OPINION: How Makinde Won Oyo Against All Odds

THE results of the gubernatorial and House of Assembly election released yesterday were a reflection of the anger the eligible voters in the state had been nursing against the ruling All Progressives Congress in the Pacesetter State. It was indeed a vote of annoyance.

As the governorship candidate of the PDP, Engr Seyi Makinde basked in the euphoria of his victory; it is noteworthy to say that many factors accounted for his big win in the election. Seyi Makinde popularly called ‘Omi titun’ has a never-say-die spirit.

Although he contested the election in 2007, 2011 and 2015 and lost, he refused to be cowed by the successive defeat in those elections. The oil magnate as a cat with nine lives, having been frustrated out of his former party, Social Democratic Party,  didn’t mind going back to his former party, PDP which he dumped after failed attempts to secure the party’s ticket in 2015.

During the choice of the PDP candidate, the likes of a former governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, who later adopted him as the gubernatorial candidate of Zenith Labour Party, was a force to contend with. The controversy led to the exit of Ladoja to Zenith Labour Party.

Though, a temporary setback, Engr Makinde undauntedly fought on like a brave warrior. Makinde was quick to block all loopholes including the sudden defection of a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala to APC two weeks to the gubernatorial poll. He shifted his attention to Ogbomoso North and South local government areas where Alao-Akala had always been holding the ace.

Residents in the state appeared to have fed up with APC government which had actually broken the jinx of the second term, courtesy of Governor Abiola Ajimobi. In the history of the state, no other governor had ever achieved the feat. Another factor that did the magic for Makinde and served as an albatross for APC was the controversial review of the 1959 Ibadan chieftaincy declaration. The policy, as good as it seemed, did not go down well with most indigenes of the city.

The result of the presidential and National Assembly election was a great impetus that propelled PDP to the resounding victory. During the campaign, Makinde harped so much on real service he wants to render to the state. He said, he would not collect any salary throughout his four-year tenure and that no student in the public primary and secondary school would pay a dime as tuition fees.

Though the Ladoja Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso is a jointly-owned institution, many believed that this APC government did not do enough to avert the perennial industrial crises that the school was plunged into as a result of underfunding. Where the APC seemed to have set the tone for its failure was the imposition of its candidate on other party chieftains.

The choice of the APC candidate was like a sledgehammer on a fragile egg; it splashed everything. All those who ensured its victory in 2015 turned their backs against the party. Notable among those that worked tirelessly for the party included the Unity Forum and supporters of late Lamidi Adesina and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin.

All these left the APC in droves and formed alliance with PDP to ensure the total collapse of APC. While all these worked for the emergence of Engr. Makinde as the next governor of the state, there is likely to be a clash of interest among the forces that paved the way for his victory. They are likely to become Oliver Twist who, with insatiable quest for largesse, will continue to demand more and more.