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2023: An Open Letter To The Pacesetting People Of Oyo State Over March 11 Governorship Election

Permit to quote from Vincent Uba’s words, “I am a man who thinks with my head before I talk with my mouth, to avoid making wrong postulations and conclusions. I am also a man who makes use of my education to analyse current issues and situations to be able to know and figure out why things are the way they are. In other words, I am one who is not given to making spontaneous conclusions about problems without looking beyond the problems to know the causes.”


Dear fellow brothers and sisters, my fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, I salute you in the name God Almighty and everything you believe in that connects your spirits to the supreme being for your spiritual supplications and physical growth.


You have indeed continued to show the world that Oyo state is truly the Pacesetter State not only in the South West geopolitical zone but also the entire Nigeria. This has been earned through the strength of your unity, the indivisible spirit that binds us together on a purposeful path of greatness and the genuineness of love and affection that make it almost impossible for us to be divided against ourselves. This is why we remain ‘ajisebi Oyo la’ri Oyo o sebi baba nla enikan’.


General elections are indeed a periodic exercise that are  usually carried out every four years to usher in transition in government. Sometime, this election exercise is to renew lifespan of an incumbent government depending on performance, sincerity, purposeful leadership, transparency, and accountability.


It is of a fact that there are no written or unwritten rules nor set specific guidelines for playing politics especially in this part of the world which affirms the assertion that what is mostly defined as ‘good’ in the eyes of an average Nigerian politician is that which advances his or her political interest leaving an average politician with the conviction of his or her moral disposition to politics, service to humanity, and empathy for the downtrodden. However,  let me quickly state here, that I as an individual hold exceptions to this nefarious assertion, and I say this with every sense of responsibility.


My direct and indirect experience in the Nigerian practical politics spans above 15 years and as a patriotic Nigerian who was once the National President of the National Youths Council with top level intergovernmental relations and engagements with track verifible records, as well as being son of the soil in Oyo state, I owe it a personal responsibility to my people and a burden on my chest to share my thoughts on what I believe is right.


Please, permit me to cast your minds back briefly to 2019 at the governorship debate held at the International Conference Centre, Ibadan where Governor Seyi Makinde alongside other contestants for the number one office slogged it out in a debate. You’d recall that there were no amount of lies, deception and falsehood that were not told by those who believe in riding to power on the back of deception, unrealistic, non feasible promises, and sheer falsehood.


Right there at the debate venue Governor Seyi Makinde, then as a governorship candidate, clearly espoused his economic blueprints and rested his plans on four cardinal pillars upon which his government was going to be built. He itemized these pillars to include security, quality education, quality healthcare and expanded economy. He told you genuinely from his heart what his intentions were and how he intended to achieve them.


Makinde did not deceive you just to sway you to win your votes, he did not promise the heavens and the earth, he never mentioned what he had no plans to implement or execute, he laid it all bare right before you. Recall that the then candidate of the ruling party even went as far as promising salary increments even when the then government of APC in Oyo state owed workers salaries running into several months, many months of pensions and gratuities leading to avoidable deaths and misery among our aged parents who had worked meritoriously for the state.


Also, remember how our future leaders, the students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) were kept at home for over two whole years over an industrial action due to the failure of the then government and its counterpart in Osun to fulfill their obligations to the institution. Recall also how the students suffered in the hands of the then APC government in Oyo state elongating a 4 year program to between 7 to 8 year.


The fact that Governor Makinde went a step further to secure sole ownership of LAUTECH implies that Governor Makinde means serious business.  Notwithstanding this historic and epochal achievement, opposition elements with their beliefs that a consistent lies may eventually be mistaken to be true have condemned this giant stride, but as a true son of the soil, I want to urge you my dear good people of the pacesetting state to enumerate Makinde’s three and half years success amidst the most economic turbulent period couple with serious national security challenges  and ask yourself if you would rather allow yourself to be swayed by their sweet lies.


Even though Governor Makinde could be described as the best governor who is serving under the worst prevailing situation no thanks to Covid-19 pandemic which ravaged aggressively between 2019 and 2021, EndSARS which threatened the very core of our nationhood in 2020, persistent falling Naira to Dollar exchange rates with devastating impact on cost of goods and services, national security challenges occasioned by banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and terrorism by enemies of Nigeria, Oyo state has faired exceptionally well in terms of wellbeing of the masses in comparison to other states especially in the South West.


