Makinde: Artful Governance in Challenging Times By Gbenga Akanni

Every writer knows that the basic requirements for the enterprise are language, grasp of the subject matter and logic. You need language to communicate your thoughts to others while logic helps you to make a sense of it all. This is what births conviction and persuasion. This is what brings about a shift in a person’s earlier position or view on a subject matter.

Apparently, Sola Abegunde, a faceless author of a watery piece written to attack the Oyo State governor, is bereft of this elementary knowledge. Hence, he only succeeded in embarrassing himself in his bid to cast aspersion on the choice of the vast majority of Oyo State people.

Ordinarily, I would have ignored his futile and puerile attempt to rake muck against His Excellency, Engr. Makinde, but it is important to put both him and his cowardly sponsors in their place and expose their nincompoopery for what it is.

For starters, consider this construction: Makinde have (sic) demonstrated that he possesses an uncommon… This is a statement that a JSS1 student of any secondary school in Oyo State will not make. How can a person who lacks the simple understanding of the use of concord in a sentence roar against the education system of a state that has been widely acknowledged as one of the leading lights in the country?

How can a person who keeps repeating a mistake that Basic 7 students in public schools in Oyo State will not condemn an education system that every right thinking member of the society applauds?

Then this: When it comes to hypnotizing his victims, spellbound dribbling and playing havocs with their sensibilities while ensuring that in the end, even those you expected to be clever and intelligent fell for Makinde’s antics and cheaply so.

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Pray, what manner of construction is this? Need I say more that this fellow is unfit for the chore his taskmasters assigned him? From his writing, it is evident that Abegunde, who still obviously hurts from the devastating defeat his sponsors suffered in the 2023 governorship election in Oyo State, has issues with five things.

These are: Governor Makinde’s abolition of the, 3000 levy imposed on school children by the previous administration, the Ibadan chieftaincy matter, the Light-Up Oyo project, the governor’s attitude to pact and the governor’s appeal.

Rather than bellyaching over the matter of relieving parents of paying N3,000 as school levy per child, what Abegunde should have done is to ask the parents how the abolition has affected them or their children’s education?

The fact out there is that despite the stoppage of the levy, the quality of education in the state has been on the upswing. It is also public knowledge that no fewer than 50,000 out-of-school children have returned to school. How can any serious-minded person rail against such a policy?

On the Ibadan chieftaincy matter, when former Governor Abiola Ajimobi (may God rest his soul) mooted the idea of installing Ibadan High Chiefs as their Royal Highnesses, what Makinde said was that the idea of transforming the traditional institution should have come from members of the institution and not forced on them by the government.

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This is why the Oyo State Chieftaincy Law was amended recently to accommodate the changes that members of the institution are yearning for. The difference between the handling of the Ibadan chieftaincy matter by former Governor Ajimobi and Governor Makinde is that while the former adopted a top-down style, the latter employed bottom-top approach.

It is common knowledge across the globe that bottom-top approach works better and serves the purpose of the people better.

The Light-up Oyo project, which has covered about 250km, is meant to improve economy and security. So, it is dear to Makinde’s heart as he has repeatedly said. Granted, there are issues but the issues are receiving attention.

That the Governor admitted publicly that the project is being audited speaks of his transparency and commitment to ensuring that the state gets value for its investment. He should be commended for this, not upbraided.

Abegunde alleged that the Governor does not keep his part of a pact. That is a very unfair cut. Majority of Oyo State residents will attest that Makinde has kept most of the promises he made to them. Ditto for the majority of the political class.

But the fact is that while it is possible to meet a person’s needs, satisfying anyone’s greed is a herculean task. So, those who think the Governor doesn’t keep his promises need a rethink.

Abegunde, like Alice in Wonderland, is troubled about why Governor Makinde enjoys so much support from the people of Oyo State.

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His words: “I still wonder in awe.” Well, wonder no more. It is not hypnotism or inducement as you suggested, it is called charm (hope I didn’t get you confused) or charisma. Permit me to say something about charismatic leaders. Charismatic leaders are magnetic. Their personality attracts others. Their presence commands attention. Their conduct wows people. Their words are turned into slogans. Their gait is admired by all. Their style is taken as a fad. The charismatic leader is a god clad in mortal raiment; he enjoys a cult-like following. That is Governor Seyi Makinde.

What is the secret of this charm? It is putting the people first. It is making what matters to the people matter to him. This is why he was re-elected. That is why today, the people of Oyo State celebrate him.

When a leader puts his people first, he will be first in their reckoning as well. He will have the people eating out of his hands, practically. That is what Abegunde and his spineless sponsors need to learn and practise instead of engaging in tomfoolery.

My counsel to Sola Abegunde is that having earned his pay by doing the bidding of his paymasters, he should invest his income to improve himself. He needs to learn the rudiments of writing. A good starting place will be any public school in Oyo State.
Akanni lives in Ibadan.


About the author


Oyo Affairs is an independent news media with the main focus on Oyo state news, politics, current events, trending happenings within and around Oyo state, Nigeria

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