This piece starts with solemn reverence of a leader, writer and mentor who frequented my Facebook wall to comment and offer his views. Late Rt. Hon Kehinde Ayoola was a good man. I met him twice. On one occasion before the election of Governor Seyi Makinde at Omi Titun house and another occasion at his office in the Ministry of Environment. He was warm and highly receptive even to a University student as I then was.
I heard him on more than one occasion say “the Seyi I know, would not”. He always had a confidence in what the Governor can or cannot do. Such must their relationship have been close. He had great plans for his office but God plans more than we can do and to quote the Governor, “we cannot question God”.
It has been a year after Sen. Abiola Ajimobi left office, the government of Seyi Makinde marks one year in office by completing or opening many of his initiated and already close to completion projects after an unprecedented two term tenure in Oyo State. The Governor, Seyi Makinde himself acknowledged this on his Facebook page.
A testament to how well the predecessor worked especially with the construction of much needed infrastructure towards education and ending illiteracy which in my opinion is the greatest challenge of Oyo State next to the environmental problem.
Governor Seyi Makinde enjoys high popularity rating at present but which in my view has reached its peak. It cannot soar further but now people would demand serious benefits of government and governance.
The popularity has been maintained by the regular payment of salaries in the 25th of each month in a state where several earn from civil service employment. The popularity has been further maintained by the use of media and regular updates from government on issues.
The payment of bursary to Law students has been highly commendable. I have met direct beneficiaries of the scheme and I am pleased with the decision of Government to pay the money and on regular basis to coming sets in the Law school from Oyo State. The Governor has done greatly in this regards.
Governor Seyi Makinde has taken two loans. One for the environment and the other for infrastructure. These loans should be careful taken and rigoriously used especially as the Governor has majority in state legislature and can always have his way. He needs to use this power in trust and not take loans that will burden the state in future generations.
Immediately after emergence, Governor Seyi Makinde without having spent months in office was awarded for the activities of his predecessor and he went to receive the award in 2019 October in Medellin, Colombia as Ibadan was awarded a learning city by UNESCO.
The Governor has also been applauded for the appointment of two young people into his cabinet and this portrays him as being youth friendly.
It is my desire that the government succeeds as the success of the government would amount to my benefit as a resident in the state.
No opposition of any sort should be made in an unhealthy way to this government but it should rather be supported as much as possible especially as climate change is a serious global concern and alongside COVID-19 which is still tasking, no one desires any environmental disaster.
The achievements of the Governor listed for one year are not impressive in regards of infrastructure. However, the indices are good in education enrollment. This is due to the free education policy that remains to be seen if it can be sustained as the emerging economic realities are tasking on state coffers.
It would be noted that notebooks printed by Abiola Ajimobi administration were distributed at the inception of the administration to school children only with the cover changed with the image of the former Governor, Sen. Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi removed. It would have amounted to more printing costs for the new covers.
The removal of pictures on the books would have been more economical starting from the next tranche printed by GSM himself and not by the preceding administration. Anyway, new covers were printed and the old ones destroyed at more cost to the state. I think the change of covers, if not targeted at suppressing the image of the former Governor, would have been best with the next printed batch sponsored by the present administration.
Government is a continuum and Seyi Makinde has done well to complete and continue. This is why there are several pictures to mark one year in office mostly completed projects where work began a year ago.
Oyo State residents should hope more original projects of the Governor surface in coming years alongside constant salary payment. The role of opposition has switched to the APC and the ruling government should no longer play opposition and government together.
At the inception of the administration, His Excellency promised to trade maize with Botswana and end the trade of Botswana with Central America so that they trade for corn in Oyo instead. Botswana is in great need of corn truly and they have a lot of money as an emerging African nation. Botswana is alongside Rwanda one of the countries presently thriving in Africa.
Botswana cannot plant corn that much but have a great taste for it and they also have a lot of money. It remains to be seen if they will trade with Oyo and bring in the much needed IGR. But Oyo is not connected to the sea, how will the maize be transported?
A question already answered perhaps by those who made the promises.
The handling of Corona Virus has been another test for the administrative capability of the present administration. More is desired in prompt response so that the state is not overwhelmed by the pandemic especially as Governor Seyi Makinde has decided not to proceed on lockdown, an action that has kept people economical buoyant.
Governor Seyi Makinde is in charge of the state in difficult times and no one should give him unnecessary distraction. COVID 19 is testing even the strongest government and the economy is not looking good. It is a test of his leadership ability and we must hope he does well.
The politicians need to understand how sensitive the times are and jointly work towards steering the state in a safe direction.
The talk of 2023 is too much. The state is not just about election. Let the discussion stop about 2023 for a while and let’s talk about the development of Oyo State.
For many people, the past one year has been a media affair. On the roads, in the streets, construction vehicles are not been seen as they used to be in Oyo State.
He is a Freelance Columnist with pieces published on Punch Newspapers, Premium Times, Sahara Reporters, Lawyard.ng. He is a Law graduate. firstname.lastname@example.org