Opinion

Oyo State and the Seyi Makinde Effect by Olamide Olorundare

“Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde can best be described as a phenomenon that many political actors did not see coming. But, like a flame cast on dry leaves in the peak of harmattan, he ignited a political consciousness that spread hope and a renewed belief in good governance in the minds of the people of Oyo State. He ran a people-centred campaign fired by a passion for excellence and sustainable development, which has inspired loyal followership.”

With that, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde’s about page opens.

In truth, Governor Makinde was indeed a phenomenon that many political actors did not see coming. He contested for political office three times and lost. But he did not give up. He ran to represent his people in the Senate in 2007 and 2011 (primaries) and lost. After being schemed out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries pre-2015, he moved to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and ran for governor and lost. He then regrouped, returned to the PDP and ran again as governor in 2019 and finally won. 

But, despite his tenacity, neither the alliances, the opposition, nor the political elite envisaged what was coming. Indeed, “like a flame cast on dry leaves in the peak of harmattan, he has ignited a political consciousness that spread hope and a renewed belief in good governance in the minds of the people of Oyo State.” When discerning people hear ‘Seyi Makinde’, they think of empathetic leadership. A new entry in the urban dictionary defines Makinde as “a great leader who carries his people along in all his decisions.”

People cannot believe he has just been in office for two years. It sounds like it has been a lifetime because he came prepared. In fact, right from his first year in office, he was already being compared to governors who had been there for four years. People tried to label him Audio Governor because he followed his Roadmap to Accelerated Development in Oyo State 2019-2023.

He was like a farmer planting seeds, but the people, mostly opposition party members, were expecting an immediate harvest. Yet, he was not deterred. He stuck to the roadmap. Two years on, he has so many completed and commissioned projects to his name and numerous ongoing projects that no one, except core opposition fanatics, can call him “audio”. We are clearly now in the ‘audio-visual’ stage of governance, and the people of Oyo State are the beneficiaries.

In his last State of the State address, he made a comment that is a true reflection of the feelings of the people in Oyo State, “we feel a renewed sense of pride when we sing the words of our Oyo State anthem, ‘Asiwaju niwa, asiwaju niwa!’” This is because, as he rightly stated, Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration is building physical and metaphorical bridges. He is engineering a modern Oyo State. “No zone in Oyo State is left behind, no sector is being overlooked, no group is being underserved.”

Governor Seyi Makinde’s inclusive governance style is the reason he has street credibility. In the last two weeks, he went to every zone in Oyo State, commissioning projects in the four sectors which have served as pillars of his administration: education, economy, healthcare, and security. Let me do a brief recap.

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In the Ibadan Zone, he commissioned several projects. The 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin Road was completely reconstructed. That strategic project has now opened the way for other ancillary projects in the tourism sector. Other commissioned projects include the Start Them Early Programme (STEP) at Methodist High School, the Muslim Grammar School (Junior) Odinjo and the Challenge/Felele Junction improvement.  For clarity, STEP Methodist is just one of the six STEPs currently running in Oyo State. The Oyo State Government has STEP set up at:

  • Bishop Phillips Academy, Ibadan.
  • Methodist High School, Ibadan.
  • Christ High School, Oleyo.
  • Adegun Asake Grammar School, Igangan.
  • Iresaadu High School, Iresaadu.
  • UMCA Secondary Grammar School, Igbeti.

This project which has attracted stakeholders from all over Nigeria is a one-of-a-kind project that introduces secondary school students to the business of agriculture. It is a 100% practical course in agribusiness. The students are exposed to the technical, technological and management side of agriculture. They get to manage their own businesses right from secondary school.

With the commissioning of Muslim Grammar School, His Excellency showcased what the Model Schools in Oyo State now look like. Let me point out that 26 of those schools were built across the state in the last year as part of the 300 projects completed in the education sector.

In Oke-Ogun Zone, His Excellency commissioned the newly reconstructed and upgraded Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) Headquarters, Saki. Through this commissioning, Governor Makinde showed that he means business when he said he would use agribusiness to drive the Oyo State economy. Oke-Ogun is the food basket of Oyo State. So, it was logical that they should get the agribusiness headquarters.

