On May 29 2019, a new Governor in the person of Seyi Makinde was sworn in to occupy the number one seat in Oyo State. It was a memorable event which was held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Oke-Ado in Ibadan, the state capital. It was a colourful event as his wife and children stood beside him while he took the oath of office. Governor Seyi Makinde replaced former Governor of the State, Abiola Ajimobi, who was the first Governor to serve for two terms since the current political dispensation began in 1999.
Governor Makinde will be looking to build on some of the gains of the Ajimobi administration while also trying to improve on the loopholes of the former Governor. Before we begin a proper analysis on former Governor Ajimobi’s tenure while serving as Governor, let us first take a look at the profile of the new Governor.
Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde was born on the 25th of December 1967. He is a Businessman, Philanthropist as well as a fine-breed politician. Makinde is by profession an Engineer and is an expert in the aspect of fluid and Gas Metering. He currently serves as the Group Managing Director of Makon Group Limited which is an indigenous oil and gas company operating in the country. In the year 1997, at just the age of 29, he set up his first oil and gas private business which he called Makon Engineering and Technical Services, (METS) as he already had some experience while working with some international oil and gas establishments.
Makinde forayed into politics in 2007, as he contested for the Oyo South Senatorial seat under the ANPP, but he lost out to the PDP candidtae, Kamoru Adedibu. He again contested in 2011 for the same seat but lost out too. In 2014, Makinde, this time took a shpt at the Governorship seat under the PDP, but lost out in the primaries. He then defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), where he was given the party’s ticket, but he was unsuccessful at the 2015 polls losing out to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the APC.
Makinde returned back to the PDP after the then National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Markafi, paid him a visit in Ibadan after which he held consultation with the top echelon of the party as well as elders of his then party, the Social Democratic Party. He emerged as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), during the party’s primaries in 2018.
In 2019, Makinde at last achieved his dream of becoming the Governor of Oyo State after polling 515, 621 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was only able to garner 357, 982 votes from the people of Oyo State. After emerging victorious at the polls, he was sworn in on the 29th of May, 2019. Governor Seyi Makinde resides in the Oyo State capital Ibadan, and he is married with three beautiful children.
Ajimobi’s Achievements As Governor
Former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, made a number of landmark strides in different aspects to improve the welfare of the state. Let us consider a few of the achievements of the past governor which new Governor, Seyi Makinde, will have to work hard on to improve the state even more.
The administration of former Governor, Abiola Ajimobi have during his time as Governor of the state, constructed and carried out rehabilitation of more than 200 roads in the state. Some of these roads includes; Restoration Bridge (Awolowo/Bodija/Secretariat Bridge), Construction of Flyover Bridge at Mokola, Ibadan, construction of motor garage at Temidire on Ibadan-Ife Road and Podo; Construction of 110 kilometre Ibadan Circular Road. These are apart from the Ijokodo to Apete and associated bridge works; Ikoyi Express Junction to Taki Palace to Ogbomoso Grammar School Roads. He also dualised two major roads in Ibadan, which are, the Ibadan Interchange-Challenge-New Garage-Interchange Road and Onireke-Jericho-Eleiyele- Dugbe Road with spurs to Aleshinloye including entry roads to Oyo, Ogbomoso and Iseyin.
Governor Ajimobi as well ensured that he constructed bridges and carried out repairs on roads in all the 33 Local Governments Areas of Oyo State.
Free Healthcare Services
Governor Ajimobi also provided health care services to over 300,000 people in the state free of charge. He did this through the free health mission programme. Because of the attention which he focused on the health sector, the prevalence of the dreaded HIV/AIDS has seen a reduction from 3.9% to 1.9% due to SACA (State’s Agency for Cure of HIV/AIDS) which was an intiative of the Ajimobi administration.
Improvement in Education Sector
Governor Ajimobi had recorded some sorts of progress in the educational sector after he tried to modernise the system by creating the Oyo State School’s Governing Board. The Governing Board was an initiative set up to coordinate the implementation of government’s policies in secondary schools across the state. Policies such as the mass promotion of students, and promoting students based on having 80% class attendance. This has improved the all round quality of education in the state. A Technical University (Tech-U), was also established in Ibadan, Oyo state, by Ajimobi, which happens to be the first of its kind in the Southwestern region as well.
Improvement In Security Across The State
There was a lot of improvements in the security situation of the state as before he became the state governor, the peace and security in the state had been placed under serious threats. This was especially the case in Ibadan where thousands lost their lives to the activities of the National Union of Road and Transportation Workers. Ajimobi initiated ‘Operation Burst’ which proved most helpful in checkmating the tide of criminal activities and general violence in the state.
Ajimobi introduced mechanised farming in the state by providing tractors and other machineries for farmers in the state. There was also a training organised for young farmers after which they were allocated with farmlands and avenues to market their produce.
Former Governor Ajimobi was embroiled in some power tussle with certain people in the state. These included the Royal Father in the State capital, the Olubadan of Ibadan. Ajimobi infuriated people of the state after he promoted 50 chiefs in the Ibadan kingdom to the status of First Class Kings, thereby whittling down the influence of the Olubadan. The people of the state were not in support and this was a factor that led to his eventual political downfall.
Another case which caused public outcry was the demolition of Fresh FM building, which was owned by popular gospel musician, Yinka Ayefele. This actions put him in the bad book of a lot of Oyo State people.
Makinde’s Stride So Far And What He Needs To Avoid
Seyi Makinde has since being sworn in as State governor, already made some powerful moves. He has already touched on the educational sector as he has abolished the payment of N3,000 as school fees by secondary students in the state. He has also, said he was going to be donating his salary as Oyo State Governor to the teachers in the state. Makinde seems to be a man of the people as he had carried out a number of philanthropic acts which has endeared him to the people of the state. He will however need to display level headedness in order not to become the enemy of the people like his predecessor was.
How will Makinde’s period as Governor of Oyo State pan out? Only time will time, we however hope he turns the fortune pf the state around for good and leaves it even better than he met it.
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