Thank You Gov’ Seyi Makinde
By: Deji Yesufu
This morning I received a call from an unknown number. The lady at the other end said she was calling from a “Seyi Makinde Call Center”. She wanted to know if there were places the Oyo State government was not meeting up with her governmental duties. I explained to her that I was in the middle of work and could not readily bring up anything at such a short notice. “If anything comes to mind,” she went on “send us a text message on this line.” Even up till now, a good 12 hours after, I still have not been able to send that text message.
Seyi Makinde’s government has not been stellar or perfect but they have endeavored to meet up with some basic requirements of government and for this some of us are grateful. In this article, I’ll like to focus on one thing Seyi Makinde has done that impressed me and I hope that on that pedestal I can enjoin the Government of Oyo State to do a little more.
Even though I have an 8am to 4pm job, I consider myself a full time worker in Christian ministry. In the course of my service to humanity in this town I encounter excruciating needs. Some months ago I wrote a piece on a dear brother, a graduate, whose wife was expecting and for which the family sought the help of a CAC child delivery centers. Well, this gentleman applied to the Oyo State government’s sourcing for teachers in public secondary schools. I was almost sure he would not be given the job because he was not an indigene of Oyo State.
The State education board promised all applicants that merit will be utilized in employing the teachers. My friend applied and the Oyo State government kept their word: he was given the job without knowing anyone in government. The implication of this act is simply not that one family has an income but that the Oyo State Government is committed to upgrading education in the State. The best minds were simply employed into the service of the Ministry of Education in the State. For this I say: Seyi, a du pe o.
Having said this, let me conclude this essay by saying that I am a political student of the one we call “The Radio Man”, Edmund Obilo, here in Ibadan, and I espouse his philosophy that it is not enough that State governments in Nigeria build roads, pay salaries, provide jobs, and the likes; it is high time for Governors to take government a notch higher as far as dividend of democracy is concerned. This is what I am saying: the cry of all Nigerians is a cry for leadership. I want to use this piece to challenge Seyi Makinde to make Oyo State a case in point for development in this country. I’ll like to see Seyi so develop this state that come 2027, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will have no reservations with pushing him forward for the Presidency of Nigeria.
Seyi, like Obilo will say, Ibadan can become an African Dubai. This city can become the cynosure of all States in Nigeria. We can go beyond petty dividends of democracy and begin to show Nigeria that there is a state in this country that better depicts the whole concept of federating units. Oyo State can become largely independent of the Federal purse by engaging in agriculture and a mass exploration of her mineral deposits. Amotekun is an excellent idea and I am glad that the Oyo State government was at the helm of birthing this security outfit in South-West Nigeria. I still think however that we can do more.
Something else that Seyi could do could be a building up of an Oyo State think-tank. A body of men and women who will map out a long term development agenda for the State. An agenda that can be made public such that members of the public can track its progress. Ibadan is the intellectual hub of Nigeria. The myriads of thinkers in this town can be put together to carry out this plan. Off my head, I have young men like Bayo Adeyinka, Festus Adedayo, Edmund Obilo and a host of others who can help this government build up such a think-tank. Oyo State is over-ripe for such a master plan.
When the Oyo State people went to the polls in 2019 and elected a man who had no godfather to serve, we had the likes of Seyi Makinde in mind and we are thankful that based on available resources he has sought to do his best for this State. Like Oliver Twist we ask for more, while noting full well how much the governor has done. Those who read me know that I am someone with no political affiliation in this State. When this government is not doing well, I will let them know. Seyi Makinde has done a few things well in his few months of leading the State and for this he deserves our commendation.