Aside from that, the OYSADA headquarters is built on a facility that had been left moribund for several years. So, in rebuilding and reconstructing it, His Excellency was keeping another campaign promise. He had said that he would recover all Oyo State moribund assets and ensure that the people get value from them. In fact, one of the former moribund assets – the Pacesetter Quarry and Asphalt Plant, recovered last year, is presently producing the asphalt used in road construction in Oyo State.

In the Ogbomoso Zone, His Excellency commissioned the High Dependency Unit at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso. His administration had completed the hospital left undone by the previous administration by adding three flours and fully equipping these floors with; Standard automated hospital beds and mattresses, electronic vital signs monitoring equipment, oxygen, cardiac monitoring devices and dedicated power supply.

While at Ogbomoso, His Excellency also went to LAUTECH to fulfil another campaign promise. You will recall that during the year, the Oyo State Government had secured sole ownership of the institution. This is a major win not just for Oyo State but for the students who no longer have to spend extra years in school because of the incessant strike by lecturers. But there was more to come on this visit as Governor Makinde slashed their tuition fees by 25%.

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Moving to Ibarapa Zone, Governor Makinde inspected the former Isolation Centre, Igbo Ora, which has now been upgraded and converted to General Hospital Annexe, a secondary healthcare facility.  This is also a good time to mention that Governor Makinde has taken steps to make good his promise to have one standard and functional Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) per ward in Oyo State by approving the contract for the reconstruction in the last year and upgrading of 299 PHCs in Oyo State.

It is worthy of mention that Governor Makinde held townhall meetings in all the zones he visited to get direct feedback from the people. It is this feedbacks that he uses to plan what to do in each zone. For example, there is a planned flag-off of the Isaba-Ogundoyin Road in the next few weeks.

Also, while at this zone, Governor Makinde went to Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology (OYSCATECH) to flag off input distribution for 20,000 farmers across Oyo State.

In the Oyo Zone, Governor Seyi Makinde commissioned the reconstructed Akesan (Oja-Oba) Market. You will recall that this market was razed by a fire in January 2020. The facility now includes:

  • 528 lock-up shops
  • 163 open shops
  • 3 warehouses
  • 1 cold room
  • Police post
  • Administrative block
  • Clinic
  • 2 toilet blocks (male and female)
  • 2 car parks (one inside and the other outside)
  • 4 fire hydrants at each complex
  • Industrial boreholes.

Still in the Oyo Zone, His Excellency commissioned the resuscitated cassava factories at Ilora, handled as part of Oyo State’s private-sector-led public-sector-supported initiatives. This is in keeping with Governor Makinde’s belief that the only business government should have in business is to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

I have only mentioned the projects that Governor Seyi Makinde commissioned as part of the two years in office celebration. Several others were completed and/or commissioned during the year. For example, the Awotan Dumpsite converted to the Awotan Landfill; Operationalisation of Amotekun with the recruitment of 1,500 corps members; and 3km Under G-Stadium-LAUTECH 2nd Gate Road are not included in this list.

There are also several projects completed but not commissioned. For example, in the Ibadan Zone, the following projects were not commissioned even though they are completed and in use.

  • Upgrade of Adeoyo Maternity Home and Adeoyo State Hospital with ICU and CT Scan installation, Renal Dialysis Unit and Infectious Disease Lab
  • Renovation/conversion of Jericho Nursing Home to a Geriatric Centre
  • Expansion of Oke-Adu Junction – Agodi Gate – Idi-Ape Road – Iwo Road Interchange (3.26 Km)

You can find a complete list of Governor Seyi Makinde’s two years in office achievements on the FeedbackOYSG blog.

Governor Seyi Makinde indeed “ran a people-centred campaign fired by a passion for excellence and sustainable development which has inspired loyal followership.” His achievements in the last two years have shown that he came prepared for governance. As he said in a recent speech, “When we say we are engineering a modern Oyo State, we are not paying lip service to that phrase. We came with a solid plan, and we are determined to implement it.”

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OyoAffairs

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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