Of recent some political stalwarts in the PDP and their hired writers have been criticising Governor Seyi Makinde over his perceived failure to compensate some politicians who were said to have worked for his victory in the 2019 governorship election. They have also attacked him on the appointment of a number of individuals into his government as they described them as strangers to the PDP family. Some of the politicians including those that have granted interviews on national radio network and national newspapers. Some hired writers have also used the social media to launch attacks against the hard working governor. Some of these attacks are not shallow but are also not rooted in deep understanding of the recent political history of the pacesetter state.
It should be clearly stated that the various attacks on the Governor has nothing to do with his performance as the Chief Executive of the politically sophisticated State . As a matter of fact the Governor’s approval rating among the public is soaring considering the way he has been handling critical state matters. GSM has concentrated on delivering the dividends of democracy rather than allow himself to be distracted by the ranting of the politicians and their hired writers. Many political leaders have commended this approach which has continued to destabilise not just the internal detractors but also the opposition elements in the state.
*In the Beginning*
We have heard assertions that tend to show the Governor as a political non starter like some of his opponents in the last election. Some politicians unknown beyond their local government have been claiming through their hired publicists that they were the ones introducing the governor to some political leaders in the state and that they deserve compensation for their efforts. This is far from the truth. GSM started his politics in the PDP 17 years before he became governor. In 2002 he joined forces with some other elements to work for the election of Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja as governor of Oyo State. Since then he had paid his dues by contesting for senate twice and governorship twice. He’s an experienced politician who has invested intellectual and financial resources in addition to experience and goodwill in his political career.
*Appointment of Key Personnel*
The governor has been accused of appointing strangers into his cabinet. Specifically, both the SSG and the Special Adviser on Political Matters have been described as outsiders who should not have been appointed at all as they were alleged not to have contributed anything to the election of the governor.
We must rebut this unfounded assertion. A very careful examination of the GSM cabinet will reveal the fact that most of the cabinet members especially Commissioners and Special Advisers as well as Executive Assistants are experienced politicians who were on the field working as foot soldiers in the last election. This is unlike the recent past when many of the cabinet members were imported from the UK, USA and Lagos with no political value
In the same vein, all the local government chairmen are grassroots politicians that are well known in their various communities. Some of them had served as councillors or supervisory councillors in previous PDP administrations in the State. With these kind of appointments one must commend the governor for not just appointing quality people into the cabinet and the local councils but also rewarding hardworking politicians for their efforts in the last election. This debunks the lies being put out by some pedestrian politicians and their publicists.
In the case of the SSG and the Political Adviser, the position of the critics is grossly incorrect and it shows their lack of understanding of modern politics and governance. In his quest for electoral success, GSM must have interacted with a number of people and groups across the political divide, in academia, industry and other professions. Most of these interactions are certainly unknown to the critics. Babatunde Oduyoye is not an unknown politician in Oyo State . He was a student union leader at the University of Ibadan before winning election into the Federal House of Representatives twice on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy from where he had a link with GSM which culminated in political relationship before the last election. For any politician to fail to see merit in his appointment could only mean malice. Similarly the case of the SSG is justifiable. In fact, GSM should be commended for appointing a woman into that presitigious position. It is the first time ever. Yes, she’s a technocrat with expertise in Human Resources Management and armed with experiences of working in a reputable multinational corporation like Shell Petroleum Development Company. The quality which the governor saw in her before she was appointed is known only to the Principal. It is important to delve into history on the appointment of the SSG. In 2007 when Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala was elected as governor he had made up his mind to appoint Chief Layiwola Lakojo as the SSG but the leader Chief Adedibu objected on the ground that Lakojo was not a grassroots politician and that he had no political base in home town of Oyo. Lakojo was an experienced public administrator having served as Council Treasurer and later as Finance Commissioner under the military. After series of deliberations, Akala’s wish prevailed.
When the late Senator Ajimobi was elected governor in 2011, he did not consider any of the politicians for appointment as SSG. His choice was his senior at Lagelu Grammar school, Alhaji Olajide whom he described as brilliant. Olajide was a business manager and administrator. He was not a politician. When Ajimobi appointed another SSG in the person of Mr Lekan Alli, he brought him from outside the political circle. The point being made here is that the appointment of the SSG is certainly the prerogative of the Governor; and, in fact, most of those condemning the appointment do no have what it takes to occupy the said office.
It is also disheartening to hear infantile critics describe minor cabinet reshuffle as an example of bad political compensation. That sounds ridiculous because cabinet reshuffle is a regular feature of democratic governance
The case of an aggrieved PDP member has been amplified beyond merit. His publicists claim that he was playing amala politics in his house before the election as a way of mobilizing the people. The picture that has been painted from his interview with a national newspaper and his video that has gone viral on the internet is that he’s been cheated. On this issue some mind boggling questions are begging for answers:
1. Who was financing the provision of the food being used to entertain political visitors?
2. Before, during and after the election was the political leader financially rewarded by GSM or/and his agents or representatives ?
3. Is it true that the aggrieved politician is more of NURTW and that the major source of his quarrel with the governor was the refusal of the governor to install him as the State chairman of the NURTW?
4. Is it true that the said political leader fought GSM on his decision to back Kola Balogun as senator representing Oyo Central? He refused to support Balogun, whose election gave GSM a pointer that he is going to win the governorship election.
5 . Is it true that the said political stalwart was always accompanying his political collaborator from Ibadan North to Abuja to paint GSM bad that with his styles the PDP will not win any seats during the 2019 elections.
It is important for the critics to reappraise their strategy. GSM is now the governor and not the Seyi Makinde they used to know. If they feel they have issues with him, they should find a way of reaching out to him for amicable situations rather than going to the public . They also need to cease their liaison with opposition elements in the state who are making resources available to them in their mission of attacking the governor.
Attacking this governor is an invitation to serious political losses because this governor is very popular with the people and his performance is already laying the foundation for PDP’s second term in Oyo State.