March 9, 2019 was a date that will go down in the political history of Oyo state as the day sentiments triumphed over objective reasoning. It was a day when the sheer hatred for one man by the political class was considered strong enough to commit the fate of the entire state and its future into the hands of a clueless candidate whose only ambition was to become governor without any plan or capacity to run a state as complex as ours.
Two weeks before the election, no credible political analysts, local and international, gave a chance to Seyi Makinde as he was profiled less popular than a couple of other candidates. It was just few days to the election when that unholy alliance was consumated by all the major opposition parties just to ensure that the baby was thrown away with the bathwater. Ajimobi was the name they didnt want to hear and anything with that colouration suffered similar rejection without any consideration for the credentials of whoever was involved.
365 days is a long enough period to start taking stocks and assess the performance of any democratically elected government whom we have collectively decided to entrust the administration of our future and that of our children to, due to promises made during the electioneering process.
As a bonafide son of the soil, a participant observer of what transpired during the 2019 gubernatorial elections in Oyo state, I believe a critical analysis of this opportunistic government is due and can not be complete without understanding the background, intrigues and all that transpired during that election. How the political class shortchanged the entire Oyo people because of their grievances with Ajimobi and formed a coalition that gave the same person that would not do the same for them in 2015 because of his selfishness, the mandate he did not deserve. So, Ajimobi and anything Ajimobi was frowned at despite the credentials of the candidate presented by the APC .
While the general public who preferred meritocracy over mediocrity gave Adelabu close to 400,000 votes, the political class grievances with Ajimobi ushered in the unholy coalition that either by hook or crook manufactured over 500,000 votes for Seyi Makinde. They shortchanged the electorate and the entire Oyo people by trading a candidate with proven competence in both the private and public sector, demonstrable love and passion for development of Oyo state through private enterpreneurship in Real Estate, Hospitality and Agriculture, employing hundreds of people, sacrificed a plum appointment at the federal level for state service, produced next to none and realistic political manifestos and roadmaps that will take Oyo state out of poverty and set us on course for developmental greatness.
All these were traded for someone without any track record anywhere other than being an overnight billionaire In terms of political history, he lost elections for House of Rep and Senate even at the primary level, and scored just about 40,000 votes at his last Guber attempt. With no manifesto or any cerebral capacity to govern a state like ours because he has never operated at that level, It was obvious from the onset that we were set for a very tough ride to nowhere for the next four years.
Now looking back, one can easily conclude that the most unfortunate political decision was made on March 9, 2019 facilitated by Ajimobi’s political adversaries premised on taking back their pound of flesh from a Governor that served the state for 8years with visible developmental projects and programs across sectors. Along the line, a passionate and cerebral son of the soil was also targeted to suffer from the so called sins of his political leader.
But in actual fact, are they really the ones at the recieving end of this evil perpetrations? With the benefit of hindsight, one can easily conclude that their own wounds which is probably healed by now, is a far cry from what the entire state is suffering today. The state has been taken back to the dark years of insecurity of lives and properties, deteriorating physical infrastructures, worsening educational standards, hospitals without necessary medical ingredients, poor sanitation with heaps of refuse all over the streets, executive cabinets without steam manned by mediocres, ex-convicts and confirmed criminals manning critical portfolios. All these have made us the laughing stocks among comity of states.
In spite of the electoral loss of former Governor Ajimobi, he has just been appointed the deputy national chairman of his party which has easily eased the pain of his loss of a Senatorial seat and his continued relevance confirmed even at the national level. The APC candidate might have lost his plum job as deputy governor of the apex bank and spent a lot of money prosecuting the elections, but information at our disposal confirmed that his business has even thrived more than ever before after the elections. He has remained in Ibadan since then unlike a typical politician that would have faded into the thin air and resurface when the next election is near. It was gathered that within the past one year, Bayo Adelabu has opened two major locations in his hospitality business, Bayse One Premium Hotel and Pioneer Sports and Leisure Club. In addition to this, about four other locations are under construction, among which is a five star 120 room, eight floors, Radisson Blu hotel at Bodija as well as two major high end and middle class private housing estates in prime locations in Ibadan. We also know that most of his political associates are all back to their businesses being professionals while devoting sometime to local politics in preparation for the next elections.
Therefore, the targeted victims are not really the actual victims in the real sense of it. The actual victims are the citizens and residents of Oyo state. 365 days and many billions of Naira in both IGR and federal government allocation, this government has not been able to achieve one single thing or complete a single project but they have been able to needlessly ground our local government administration, which should be an arm of government that provides people with dividends of democracy at the local level. With misplaced priorities, the government now intervenes in motor park administration to empower their thugs, cause chaos and brigandage across the state and try to return us back to the dark days of insecurity.
The people will like to know what this government is doing about job creation for the youths, their plans to increase our IGR, what is their plan to provide portable water and good health services. It is not about propaganda and billboards that showcased nothing but stupidity and cluelessness of this government . It is about service delivery to the people. It is about giving hope and succour to the populace. All this said, I’m sure the political class are kicking themselves now as all promises made to them and their parties during election has not been honoured. A man whose words cannot be taken at face value can not be entrusted with our collective destiny.
Never shall we make the same mistake again! While I’m not a prophet, I can easily predict that the next election will be a smooth ride for APC on one condition. The party needs to allow genuine reconciliation and put an end to internal rancour while all the exiled members are recieved back home unconditionally. In addition, less efforts should be put on organising Guber primaries as they already have a candidate that is generally acceptable to the people of Oyo state having scored considerable votes. With this, the progressives can easily make their way back to governance, having learnt their lessons the hard way.
Olawale Adegbenro writes from Dugbe, Ibadan,Oyo state.