The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has been commended for the roles he played in the just-concluded governorship election in Ondo State, which was won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
The Oyo Kajola Group (OKG), a pan-Oyo socio-political group, stated this in a statement on Monday, noting that democrats across the nation should be proud of the robust contributions of Governor Makinde to the electoral process in Ondo state.
It added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should also give well-deserved commendations to the Governor of Oyo State for his outstanding contributions.
The group stated that Makinde as the leader of the PDP National Campaign Council helped in no small measure to deepen democracy and make the contest tick.
A statement by OKG’s Media Coordinator, Mr. Adebayo Ayandele, also indicated that Makinde deserves further commendation for ensuring that despite his handling of different PDP national assignments, including those in Kogi, Edo and Ondo states, he has continued to develop the state at a great pace never seen before.
The statement also indicated that Makinde has left no stone unturned in his efforts to ensure the turnaround of the state’s economy.
The group asked opposition elements in the state to apologise to Makinde over the allegation that he spent Oyo State’s money on the Ondo poll, adding that the governor had been making meaningful financial contributions to several good causes even when he was a private citizen.
“Recall that Engineer Makinde had been funding several humanitarian causes in the state for years now. He also funded his own elections, including the contest for senatorial seat in 2007 as well as the governorship bids in 2015 and 2019. Makinde did well and discharged his roles creditably in Ondo and nobody should reduce that to a jaundiced narrative about some imaginary Oyo State funds being spent on the Ondo election,” the group said.
The group also said critics of the governor have run out of sensible ideas, knocking those it described as APC attention-seekers and one Hakeem Oyedele Alao, whom it claimed is holed up in Oman and has been claiming to speak for the Alliance for Democracy (AD), which state chairman, Pastor Akinade Alamu and other leaders are part of the coalition that brought in the Makinde government.
OKG stated that having seen that the good governance being provided by the Makinde administration has knocked them off their perch, the APC elements have been seeking diversionary tactics to distract the people from the intractable crises in their party, wondering whether they were speaking for the Alao-Akala faction or the usurping Unity Forum or voicing the uncoordinated views in SENACO group.
“Let it be clearly stated that the people of Oyo State are pleased with the developmental strides being engineered by Governor Makinde and will not trade him for any of the would-be usurpers trying to supplant his good works,” the group added.
According to the group, the press conference by Governor Makinde, which raised the alarm on potential landmines in the process of the Ondo election, should be hailed as the views of a patriotic citizen who was desirous of free and fair election in the country.
“As a democrat, Governor Makinde has, again, discharged his role creditably. Though the PDP could not win the election as a result of different factors, some of which will still unravel in the not-too-distant future, it has not taken away the fact that Governor Makinde gave a good account of himself.
“Whatever happened in the course of the assignment, including but not limited to the press conference in which he, on behalf of the PDP National Campaign Council, rejected the planned appointment of a crony of the governor of Ondo state as the Returning Officer for the election, should be seen as part of the assignment and not something for opposition APC elements to criticise Makinde for.
“Apart from this, the viewpoint that some imaginary Oyo State resources were expended on the PDP governorship bid in Ondo is unfounded, thoughtless and at best diversionary.
“Where were these same elements when Makinde was deploying his personal resources to fund scholarships, bursary awards, and different elections he had participated in?
“The fact remains that the smooth running of the state under the governor has confounded many of the critics who could not understand how he has been able to regularly meet financial obligations including prompt payment of salaries, pensions and arrears of gratuity from 2010, which the immediate past APC administration left unpaid.
“They have also been surprised that he has been able to complete several projects abandoned by the APC government, while also flagging off monumental projects capable of turning around the state’s economy.
“In any case, we know that the immediate past governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in his lifetime, got different national assignments in the APC and funded them with Oyo State’s money. At least, we are aware of the misadventures of the then state government, which led to it lending Oyo State’s resources to Osun State to offset part of the huge salary debts in 2014 ahead of that year’s election in that state.
“It is on record that the APC government in Oyo State, from that moment, could not meet basic financial obligations, owed salaries and pensions and turned Oyo to a beggarly state which had to wait for federal Government’s bailouts before fractions of salaries could be paid.
“But Governor Makinde has proved himself to be a prudent manager of men and resources and would never commit Oyo State resources to any venture that will not benefit the people of the state. He has always insisted on Oyo State people getting value for every kobo of the state. So, the opposition critics should either come up with evidence of the Oyo State’s money spent in Ondo or forever bury their heads in shame.
“We would also like to charge these opposition elements seeking relevance by attacking Makinde that they should calm down and relish the unprecedented pace of development in Oyo State under his watch. The good works already started by the governor have begun to yield positive fruits, as evident in the recent classification of Oyo State as one of the nine prosperous states by the National Bureau of Statistics.
“We can only encourage the opposition to make less noise and cooperate with the government of Engineer Seyi Makinde to make Oyo State greater otherwise, they might end up in ignominy, an end that all hypocrites cannot avoid.”