Home Opinion Makinde: A Maverick Or Victim Of Premature Praises | Hakim Afolabi

Makinde: A Maverick Or Victim Of Premature Praises | Hakim Afolabi


Like everything else in Nigeria, the political terrain is dominated by avaricious, self-serving and greedy characters whose knowledge of governance negate the very essence and intrinsic elememts of democracy which is service to the people. To them being in government is a ready-made route to  acquire needless wealth without recourse to the welfare of the people that elected them into power.

Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo state, became governor of the state because of people’s refusal to reward failure and utter disregard of for the people which were the trademark of his Predecessor, but then the bars of expectations and the standard of governance in the state have been lowered drastically because of the damage his Predecessor had done to the psyche of the people of the state—people were not expecting him to perform magic, they just wanted him to uproot the state from the doldrums that his Predecessor had got it into.

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In Nigeria, government, especially at the state level, would be said to have done well if he’s able to pay salaries and pensions on time, never mind that this is not a favour that’s being rendered to the civil servants but the most basic of all things that a governor is expected to do.

The evidence of Governors who performed exceptionally in the early days of their administration but became an unmitigated disaster as the months went by is abound. This, among other things, is the reason why many Nigerians, especially those with a thing for good governance and human development, have maintained a skeptical and cynic disposition about the strides being made by Seyi Makinde. ‘we’ve seen many like him before’, ‘ been there, done that’ these and many more rhetorics of pessimism are usually their favorite spiel.

Many have refrained from praising him because they didn’t want to jinx him or speak prematurely, only to have to eat my words. But the man keeps following one great step with another, and by doing this he his gradually, albeit unwittingly, dissolving the defences of cynics and skeptics.

Everything he’s done so far shows that he has decided not to govern like the traditional Nigeria politicians who would rather grandstand than govern. He’s turn himself into a political maverick of some sort in a convulated enclave that reeks with impropriety and mind-numbing corruption.

A case in point is his transparency, he is transparent in his governing style so much so that he gives his/her constituents quarterly progress reports on Twitter, to his traducers and detractors this display of accountability comes across as show-off or, to them, a palpable attempt to pander to the emotions of the public.

He  reduced an unrealistic and highly inflated budget rather than borrow recklessly to finance it? This is a rarity in our politics of ‘anyhowness’.

Which Nigerian governor completes his predecessor’s projects and, instead of claiming all the credit, posts on twitter that the projects were started by his predecessor and that he merely completed them?

And how about excellent grammar, diction, polish, and sound grasp of various issues and sectors that are characterized by melodious language, clarity, and forcefulness of presentation.

“His ability to understand and articulate the operative discourses and praxis of esoteric fields as varied as health, education, budgeting, and finance make him a nonesuch ” A Nigerian born professor of African Studies in a United States university wrote.

And how about the amiable and cordial relationship with the downtrodden? The restless, highly personalized, hands-on approach to governance? Who does this in Nigeria?

The days are still young. Ultimately, we will judge him by his results or lack thereof. But he couldn’t have made a better start to his gubernatorial tenure.

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