Amid claims of dwindling popularity of the Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, and security concerns in the state, BIYI ADEGOROYE and SOLA ADEYEMO, examine developments in the state along with the governor’s performance
Oyo State, the Pace-setter state, has its peculiar politics and nuances and since Governor Seyi Makinde assumed office less than two years ago, he seemed to have been able to manage those peculiarities by silencing the godfathers to implement his agenda.
Since then, many spectacular changes have taken place in Oyo State, some of which have earned him the cognomen of “People’s Governor”, while one or two of the changes have been criticised as misplaced priority and political action.
Regarding the latter, some people are uncomfortable with the governor’s manner of managing security matters, especially given alleged deduction of N1 billion monthly security vote.
This is more so because in recent time, the state has been contending with serious security issues occasioned by herdsmen attacks and sundry crimes.
However, the governor recently incurred the wrath of many people for opposing the Yoruba militant freedom fighter and volunteer activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Sunday Igboho) who evicted the Fulani leader in Igangan, Saliu Abdulkadir. Igboho accused Abdukadir of complicity in the killings, raping and kidnappings in the Oke Ogun and Ibarapa areas of the state.
Upon storming Igangan and giving eviction notice to the Seriki to leave within seven days, Governor Makinde issued a fiat that Igboho be arrested because anybody could live anywhere.
The pronouncement was seen as patronising to the Fulanis because of his second term ambition. Many flayed the governor for not rising to the occasion when many Yoruba were being raped and killed, questioning why the discouragement if someone could risk his life and voluntarily emancipate his people from the clutches of their oppressors and tormentors.
The arrest order has, however, not been carried out as Sunday Igboho has even extended his freedom fight to Ogun State. The matter even became worse with the Shasha tragedy where an altercation between a Nigerien and a pregnant woman culminated in murder and arson which had to be doused by governors from the South-West and the North.
However, Makinde is noted to have been at the forefront or regional security with the launching Amotekun in the state and procurement of many vehicles for the security outfit’s personnel to complement the exercise of the Police in order to stem the ugly trend of insecurity in the state.
Besides, the Police and other security agencies in the state also enjoyed provision of vehicles and the “Operation Burst” was top among this. In 2019, he purchased 100 brand new cars equipped with sophisticated communication gadgets. In the area of infrastructural provisions, instead of abandoning some of the projects which his predecessor late Senator Abiola Ajimobi awarded but with questionable marks,
Makinde re-awarded such to more competent contractors to handle. Example was the reconstruction of the 65km Moniya-Iseyin Road which Ajimobi awarded at the twilight of his administration but which suffered expeditious execution from the contrac- tor handling it.
The governor attributed the revocation from the former contractor to lack of capacity on its part to handle the project. Governor Makinde on November 18, 2020 re-awarded it to Kopek Construction Company at a cost of N9.9 billion and he promised that it would be completed within 12 months. It had earlier been awarded for N7 billion by the former Ajimobi-led administration.
The work has moved appreciably as residents around the road as well as travellers enjoying moving from Ibadan to the Oke Ogun areas of the state have been paying glowing appreciation to the governor,.
Similar, experience is ongoing on the ever-busy route, Iwo Road/Monatan/ Akobo/Olorunda Road that has been causing traffic bottleneck for residents and passersby. The road is undergoing speedy reconstruction that will in few months totally free users from agonising movement along the route.
Aside the major road, construction of roads and bridges in other zones of the state including Ogbomoso, Oyo, Ibarapa and Oke Ogun has not stopped. One of such is the reconstruction of 21 km Airport Ajia New Ife Express Road which was flagged off on September 5, 2020. Ajia is the governor’s father’s vil- lage in Ibadan that links Akanran and Amuloko communities in the Ona Ara Local Government Council of the state.
In his administration’s plan to decongest traffic in many parts of the metropolis of the state capital, Ibadan, particularly, Governor Makinde has begun construction of many ultramodern garages across the state. Construction works are currently ongoing at the major intersection of Iwo Road and Challenge where some obstructing structures and roundabouts have been demolished to make way for modern construction.
Lekan Salami Stadium, located at Adamasingba area in Ibadan is being reconstructed using natural grass instead of the synthetic type met there. The synthetic carpet laid on the stadium by the past administration of Ajimobi had gone so bad that tournaments and other matches could hardly be held on it.
According to the government, when completed, it will be able to host international matches. The opposition however has flayed the government for appropriating huge amount of budget to the stadium during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, which they considered misplaced since tournaments had been cancelled globally then.
To tame the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic and save citizens from the 2019 ravaging morbidity, Governor Makinde’s administration constructed the state-of-the-art COVID-19 Isolation Centre at Olodo area of Ibadan. It has since been rated as a very sophisticated and highly equipped centre with committed personnel led by former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Prof. Temitope Longe.
Series of patients of COVID-19 infection had survived the attack and testified to the good work of Makinde’s administration in this regard. Before he assumed office, Adeoyo General Hospital, off Ring Road, and that located at Yemetu were rated as suffering from proper attention from the government.
Many modern equipment were lacking and the environment was deplorable. It was reported as a regime of candle use in bushy environment by medical doctors who attended to patients in low morale. Makinde has turned the situation around with series of modern and essential equipment purchased and installed for the benefit of the citizens of the state.
The age-long ownership crisis of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) between Oyo and Osun states which ex-governors Adebayo Alao-Akala and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola found difficult to settle in their time, as well as Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (all of same PDP and APC parties) disagreed over, has been given solution
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