By Oluwatayo Opeyemi
Residents of Oyo state, let me say this emphatically, our state was not El Dorado before Governor Seyi Makinde. In fact, our state was in disorder irrespective of what the APC missives are.
We were backwards precipitously, even in infrastructure, education and health.
However, Seyi Makinde is putting mechanisms in place to get everything to work.
You doubt this?
You are free to carry out independent research, using reliable statistics and data.
Check the fiscal sustainability of the state, the WAEC ranking of the state, insecurity and transparency index, development indexes and even the SDGs index, all these will lead to the conclusion I also arrived at; we were poor two years ago.
However, we are better off today. Let’s consider the above-mentioned statistics. In education, the State was awarded the best in the South West by the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB which is no mean feat. In WAEC ratings, we moved from number 11 to number 26 while the United Nations, UN rated our primary education at number 11 from 26.
We now have a more attractive landscape for investments as you could see OYSIPA already getting investors to revive state-owned moribund businesses. Before I move on, an important question to ask here is why these investments were moribund in the past but are now attracting investors. The simple answer to that is that before now, the atmosphere was hostile for investments, which as I speak and if I’m not mistaken has greatly reduced since the Seyi-Makinde led administration came into power (I stand not to be corrected).
Also, Oyo state has revived four moribund government investments namely Olooba burnt brick factory, Ijaye Asphalt plant, Oko food processing company and Agbowo shopping mall.
The government also introduced Public-Private Partnership, PPP initiatives on the cultural centre rehabilitation taken by Nigerian breweries.
There are also new initiatives like the partnership with tech bike-sharing initiative like Awabike, while gas pipelines to improve the state’s electricity capacity for industrialization is on by Shell, two new housing estates comprising of over 400 housing units are being constructed.
I’m not rolling out achievements. No! I’m talking sense into any Oyo state resident that is ready to listen.
Look at those initiatives, they were done on PPP where private sectors were the ones bearing the major financial capacity. That is telling you that the state’s transparency index is trusted and very sustainable.
If multinationals like Shell could decide to plunge millions of dollars into projects in Oyo state, something that could not be done prior to time, it indicates just one thing, the government has instilled confidence in investors, doing so has a ripple effect on we the citizenry, not just in the provision of employment opportunities.
The biggest effect is that the government we have onboard is sustainable and very transparent.
A transparency report by ICAN for Oyo in 2018 showed that we were performing poorly. Our finances were shrouded in opaque.
Seyi Makinde promised to end that. So, if we have no reports, for now, to gauge the fulfilment thus far, we can use investors confidence in partnering with the government to do so.
I agree with the sentiment that governance entails more than the construction of roads. At that, we can not dispute the fact that Makinde is currently working on over 300kms of roads across the zones of Oyo state simultaneously. 3km has already been completed.
Asides from this, he is providing services like streetlights, security control room, emergency toll number, vehicles and even communications devices that cover the length and breadth of Oyo state for the security operatives. This is the first time such devices were purchased.
Part of the dividends of democracy, right? Yes but nonetheless, should be appreciated.
The opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC in the SouthWest has tried to change the narrative by painting Oyo state as the new Yemen or Syria. But, data does not lie.
Statistics released showed the numbers of kidnapped cases reported in Nigeria across all states across Nigeria and Osun, Ondo and the Federal Capital Territory were in the top 15.
Oyo State was not listed in the top 15.
Furthermore, a publication by a popular newspaper, the Guardian on the 20th of January 2021 stated that Oyo state had a drop of about 32% in robbery cases report due to the provision of more channels of report for robbery cases and quick response of security operative in the state.
Also, on the 22nd of February 2021, the DIG of police in the Southwest announced that cases of insecurity in Oyo state are being exaggerated by the online media which is to distract unsuspecting residents of the state.
At this juncture, I would like to point out that there is no absolute peace in any society but there are parameters to compare and contrast.
The major security challenge facing the administration is the herders and farmers clash, which the herders are notoriously known to be the perpetrators of this menace which have become very much rampant because of the negligence and nepotism of the President, Dictator General Muhammadu Buhari.
Nevertheless, the Oyo state government showed its capacity in curbing and controlling this menace. In situations when it should have generated a looming war, the governor set a precedence that was nonexistent.
The Governor visited hotspots and paid for the health bills of victims who were injured. Most times, residents of these hotspots not only acknowledged that the governor has always been visiting before time, but they also stated that when a similar case happened years back involving 14 people who were murdered, the governor sat back, did nothing despite their letters and protests.
Beyond vitriol and instigation, I’ll like an APC member on this platform to debunk my claim. This is to show you the extent to which I welcome dissenting credible arguments and not just rolling out baseless lies.
The health sector is also receiving attention as we can see from the way the government responded to the pandemic and leveraged on it to get Oyo state at least 7 standard health facilities, namely Eyin Grammar Primary Healthcare Centre, Alaafin PHC, Awe Model Health Centre, Agbami Chest Clinic, 2 molecular labs, Saki Specialist Hospital and the isolation centre, Oyo state Infectious Disease Centre at Oloodo with another PHC at Igboora.
This is leaving out the fact that the government already revamped and equipped Adeoyo hospital which was an eyesore before then.
Let’s also talk about the completion of the Jericho specialist built by Ajimobi, the upgrading of the Ooranyan PHC and the revamping of a section of Lautech hospital to serve as an isolation centre while reinstating workers that were illegally laid off in the facility.
