Writing Without Calumny: Seyi Makinde, My Governor
I didn't know exactly where i read the December 2021 grimy criticism by the Oyo State APC. I don't even know how i found myself reading the droll and comical comments where the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State said the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration has nothing to show as meaningful achievement after 31 months in office. I quickly sensed that It was outtered from the insincere mouth of Abdulazeez Olatunde, the party's publicity chairman who compared the achievements of Makinde in 31months with that of Babagana Zulum of Borno State and Prof. Ben Ayade of Cross River State, saying “Zulum has executed 556 projects with world class roads, hospitals with latest diagnostic equipment, classrooms, furnished with state-of-the-art instructional materials while Ayade has tackled youth unemployment seriuosly with the massive investment in agriculture. Whim! I cannot futher reel out the provoking and envious statements coming out of APC's stable. All I could comprehend from their dirty statement is intimidation, bullyrag, mau mau and cold feets, that Seyi Makinde's government looks to them. His achievement stands as funk to them, they probably know he is the people's favourite. Guess what? 2023 election is in less than 13 months, and guess who is panicking? Guess who is bowling over? Guess who can not criticise constructively? Guess who wants to get public relevance? Guess who needs to tarnish his achievement? It's just the opposition party, isn't it?
So now, don't get it twisted I don't know Seyi Makinde anywhere, I only saw him once, at a time i went for an on field work. I'm not of his political party, I'm not closer to joining anyone. I'm just a freelancing Journalist who got swept off by Seyi Makinde's personality, his mollycoddle traits, achievements and the willingness to do his bit for Oyo State. Anyway, he is my Hero, and I'm his timid fan. Hence, it's a question of when i started following this man. True, i don't know him in 2007, when he first contested for the Oyo South Senatorial seat under the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but lost to Kamoru Adedibu of PDP. Makinde remained undeterred by his first failed attempt and in 2010; under the People's Democratic Party, PDP, he aspired for the Oyo South 2011 Senatorial seat but lost the primary to the incumbent Oyo South Senator.
I was older in 2014, it was clearer that I knew when Makinde aimed for the Oyo State 2015 governorship ticket under the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). How he wasn't given the ticket and but was given to Teslim Folarin, and how he defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), under which platform he contested for the Oyo State gubernatorial candidate, but lost. And then, in 2018, Makinde emerged as the gubernatorial candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 general elections for Oyo State, after polling 2772 votes at the primary election. And finally, On March 9, 2019, Makinde polled 515,621 votes defeating his closest rival, Adebayo Adelabu of the APC who pulled 357,982 votes. The tide turned in his favour and became Governor Seyi Makinde. Not that alone, he has not been discomfited by the attainment but focused on demonstrating that his aspiration for public service is not for personal aggrandisement or primitive accumulation.
Today, as we all know that payment of salaries to workers is the legitimate duty of the Government to the workers, but when a Government does it in the right proportion, and satisfactorily, they should be given thumbs up for it. Take, for instance, workers’ salaries and pension payments! Within its first six months in office, his administration paid more than what his predecessor paid in eight years as pensions, the Makinde' administration met a N55.9 billion debt in gratuities (There has been a steady and consistent payment of N535 Million to retired State and Local Government workers on a monthly basis). Today, total pension payments are already over N13b in just two years. Salaries have not ceased being paid on or before the 25th of every month since June, 2019, you can ask the workers themselves.
Howbeit, I can really remember some of this wins but can vividly remember his four pillars for accelerated development, health, education, an expanded economy and security are strung in a symbiotic nature, because it is only when you have a healthy body and qualitative education that opportunities can be explored for the expansion of an economy; and this can only take place in a secure environment. Without being immodest, many have attested to the fact that Governor Makinde has not veered off his promises, running with the vision of remodelling Oyo State and leaving it better than he met it. This is evidently seen in the record of achievements I will soon start to enlist. To discerning observers, his government is genuinely addressing key developmental issues in all sectors and the people are better for it. Some say he lacks security wise?
