•He has stepped on many toes – Party chieftains;
No, he is doing well – PDP.
By Olusesan Laoye
With the 2023 governorship election in Oyo State around the corner, all is now set, as those interested are now warming up including the incumbent Governor Seyi Makinde, who claimed that his coming out depends on God and he is also putting this into prayer.
In the last two years of Makinde being in power in Oyo state, there have been a lot of political developments that would count on who rules the state in the 2023.
Although his supporters and associates would rate him high, there are some groups of people who believed that his style of governance amounts to playing God and would not give any favourable remarks about him.
These set of people believed that he has been carrying on the affairs of the State, without wider consultations but depends on himself alone, saying he is doing things without carrying along those that matters, even, including members of his cabinet.
The notion had been that his style and actions are dictatorial which have caused a big brush between him and some notable opinion leaders, politicians and traditional rulers.
The impression now, according to political observers, is that all the accusations against him are centered on his statement when he assumed office in 2019 that he would step on toes to ensure smooth governance in the interest of the masses.
Makinde had said during his 52nd birthday anniversary, shortly after he came to power that he would continue to fight on the side of the ordinary people and without looking back: “I will serve the people of Oyo state without minding whose toes I will break. The truth is that I will break some toes, if I really have to and I will continue to fight for the ordinary people of Oyo State”
He went on “I will step on toes in a bid to make Oyo state great and set it on a path of sustainable development.I have seen people who come to me that I should not do certain things because of second term; I think those interested in the second term should wait till 2022 but now we would do things that are committed to our hands to please the people and make Oyo State great.
The people would determine the fate of a politician for a second term; if you do well in the first term they will want you to continue for a second term.” He argued.
True to his words the governor started to step on toes right from the day of his inauguration with the disbandment of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), which people believed cannot be carried out by the governor due to the role the union always play for any government in power.
As if that was not enough, the first set of politicians he dealt with were those who helped him to get to power with the coalition of other political parties, which was championed by the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja.
It was Ladoja who convinced others to team up with Makinde in PDP to flush the All Progressives Congress out of power. This made the likes of Senator Femi Lanlehin of the ADC, Alhaji Sarafadeen Alli of the Zenith Labour party and contestants from other political parties to step down for Governor Makinde, who could not have won the election on his own merit without the coalition.
Makinde after settling down in office, jettisoned them, without allegedly fulfilling the agreements reached, before he won the election. This however led to these politician backing out and ever since, things have not been the same with them and the governor. These politicians are now waiting for the governor in 2023 to fight back.
Although these people are out of his way, the governor is currently facing the heat from home, as members of this party and notable leaders are no longer with him.
He is being accused of playing God and governing the State without considering their contributions towards his emergence, as the governor.
They described his style of governance as being dictatorial and undemocratic. These leaders are so aggrieved that they have wowed to stand against his nomination for the 2023 governorship election.
Although there had been several meetings to bring them together, the PDP has so much been fictionalized to about 20 groups, with their leaders, equally relevant to the existence of the party.
The situation in the party in the last one year in Oyo State has been so worrisome to the leadership in Abuja, which made the Senator Bukola Saraki reconciliation committee to pay special visit to Oyo state, to mend fences, but unfortunately, the intervention of the Saraki’s committee has not helped to resolve the feud.
Governor Makinde was being constantly accused by the aggrieved leaders of not being ready and willing for reconciliation. They claimed that since Saraki left, his actions are worse than before and that he has been doing everything to undermine them.
All his actions, according to one of the aggrieved members from all local governments in the State has produced a gang up against him. This, it was said, made the aggrieved leaders and their supporters who converged in Ibadan, recently to pass a vote of no confidence in Makinde.
These leaders who led their different groups, include former leader in the House of Representatives, Alhaja Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Mogaji Nureni Akanbi, Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan, former Deputy Governor in Oyo State, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi, Engineer Femi Babala (Jogor) and other prominent leaders across the 33 local governments of the state, expressed their bitterness over the way Makinde has been behaving.
His actions, they argued, have been telling gravely on the party, which could lead to its disintegration, and subsequently losing relevance and the sympathy of the people.
They vowed that they would prove their importance by preventing Makinde from getting the ticket of the party for a second term.
According to Alhaja Akande -Adeola “never again are we going to entrust our destinies in the hands of someone like Makinde”. She vowed that she would use everything at her disposal to ensure that Makinde did not get the ticket of the party for a second term as the people would be mobilized against him.
Also in his reaction, Alhaji Olopoeyan said that Makinde believed too much in himself and he thinks he is God.
“We have observed that no matter the amount of reconciliations made, Makinde is not in any way ready to reconcile with anybody. He prefers to damn the consequences. This attitude could affect the party, as others he has offended, outside the party too are waiting for 2023 to strike and take revenge which would tell on the party if he is fielded and that is why we have to make sure he does not get the ticket of our party if we want to retain power in 2023”
Olopoeyan argued that what he and other leaders of the PDP are doing isn’t for their selfish interests but for the party.
“What we are doing is to salvage the PDP because if we have not done it well he would not run to join the party at the time he did.
“He contested under the platform of the party built by us, won the election and thought that was all and those of us who worked relentlessly for his victory are no longer important. Let us wait and see; time will tell”.
It is also not the politicians alone who sources said are angry with Governor Makinde. Some opinion leaders, local business men and traditional rulers were said not to be pleased with him.
It was gathered that that notable people and chiefs in Ibadan particularly, are not happy the way the Olubadan of Ibadan Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso I was treated during the commissioning of the refurbished Lekan Salami Stadium, when the monarch, his high chiefs and entourage were prevented from entering the Stadium.
This has still not gone down well with the people, especially the locals who felt that the governor disgraced their monarch.
The State Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Oyo State, Akeem Olatunji while reacting to series of allegations against the governor, said all the allegations were unfounded and were not the true positions of the events and actions of the government of Engineer Seyi Makinde.
He said those calling for his resignation should be regarded as enemies of the party working for the opposition.
According to him, 95% of the PDP leaders are with the governor, saying that those who passed vote of no confidence on Governor Makinde are in the minority and just one out of the 20 groups in the PDP.
“Governor Makinde is keeping faith with the people and the ordinary people of the state are solidly behind him. They are even the ones yearning for him to continue the good work he is doing.”
He also debunked the allegations that the governor failed to fulfilled the agreements reached with the politicians involved in the coalitionbefore the election, adding, “Governor Makinde kept all the promises made”.
Meanwhile, despite the impression and criticism by other people, at least, Makinde has received a pat on the back by the former governor of the State, Christopher Adebayo Alao Aķala who lauded him over the renovation of the Lekan Salami Stadium.
Other person in Akala’s shoes include, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu of Oyo Central, who said the governor has been doing a good job and commended him for his effort in wanting to transforms the Stadium to nurture the youth and build the revenue base of the state.