The Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika, has charged returning governors and the newly-elected ones not to be ashamed to ask for help beyond their states while appointing aides in their administration.
“You don’t have all the answers, but you have people that can work with you. You need to work with people and they do not have to be from your states. If you need help, ask for it anywhere in the country, she said while speaking as the guest of honour at the induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors put together by NGF Secretariat, at the State House Conference Center, Abuja.
While applauding the numerous international aides to the country, she said the reality remains no matter the help offered but Nigerians are the ones to build the nation, “nobody else can build our county for us.”
“Some states are richer than others, but it is how well you use the wealth for the people that matters.
“A nation that is divided against itself cannot stand. I want my nation to work. I need your help to make the nation work,” she said.
Awosika said for the governors to truly work for the people, they will have to ask themselves critical questions.
She said: “I will start with the question of you asking yourself, who am I, why did I chose to take on this assignment. If you know who you are and you have now decided to be the governor of the state by choice, then you need to ask yourself where am I going, what is the goal for which I chose this assignment and in choosing to do this, what is the value that I set out to deliver to my people. And when you are done trying to answer those questions honestly, I always say, to thyself be true. Because, no matter what we say to other people, when it is just you and the mirror, you can look at yourself and be truthful to yourself.”
Awosika said the citizens will pay more tax if the people trust that the governors will deliver on their promises to them.
She said: “In reality, when we talk of equity of trust you can only get that trust from people who trust that what you do will impact their lives every day. So what I am doing on behalf of my fellow citizens, I am pleading that now that you have the power, elections are over, now you are in office, you have the power and resources of the state and if you gain the trust of the people, they will pay more tax. When you gain the trust of the people by performance and the things that you do, ultimately you will benefit from it. Because, when you see a great man do great things that affect your life every day, when he is done with the office, the position is over, when you see him on the streets you will stop by to greet him and say honour him and respect.
“So my question to you is that how do you want your days to end? Because if you have a vision of the end of your days, you can walk back to where you are now, to how you want it to be and structure the actions that you take daily in your state. Think of every action and how it will affect the lives of those people who do not necessarily have a voice, they have the vote but not the voice.
“And when you see children that are hungry in your state, you have failed them in some way, yet you have the machineries and the capacities to help them. When you see people die from simple medical situations that they need not to, it means that the states have failed. But we have the capacity to make it different.
“Now, you are not going to be able to solve all the problems that is important. But the integrity of the heart of the leaders, your commitment to truly change the lives of your people is what will bring for you all the help that you will need. Because, when a man sets out to do the right thing and it shows anyways, every kind of help will come from everywhere. People will do things for you without taking a dime because they can see your commitment and the integrity of your heart.
“For a nation to truly be great, the integrity of every man sitting on this table as governor, as governor elect is critical for nation building.”
Awosika also regretted that there is no politics of ideology in Nigeria today.