The Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Rauf Aregbesola as well as Oyo State’s, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, have both called for an end to the use of ‘His Excellency’ and ‘Executive’ to refer to the president, governors and other public office holders in the country.
This was made known at the opening ceremony of the 45th Builders Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), held at International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, on Tuesday.
The governors described the ‘His Excellency’ affixed to names of public office holders, as an unnecessary ego inflater which transfers “unnecessary extraordinary powers to public office holders.”
Aregbesola was the one who first raised the issue.
He said that if such a title should be used at all, it should be to deserving public officials, only after their tenure in office.
He also added that the use of ‘Executive’ to refer to governors was not constitutional and not part of the practice in democratic systems in the world.
“I do not think it is right to refer to those in government, because they hold governorship or presidential position, as ‘His Excellency’.
We copied our democratic system from the West and they hardly use such adjectives to qualify their public officers.
I have never seen President of America, Barack Obama referred to as His Excellency on any public occasion.
He is just Mr President and this does not diminish his authority.
Neither will you hear the Prime Minister of Britain or President of France referred to as His Excellency.
I do not know where we copied this from.
I accept that before independence, we had the British monarchy as our head of government.
To that extent we respect the monarch with such praise adjectives, like ‘His Majesty,’ but, royalties are not the same as elected officials.
You don’t have to describe a governor as executive governor. There is nowhere in the constitution, as amended, where the governor is expected to be called executive governor.
By virtue of the fact that we do not operate a parliamentary system, once you are a governor, you are an executive governor. Let us just call our governor, Mr Governor; president, Mr President, that is okay.”
Ajimobi also added:
“Just like we have Oriki, in our Igbo and Yoruba culture, where they continue to flatter, patronise us, it has become a culture in Nigeria that we feel spited if these adjectives are not used to describe us.
I would like to henceforth say that I should no more be called His Excellency, call me Abiola Ajimobi.”