I know about the operationalisation of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun in Oyo State in November 2020. I also know about recruitment and training of 1,500 Amotekun Corps members. I know of the expansion and upgrade of the Security Control Room and City Watch facilities at the Oyo State Security Trust Fund Headquarters in Ibadan. I know of the provision of CCTV cameras in strategic locations in the state which are linked to the Security Control Room. Provision of brand new operational vehicles to the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, ‘Operation Burst’ and Amotekun. I also know of the light up Oyo State project to complement the efforts of the security agencies, Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration commenced the ‘Light up Oyo’ Phase 1 and 2 installation of streetlights on 223.48km of roads in all zones of Oyo State. I know more, I also know what's happening now in Oyo State, i know what's happening in Nigeria, don't you?
In the education sector, Governor Seyi Makinde, a consummate politician has ensured many abysmal policies are suspended for the good of the public schools’ sector. Knowing that his administration is etched on the free education policy, Makinde distributed textbooks and note books to public secondary school students at no charge. What of the annual payment of N500, 000 bursary to each law student from Oyo State, as law tuition as well as payment of N200 Million for accreditation of 15 programmes at the Polytechnic Ibadan are commendable. The ultimate of it was winning the sole ownership of LAUTECH from the initial joint ownership with Osun as granted by National Universities Commission. Health wise, th Seyi Makinde led administration’s achievements in healthcare include the completion of several Primary Healthcare Centres out of the 299 awarded during the year. Some of the completed PHCs are Irefin PHC Ibadan, Odo Ona PHC Ibadan and Oke Adu PHC Ibadan. He also upgraded secondary healthcare facilities in Saki Specialist Hospital, Saki, Adeoyo Maternity Home, Jericho Nursing Home, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, General Hospital Aremo, General Hospital Eruwa and Catholic Hospital, Oluyoro . What else do you want to know?
My Governor has also ensured safe, adequate and efficient transport infrastructure that can sustain the social and economic development of the state. I know of the construction of four modern bus terminals strategically located at exits and entrance of Ibadan; Iwo Road, New Ife Road, Challenge and Ojoo. Construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges and junction improvement to decongest traffic within major cities. Provide adequate transport infrastructure and services for uniform socio-economic development in the state by embarking on reconstruction and rehabilitation of the existing roads and improving rural roads. I also know of the 10, 000 seater Adamasingba stadium, named after the late sports enthusiast, Chief Lekan Salami, is located in the city centre along the ever-busy Ojoo-Mokola-Dugbe Road. The Stadium is home to Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan popularly called 3SC, one of the best football clubs in Nigeria’s history, but has suffered decadence and neglect for years. They have something to say? I know more.
Outside these many achievement, Seyi Makinde also believes in the Youth, maybe i should remind you, remember how he got his current commissioner of sport? Remember Seun Fakorede? You don't? Seun Fakorede, the 28-year old commissioner for youths and sports in Oyo State once revealed that he met the State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on LinkedIn. According to Seun Fakorede in his interview with the Punch newspapers, he had no prior experience in politics but had always been impressed by Seyi Makinde’s style of politics. This was sometime in March 2018 . "I contacted him and told him I had been following his style of politics for quite some time and I was willing to volunteer in his campaign and that was how we started"
Seyi Makinde's hands of friendship was also extended to the corps members serving in Oyo. I was in Nonwa Gbam camp in Rivers State, when i heard it over the news of the increament of monthly allowance of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in the state from N5,000 to N15,000. Oyo corps members are #15, 000 richer over their colleagues. Remember he was also the one in 2019, as he then increased the monthly allowance of corps members from N4, 000 to N5, 000. Hence, fate brought me to Oyo State, how won't i be motivated to serve my father's land?
Wherefore now, you can fuss that i was sponsored to write this piss, you can rant, I don't care? I've seen many operate in Oyo State, maybe late otunba Adebayo Alao can match is special kind of leadership, you know? The Yoruba adage says, "To mo eni ba da ka wi, ki se pe a fe fi saya ni"( if ones child is good, it should be said, it isn't that we want to marry her). Seyi Makinde is communicating his vision in such a way that through him, it could be said that the resetting of Nigeria’s atmosphere. The 54 year-old governor has begun to be seen as initiating some kind of political philanthropy, otherwise known as leadership through service. I'm writing without calumny for my Governor, write yours.