You must remember how Governor Makinde has consistently paid workers salaries unfailingly on or before 25 of every month from the very first month he became the Governor of Oyo state, you must remember how our aged parents; the retirees and pensioners now collect their pensions and gratuities with ease without stress, you must remember how Makinde’s prudence and leadership has led to high increase in our internally Generated Revenue (IGR).


The provision of critical infrastructural facilities aggressively embarked upon by the Makinde led administration in terms of road and street lights has seen Oke-ogun, Ogbomosho, Oyo, and Ibarapa zones directly and easily linked to Ibadan, the state capital thereby, booming commercial activities from the import of the Makinde’s agribusiness and agricultural revolution.


The remodelling of the moribund Adamasingba sports complex to a world class sporting facility by Governor Makinde has seen Oyo state return to winning ways and taking the lead in almost all national sports competitions in the last three and half years. The sporting complex, apart from being endorsed by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as a world standard facility,  has created employment opportunities for the teeming youths both athletic and non athletic alike.


You must also remember how Governor Seyi Makinde stood his ground firmly in your defense in the middle of a ravaging covid-19 pandemic when other states joined the bandwagon to shut down their states leaving their citizens to their miseries, and declared partial lockdown with a backup plan that eventually became a template adopted by all to paddle through the dark period. It is noteworthy, that the state of the art medical facilities built by Makinde to fight covid-19 pandemic have improved the state’s healthcare system today.


Governor Makinde’s immediate removal of the imposed 3,000 naira levy on Oyo state students by the last administration which forced many children out of school into the streets has yielded tremendous result.


How can you forget so soon how the then APC government brazenly insulted our aged parents to their faces while claiming that he could not pay the dead while it was still owing the living? A statement literally referring to civil servants in active service and retirees among other atrocious acts unremorsefully meted out to our people just for the fun of being in power.


It is therefore, very exigent and imperative to reawake your minds to how Governor Seyi Makinde, the Biblical Moses, came at a time our pain and anguish had reached its peak and our sole prayer to God before the 2019 election was for God to send a man that would rescue us from the shackles of our oppressors, and truly God heard our solemn cry and sent us Seyi Makinde.


Since inception of office as the executive Governor of Oyo state in 2019 Makinde has demonstrated absolute commitment to his economic blueprints and remained focused on the path he is leading us. It is a fact that the very essence of government is the wellbeing of the people and that can be attested to in Oyo state by both residents and everyone who has had course to visit Oyo state in the last over three and half years.


The consistency of government policies and programs under Makinde’s ‘Accelerated Development’ codenamed Omituntun 1.0 was not a fluke.  It was a product of resilience, determination, hardwork and deliberate commitment towards a noble course of emancipation. Therefore, before agents of our oppressors who tormented us, tortured our aged parents and gloat over our commonwealth present themselves before you with renewed lies and false propaganda, be courageous to ask them  two key and most important questions of your engagement with them which should be; has Makinde failed on his economic blueprints that rested on four cardinal pillars, if yes, how?


These two questions would leave them fumbling and wobbling before your very eyes because to them, whatever you do or say that advance your political course constitute what they term as ‘good’ even if it’s at the detriment of a larger percentage of the people.


Indeed, Makinde’s last three and half years have been quite eventful and very rewarding with great impact on good governance in each geopolitical zone of the state. Elections are here again upon us and opposition elements are regrouping to gain access to the Agodi Government House from where they intended to regain all their lost investments in politics. If genuinely the driving force behind these elements is the development of Oyo state, all they need to do is to support Governor Makinde who is daily making every sons and daughters of the state, home and abroad, proud.


Governor Makinde has already set Oyo state on the path of economic growth and prosperity, and he has vowed to, against all gang ups and distractions,  move to the next phase of the process which is the ‘Sustainable development agenda’ in order to build upon the success recorded under ‘Accelerated development’. We owe it a duty to ourselves, we owe it a duty to our aged parents, we owe it a duty to our children, we owe it a duty to our land, and we owe it a duty to Oyo state to ensure we secure Oyo state for Oyo state under Makinde’s Omituntun 2.0.


We must fully understand that the coming March 11 Governorship election is not just about politics, it is about holding our positions firmly across every corners of the state on election day to secure Oyo state for Oyo state, it is a time to show the world that  politicians can no longer take us for granted while expanding their private business empires from our commonwealth, it a time to choose between marching forward or returning to the dark era we prayed God to completely heal us from, it is a time to choose between light and darkness, so I urge you to above all other things choose marching forward into the future our children will be proud of. Vote Seyi Makinde as your Governor to keep going forward, vote for a better Oyo state. Together we can, together we will.



Comrade Wale Ajani writes from Ibadan.

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