Home Opinion Makinde: Between Fulfillment And Non-fulfilment Of Political Promises And Patronages | Marufh...

Makinde: Between Fulfillment And Non-fulfilment Of Political Promises And Patronages | Marufh Bello

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Regarding appointments and patronages in(to) Engr Seyi Makinde’s administration as far as the 2019 coalition is concerned, a lot of people, including the governor’s aides, PDP chieftains and some members of the public, maybe ignorant, have argued that Governor Makinde has fulfilled his promises.

It was in 2008 when I was still a Senior Reporter with the Nigerian Tribune that I first came close to knowing Engr Mákindé —he was fully ready to pull strings in Oyo politics. Understanding that he was a young man I felt elated that being a young man like myself, he would have sympathy for me because as at that time I was already a chairmanship aspirant (since 2005) in my local government slugging it out with the likes of Hon. Isiaka Adesina Adeola and Evangelist Abraham Akindele Oloyede. My brother, Akeem Azeez, the present Personal Assistant I (PA) to Governor Makinde, came into the picture via a highly revered senior colleague in the Nigerian Tribune, Alh Wale Adele, now in the US. I was all wrong! My hope in Engr Makinde was soon dashed… The story is for another day.

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Back to the above subject, Between Fulfilment & Non-Fulfilment of Political Promises & Patronages, as far as my experience in politics is concerned, certain political practices and norms regarding political patronages in particular are changing. The noticed changes started in 2003, if I’m not mistaken when Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja felt he didn’t need a godfather Adedibu —His Excellency tried to be in total control of his administration regarding appointments and other patronages. Of course, that disposition led to a big price on the part of the then sitting Governor Ladoja because an Adedibu would not take and swallow that bullshit —effrontery.

After the reign of Senator Ladoja, Oyo has been eternally immersed in the system whereby the sitting Governor at Agodi sees himself as Alfa and Omega. Only the regime of Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala was a bit fair in this regard, although his tenure also came with some unprecedented political tension, oppression, relegation, victimisation and terrorism, not only towards members of the public but also his political party (PDP) members.

The governorship of Senator Ladoja marked the obvious beginning of “cash and carry” in political selection of candidates/leaders in recent history in Oyo State. So, when a rich man becomes a governor, he starts thinking he holds the ace after he financed 85% to 95% of his campaigns, if not all in the case of Engr Seyi Makinde in 2019. Having huge cash flow in political race has come to be the best and only criterion to select the “best leader”, not his intellectual ability, integrity and the ability to deliver as promised.

Prior this time, from the days of National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), to the Third Republic of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC), there were party supremacy and hierarchy. All appointments came through the leadership structure of a political party, who were then fair than most of the selfish leaders we have all around today. No governor then behaved like an Emperor!

Anybody today supporting a sitting governor who behaves like an Emperor in power is either a sycophant or a hypocrite. Of course, then there was some freedom as a mark of respect and honour for the Office of the Governor to fix whomever he wanted in certain positions. That was the good old days for political leaders and politicians! Anybody changing this practice or relegating it cannot claim to be sincere and this alone puts a big question on whatever feats he claims to have achieved.

How has Engr Seyi Mákindé constituted or made his appointments into his cabinet so far? Yes, his ardent supporters, who see nothing wrong in anything he does, would say he has been fair in his appointments so far. “He has given African Democratic Congress (ADC), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) their slots according to the coalition arrangement prior the 2019 election,” they would tell you.

True, members of the original coalition political parties have been given portfolios and appointments but how were they selected is the question every honest man should ask.

Makinde & Lanlehin when the going was good in 2019

Senator Olufemi Solagbade Lanlehin, who has decamped into APC, could not be trying to be selfish —he was asking for decency and gentlemanly respect for the agreement reached during the coalition meetings and arrangements. How can you say you have selected somebody for an appointment into a cabinet without involving the core leadership of a group or a political party? How can you pick whom you like or can serve your personal purpose and interests and see that appointment representing a group? If, for instance, you pick somebody you personally want from ADC; of course, he or she truly is a member of the party but that appointment has never represented the general interest of the party or group he belongs to. That’s deceit!

So far, the appointments into Governor Makinde’s cabinet and other patronages, from close observation and disposition coming from the camp of Engr Makinde, have been based on how close you are to the governor himself, his aides and allies or his political group, Omi Tuntun or if you are in the good book of the governor. You are only good for appointments and patronages if you’re Omi Tuntun or they hope that you’re ready to become Omi Tuntun or you have something to offer the group and their principal to carry on their political exploits. In fact, if you had once been part or a friend of that political camp and by one reason or the other, you fell apart from the group, you’re not good enough for anything under this present administration in Oyo State. In a clear term, appointments and patronages under the Engr Mákindé governorship, just like under one or two of his predecessors, have not been based on the known and popular political ethics, practices and norms in party politics leadership —fair play has also been tampered with by His Excellency, Governor Seyi Mákindé. I, therefore, challenge His Excellency, not his aides or party chieftains, to show the public evidences of the leaders, not factional leaders, he consulted before making his appointments.

If we are new in politics and do not know how things ran in the good old days, please let’s be humble and ask so things can end well. Also, any member of the public or civil servant who is saying the way Governor Mákindé, at the moment, is treating politicians is OK just because he is doing their biddings, paying their salaries as at when due, is rather qualified as myopically or blindly selfish. That line of thought is not fair and has dire consequences on the public in particular. Let’s refuse to tag along the path of hypocrisy.

Engr Makinde has been using a tactic of giving a dog a bad name to hang it. Governor Makinde “delivering” to the public and they are seeing him as a “leadership that has never happened before in Oyo State” while he continues positioning the politicians and political leaders across the political divides as alaseju alaimose, all with the sole surreptitious aim of emerging as an indispensable political figure and the best man standing in the coming elections, 2023 in particular. Hmmm… What a clever strategy but which can consume the strategist!

Governor Makinde, since inception in office, has been giving appointments and still making fresh appointments even in almost two years of his administration, but it’s enjoined that the appointments should be made in a proper way.

My heart is with our governor and his family members on the demise of Mama Abigail Mojolagbe Makinde. May her soul rest in peace!

Marufh Bello, a journalist, author and book editor, is the publisher of City Hill News.

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