Amid concerns about governance and security in Oyo State, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, speaks about developments in the state, stating there is no cause for alarm. SOLA ADEYEMO reports
How has Governor Seyi Makinde been handling security and governance in the state? Security is one of the key pillars of his administration. The administration is based on four key pillars which are security, health, education and economy. Out of those four pillars, security is the primary one. The manifesto that yielded those four pillars was not written in 2020; it was written in 2018 before he started his campaign.
That is to tell you he had already identified security as a basis of governance and also a prerequisite for any form of good governance, because if you want to provide good governance and there is no security, then that good governance will be hanging
That is to tell you that the foresight is there and the awareness too that security is primary to good governance, and he has continued to ensure that security also takes the front burner in his administration. In this regard, within 100days in office he was able to make enormous investment in security such that even the federal agencies operating within state given patrol vehicles and vital equipment. Also, he was able to make changes in the security trust fund of the state and also made investment into their operations. Now the state as a security code that was not in operation before we go here has been put in place and the CCTV project that was mooted by some previous administration but was abandoned now functioning and it is been expanded to cover all the state. The way he handled security with seriousness is the way the governor is handling every other aspects of governance in the last two years.
How do you respond to the claim that the governor is inexperienced?
When you talk about experience or inexperience, I think people that talk like that just want to be heard because when General Yakubu Gowon was made the Head of State in Nigeria, he was just 29 going to 30 years of age. So for anybody to describe someone who has been in politics since 2006 as inexperience leaves much to be desired. Experience in governance is not rocket science even though it can help a lot with rocket science; it is about going to the moon, rather about what you have inside of you and your leadership qualities.
It doesn’t have to do with whether you have done it before or not. The first honourable member that became Speaker of House of Representatives in the Fourth Assembly in this dispensation 1999, Salisu Buhari who was later removed, was seen by a lot of people in the National Assembly as “a capable leader” but was removed when he violated the law. B
ut for that he was already leading the House of Representatives. So it is a no-brainer, a mere political talk to say a 53 years old man who has been in politics for over 15 years is inexperienced. What experience did the people that became senators in 1999 have, people who came straight form the classroom to the House and what was the quality of their contribution to discourse in the parliament?
What could you point to as Governor Makinde’s achievements?
Look at his achievement in the area of internally generated revenue. Even the National Bureau of Statistics said that Oyo is the only state out of the 36 state that recorded 26 per cent growth in its IGR during pandemic. So what more evidence of experience do you need to show?
If you want to talk about infrastructure, everywhere you turn to in Oyo State is dotted by infrastructural projects. How is he doing this? He doing it with ingenuity because the state does not have enough funds for the projects, but he brought in alternative project funding approaches for two alternative projects. Today, the projects are on-going and are been done well.
We have road projects, stadium expansion project (across the seven zones of the state). We have the unique way which he handled the COVID-19 where people were building isolation centers in makeshift places, he refused and said he will build his own isolation centers in the hospitals meaning that he will upgrade existing hospitals so that when the pandemic goes away the upgraded hospitals will be an advantage to the people and that is what we are benefiting now.
We have done like six hospitals that way and those hospitals are now benefit for the people. We have no reason to go and dismantle makeshift isolation centres in the stadium or something like that. The equipment are there and they are useful for handling COVID-19, and where they are not we use them as regular hospitals.
How do you see the claim that remodeling of bus terminals amount to misplaced priority?
It is still about politics that I said politicians just want to involve themselves in. Bus terminal, we are talking about projects that will bring benefits to so many people. If you say bus terminals are not priority which is the priority of the state? We are talking about decongestion of Iwo Road and address traffic problems around Challenge in Ibadan.
These are some of the benefits that will come with bus terminals because the bus terminal will free the road from traffic and free the congestion and ensure sanity, ensure security of the traveling public and ensure that we are able to beautify our environment.
So when you have all these benefits that will be coming with the bus terminals which one is the priority of the state or security to the traveling public when you know that Oyo is a transit state? People travel to different parts of the country from Iwo road even as some come down there to do business. People who land at the airport also get trapped on Iwo road, so if we can free the place, are you saying that is not a priority project? We are targeting expansion of the economy and we are targeting security at the same time with those projects.
Does the governor feel threatened by some PDP members in the state who are leaving to another party?
The governor is not threatened in any way because if you see him personally you will know that he is unruffled all the time. There are some people like that who tend to look very calm when they are facing challenges.
He is naturally a very calm person so he is not threatened. Number two; it is a fallacy to say that some PDP members are leaving for the APC, rather PDP is going to secure the future of PDP and other party leaders in the state. I attended a meeting in Ogbomosho Zone penultimate week and the report showed that the party is the biggest in Ogbomosho right now and it has never recorded any defection.