The govt has also tried in extending good governance to education beyond improving the WAEC ranks. 5,000 teachers were recruited to fill loopholes found in the sector, yearly SUBEB grants access, yearly 100% subvention to higher institutions, accreditation of courses in these tertiary institutions too, the printing of books and textbooks for primary and secondary school students, massive school projects especially renovations and rebuild of dilapidated schools (over 500 projects have been done in this sector)
Workers in the civil service are getting salaries as their basic rights even in a pandemic even though the government just increased their salary before the pandemic started.
Pensioners and retirees are getting pensions and gratuities owed as far back as 2011, promotions are ongoing while over 900 illegally sacked workers have been called back with pay up to the date they are reinstated.
We saw how he handled the #EndSARS issue and how he has supported the cause afterwards, just to show his support was not cosmetic. This was done to protect the citizenry’s constitutional right to protest.
If good governance is beyond construction of roads, measuring it should be beyond shenanigans and vituperation as that has been an antic of the APC.
This is me, a supporter of Seyi Makinde. I’m not interested in abusing politician A or B based on politics as it’s needless, I’m out to give an outline.
As to why I support a government, abusing politicians because of politics is useless, politicians have a way to settle their differences as residents our gains are things they do to better our lives as residents.
I’ve never supported a govt like I am supporting Seyi Makinde.
I’m not doing it because of his infallibility.
I do not say he is perfect. In fact, he’s human and very imperfect.
However, in my years of assessing government and governance in Oyo state from 1999, I have no seen one that is so deliberate and keen on delivering campaign promises on ways that will have direct impacts on the citizens to the extent of having a platform in the public domain to check promises and the ones fulfilled so far check https://t.co/3xhAcvNZVG, same on https://t.co/s72bFXhAb6.
On the state’s website, there’s a platform to download and check the state’s budgets for every year, this is the transparency I spoke about earlier in my article.
Seyi Makinde as a human being has made some promises which are unfulfilled to date. To be realistic, he might not fulfil some of them because of unforeseen circumstances, but I have observed that intentions and efforts are very predominant in his style of governance.
Our APC neighbours rather than call him names, and throw political tantrums at him, should sit back and play clear opposition by pointing out indexes that he met in the state that he has depleted on.
The SDGs rating in schools that he met at one digit point has increased to closed to 20 points, 43,000 out of school children in Oyo state have been reinstated with about 11% increment in public school enrollment.
With the new process to reconstruct and deliver World Health Organization-certified grade C PHCs in the state numbering 351, we should be expecting more rating in our health sector from WHO.
Improved mortality rate, improved maternal mortality rate and neo-mortality rate, these are statistics needed to assess a state not tantrums. No businessman or interested person wanting to do business or reside in Oyo state will listen to hearsays from the opposition. They would rather check what the standard of living, investment conditions, infrastructural facility, transparency index educational rating for their kids, are saying.
Needful to note that Oyo state just started a waste management system similar to what is obtainable in San Francisco, USA, by building the state’s first landfill facility, another one is already undergoing construction.
Futuristic policies like citing a centre of Excellence for energy and innovation in conjunction with a Finnish public enterprise is here, agricultural policies to train your kids to excel in modern agricultural practices are being taken on by a well-known research institute that’s IITA through @step_iita, making Oyo state at least the only SW state in this kind of futuristic policy in a clime of quick fixe.
The agency that was established to get private investors in the state; that’s OYSIPA with @OYSADA_official got to partner with Niji farm to establish agricultural implements assembling plants here in Oyo state, which’s also futuristic.
Finally, the index I love most from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, which is the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR. In the pandemic year of 2020, Oyo state managed a 26% increase in IGR, coming from number 13 to 6 on the rank to see how well states did in generating internally generated revenue. The government did that without any tax burden on citizens at a time about 31 states of the Federation including the FCT witnessed revenue depletion.
These are things that concern us as citizens. These are what should interest us, not political banter. We’ve been there before. APC ousted Goodluck Jonathan on no solid ground except for baseless lies and exaggeration.
Oyo state should not fall. Rather, we should be two steps ahead of their tricks. If no facts are forthcoming, shut them up!
Jonathan was building a strong system to fight corruption. APC came about with propaganda and missives and succeeded in bringing him down.
I hope Oyo state people are jotting things down!
Seyi Makinde is building not just a system to fight corruption but one to imbibe good governance in the state. He needs all the support he can get.
Ending this long thread with a response Seyi Makinde gave his friends when he told them he wanted to go into politics and they asked if one person could change the world as seen in the last newsletter to we his subscribers
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He was asked, “Can one person change the world?”
His response, “Well, one person may not be able to change the world, but one person can start others thinking in ways that will make them all join hands to change the world”.
I’ve joined Seyi Makinde in his quest to change the world and I’m unflinching in this resolve. I have seen a path and I’m holding on to it, not allowing the deja vu of Jonathan happened once again. I am part of the solution just like the title of his last newsletter.
I recommend reading ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous’ by NOI. Compare what NOI faced to the trivialities Seyi Makinde is facing, you’d see that vituperation and propaganda is a pattern of the APC which they’ve been well taught and are harnessing beyond imagination.
Indigenous and residents of Oyo State, I have done my part. Let posterity judge us all.