Makinde’s election victory and the ‘controversial agreement’
• Incumbent did not jettison any arrangement, says Gbadamosi
The victory of Governor Seyi Makinde in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Oyo State was initially assumed to have been made possible based on the agreement the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had with other parties until different sides of the story began to surface, especially when the booties of war were to be shared among stakeholders.
Makinde was said to have dusted the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, because of the staunch support and collaborations of some personalities that fell out with his predecessor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. What is now creating rancour is how Makinde is managing the interest of some of these allies that brought him to power barely 10 months into his administration.
Although the incumbent has carved a niche for himself in terms of performance and acceptability, not only in Oyo but also across the Southwest geopolitical zone, especially his role in the formation of the new security architecture codenamed Operation Amotekun to secure Yoruba land from the menace of armed herders and other forms of security challenges, the question is, how far he can sustain such popularity? This is urgent in view how he would earn for himself a second term come 2023 if he fails to address the grouse arising from the said ‘agreement’
Confidantes of the governor have, however, dismissed such threats as empty and insignificant considering Makinde’s achievements since May 2019 and his closeness to grassroots people across Oyo State. An observer told The Guardian that the governor is riding on the crest of his ability to address critical issues that contributed to the fall of APC and Ajimobi.
Despite the series of pluses the governor has recorded since May 29, 2019, with the fact he was able to tame the excesses of the road transport unions, issues surrounding the local government crisis and his dexterity of working in agreement with other Southwest governors to form ‘Operation Amotekun’ to the delight of Yoruba people, the smoke of the said agreement with those partners is said to still be billowing.
While speaking on the issue, a PDP stalwart in Oyo, Mr. Wale Gbadamosi, dismissed the allegations that the incumbent dumped other political parties and personalities that worked for him to emerge as governor. Gbadamosi described the insinuation as the scheme of opposition politicians who are only delighted in playing destructive politics.
He stressed: “There is nothing of such between Makinde and me. Of course, I worked assiduously for him to emerge and not being in government now does not mean he has dumped anybody or me. Makinde is now a political role model for politicians in the state, especially the ones in government because he is keen on delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of Oyo.”
Gbadamosi cited the instance of many youths that he pulled together to work for Makinde during the 2019 election, who were mostly Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, final year students but who were out of school because of its closure at that time, saying, “many of them have now gone for their mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) after completing their programmes. This was made possible by the governor’s love for education, which made him intervene in the school’s challenge and rescue the students.”
The PDP chieftain also denied any rift between the governor and a popular woman politician in the state, Mulikat Akande, saying, “As far as I am concerned, both are political leaders in Oyo State. They are doing very well with each other. Though I have also heard a lot of reports that both of them are having rancour, let me set the record straight here today, that there is nothing of such. Both of them are our leaders in Oyo PDP, and they are really leading by good examples. Moreover, Alhaja Akande is a member of the State Advisory Council (SAC)”
Gbadamosi also allegations that Makinde’s administration is at loggerhead with some sacked council chairmen in the state.
“The governor is trying his best to resolve this issue with them,” he said. “You will agree with me that it is not easy to conclude on resolving an issue out of court with the chairmen. But look at their disposition towards him. What the governor did was righting the wrong of the last administration. Ajimobi’s administration erred ab initio by violating a court order to conduct the said election into the councils thereby rendering the Constitution of ALGON in Oyo null and void.
“For me, the chairmen should resolve the issue with the governor and let us move Oyo State forward.”
Gbadamosi added that the incumbent should not be crucified for putting the people first before politicians, but this is not going down well with the opposition, which believes he was already cancelling out its records. “This has helped Makinde to achieve so much within this short period,” Gbnbadamosi said. “This is a man with many record-breaking policies in the history of Oyo State and Southwest in general. For instance, he is the first Oyo governor to donate his salaries to pensioners; to appoint a 27-year old as commissioner; first to declare his assets publicly, and the first governor in the history of the Southwest to allocate 22 per cent of the budget to education.
“In the last nine months, he has made tremendous improvement in developmental sectors in areas like education, health, security, infrastructure, workers/pensioners’ welfare, employment, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) improvement, agriculture, and others”.
On the issue of betraying his allies, Gbadamoai said, “I am a member of PDP. In this regard, I might not want to dive into this so as not to look one-sided. Although I am aware there was an agreement made before the election, but I learnt the governor has executed that appropriately.”
He also debunked insinuations that Makinde is deliberately denigrating his predecessor on the altar of politics, saying, “That should be cheap propaganda by some people. Both Ajimobi and Makinde are illustrious sons of Oyo aside their political differences. Although questions can be asked about certain activities of the former administration, this cannot be tagged humiliation. Makinde respects his elders a lot.”