Just as it has been long predicted, Gov Seyi Makinde of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won his re-election albeit landslide as the Governor of Oyo State for the next four years.
Declaring the victory of Gov Makinde on Sunday evening of March 19, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through the Returning Officer for Oyo State governorship election, Prof Adebayo Bamire said Makinde won in 31 Local Government Areas with a total of 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who won in two Local Government areas and scored 256,685 votes.
Sen Teslim Folarin of APC, who was once member of PDP and the runner up in the governorship race had the following day congratulated Gov Makinde having been so convinced that the election results actually reflected the wishes of the people and therefore there was no need to go waste the scarce resources to shoot down the sun before the election petitions tribunal.
Though, many had argued that the scintillating performance of the Governor would earn him his second term but the February 25 presidential election results during when the APC swept all the three Senatorial seats and eight House of Representatives members out of 14 while PDP only managed to have four with the remaining two declared inconclusive had made many to begin to doubt if indeed the oil and gas expert would be returned for another term.
However, by the time the governorship results were beginning to trickle in, it was becoming clearer that the Oyo State people were ready to reward the uncommon commitment of Gov Seyi Makinde to serve with all sincerity of heart and purpose in the last four years.
The residents of the state with the overwhelming votes for Makinde on Saturday, March 18 seemed to be saying that what mattered most in public service is selfless service and good governance, they seemed to be saying you have convinced us of your genuine love for us through the way and manner you have handled our dear state and yearnings in almost four years and so we can entrust another four years of managing our common wealth into your hands.
Speaking few months to the governorship election, the Commissioner for Information, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun said that Makinde had paid over N181billion as gratuities to many retirees of government who had been wallowing in abject poverty and all kinds of deprivation subjected to by the previous administration. It was on record that the last administration only paid N81billion during its eight years.
The favourable disposition of Makinde to attending to the issues of the welfare of the retirees, majority of who form the senior citizens as well as the workers who are still in the service of the state is one big plus to the Governor’s administration that has reverberated across the country.
On infrastructure, Makinde’s administration is aggressively doing its best in the areas of inter-city road construction and rehabilitations. For instance, Ibadan-Iseyin Road has been completed, while works were at various stages on Oyo-Iseyin Road, Ogbomoso-Iseyin Road and Saki-Ogbooro Road among many others in and around Oyo State.
In the area of qualitative healthcare delivery, Makinde had completed the rehabilitation and equipping of 299 Primary Healthcare Centres out of 351 across the wards in the state while the General Hospital, Adeoyo and many others across the state have witnessed the presence of the state government in the area of structural renovation, provision of medical equipment, among others.
Aside abolishing payment of fees in both primary and secondary schools, the Governor had equally completed over 81 model schools all in a bit to improve on the access to qualitative education in the state.
The Governor had equally once and for all resolved the problem of ownership around Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso that has almost put the institution in perennial crisis. What about Makinde’s bold moves in strengthening the security architecture of the state? The list is certainly longer.
And for staying true to his promise to serve the people of Oyo State, the people also reciprocated when it was time and gave him another opportunity to be their governor for another four years.
The political class must come to term with this reality that Nigerians are becoming more conscious of the power of their thumbs and won’t hesitate to use it to fight incompetence, laziness, greed among other sheer acts of wickedness around corridor of power.
Many Titans failed to make it back to their various political offices in the just concluded general elections simply because they failed to deliver on their campaign promises, they have forgotten that you can’t be fooling people at all times.
The re-election of Gov Seyi Makinde is that of lessons in performance and keeping faith with the electorate over good governance and campaign promises. I sincerely hope the new crop of political leaders who will take oath of office in about two months away will find serving the people very sacrosanct and if they do not, the people will gladly show them the exit in the next four years.