Up until the result of the election was announced, many people never gave Engineer Seyi Makinde a chance of victory. But it was obvious the people of Oyo State were in dire need of a change and better governance. And Makinde eventually became the governor.
The people didn’t give Makinde a chance before the election, not because they doubted his capabilities or his potentials, they couldn’t just relate Makinde’s person and mien to the ills and dirty things they know about politics.
Indeed, Makinde had done more than enough in his personal capacities for years to earn the majority support, but at the same time, people were skeptical if politics would not sway him from doing as much as he was doing, when he eventually got to power.
Undeterred, Makinde had continued to apply to the people for the Agodi Government House plum job, but a combination of factors would not make it be until it was time. And then the time came in 2019. Interestingly, the manner and speed at which all the factors worked together for Makinde’s electoral victory at the March 9, 2019 election was unprecedented.
The assertion that Governor Makinde is the best option at the poll was indicated by the jubilations and aura of peace that enveloped the state when the name was announced as the winner by the electoral umpire. No gainsaying the fact that Governor Makinde was a beneficiary of the disaffection and yearning for the rejection of the immediate past administration and anyone that has to do with him, just to prove a point that power indeed lies with the people.
But Makinde would not claim ignorance of all the factors that worked together for his success at the polls. He knew the task ahead and was ready to get to work from the first blast of the whistle. He knew the yearnings and wants of the people and he vowed to uphold it.
Fondly called GSM, Governor Seyi Makinde’s body language from the time of the announcement of his victory was not about winner takes all. During his electioneering campaigns, one of the issues that often marvel political associates and core politicians in his political camp was Makinde’s outright rejection of the politics of violence and bitterness.
His fresh water brand of politics came into full perspective upon his election, as he initiated the move to visit the incumbent governor at the time at the Agodi Government House. It was the first time such would happen in the history of the state and it was widely commended.
During the visit, Makinde told former Governor Ajimobi of his intentions and desire to work with him and seek his advice on issues that related to the development of the state. Despite their political differences, Makinde told the former governor that he would sustain his [Ajimobi’s] policies and programmes that are good while correcting those deemed not too good. He also didn’t mince word in declaring that those found to be anti-people would be discarded outright.
In the last 100 days of the Governor Makinde administration, a new air of fresh breath is blowing across the length and breadth of the state. No sector has been left out. From education, sports, health, security, amongst others are having a good feeling already.
In less than 100 days, workers now collect their salaries on 25th of the month, individuals who had been stagnated and had served in acting capacities without confirmation have been confirmed as permanent secretaries while many others were promoted. These have not only gone well to oil the government machinery, which is the civil service, but has boosted the morale of the government workers to give their best.
A new cabinet of 17 commissioners was recently inaugurated with the team comprising technocrats and experts in various fields of human endeavours. Armed with years of professional successes in their chosen fields, a good number of the new commissioners are coming to fuel the public sector with their private success stories, which has been the missing link for effective and efficient governance over the years.
A phenomenon in the appointment is the confirmation and swearing-in of the youngest commissioner in the history of the state. A 27-year-old is running the Ministry of Youths and Sports in line with the campaign promise of the governor to ensure a less than 30-years-old would take over the ministry of youths and sports.
In the area of security, which is one of the four pillars on which Makinde rests his government, plans have been concluded to procure 100 Kia Rio Executive Automatic Transmission patrol cars for the security agencies. This is in addition to the appointment of a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Benue state as the Special Adviser on Security to the governor, Mr Fatai Owoseni.
The menace and fear of a return of violence has been kept in check with the immediate proscription of the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state. The governor made this possible upon taking the oath of office on May 29, 2019.
In education, the governor scrapped the levies imposed on the public schools and it ended up being the right decision to sway student enrollment upwards and reduce the number of the out-of-school children in the state. Free books are also to be shared to students in both the junior and senior secondary schools. A bursary of N500,000 was also recently approved to Oyo state indigent students in Law school. This has also encouraged many students in tertiary institution to be conscious and willing to prove a point to make a difference in their academic pursuits.
Two visits to the state-owned Adeoyo Hospital by the Governor to see things on first hand have helped in no small measure to see the situation. A shopping list of the items needed to transform the facility and make it compete favourably with its peers in service delivery is being generated by the hospital management. Just a few weeks after the visit by the Governor, asphaltic tarring of a section of the road from the entrance of the hospital has begun.
The agricultural sector has also been getting the governor’s attention. Visit to some farms and the recent partnership deal with Farmcrowdy are being vigorously pursued by the Makinde’s government in his desire to explore the potentials of the agricultural value chain to open up the state economy and provide job for the youths of the state.
Celebrating the first hundred days of the Governor Makinde-led administration in the Pacesetter state is apposite and indicative of the fact that the government is aware of the importance of time in ensuring that the dividends of democracy get to the people in all nooks and crannies of the state.