in a state of comatose, educational system is dysfunctional, no pipe borne water, no good roads, no transportation system, university graduates are riding okada, our hospitals have virtually turned into morgues, young children are hawking on the streets, the homeless are sleeping under the bridge, and someone is telling me he needs to visit Harvard before he can solve these problems! It is even preposterous for any state administrator to conceive such idea.

No wonder Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun state thinks giving away taxis to his cronies and political jobbers is a ‘mass transit’ program. It shouldn’t also have been a surprise when the South-South Governors Forum talked about floating an airline, as economic development strategy! When the airline industry is consolidating all over the world because of the global economic crisis, some stupid state administrators still feel it is a wise investment. Sometimes you can help but ask yourself, can these people think at all?

For me, I will continue to blame the system that has allowed these self-serving incorrigible human beings to assume position of authority. These traditional politicians or call them ‘professional’ politicians have offered us absolutely nothing! They aspire for political position without any vision, no manifesto, and without basic understanding of what governance means. Tell me, do you need a Harvard University Professor to help comprehend the problem with this nation? How can someone ask his employer to pay for classes on how to perform his primary role, when you are not an apprentice or trainee?

The position of a state governor is not for trainee or apprentice. We need leaders who can hit the ground running. The challenges facing this nation are great, but the actions required are crystal clear.

Unfortunately, these kleptomaniacs have perfected a succession plan that will allow them to recycle themselves in power. And when they pass away, the mantle is passed to their children, some of whom have been trained with ‘stolen money’ at some of the world’s best educational institutions.

Let them continue to promote policies that perpetuate mediocrity in power. Let them continue to use rhetoric and meaningless agendas to manipulate the masses. The odds might seem strong in their favour, but the clock is ticking.

Slowly, but surely………………

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