On Thursday, 5 September, 2019, some state governors across the federation reeled out their achievements with a view to marking their first 100 days in office. For some of the state executives, the day was a wake-up call that governance in a society like ours that is riddled with a myriad of challenges is not a tea party. While some of the governors would have been caught napping, those hundred days would be a golden opportunity for those who had tightened their belts and embarked on a mission to make indelible marks in their states from the very day they were sworn in.
In the midst of the latter set of governors is a certain engineer in the person of Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde who, within three months and a few days in office as the elected governor of Oyo State, has redefined governance. He has made simplicity out of the exalted office of the executive governor such that people are already wondering how he is able to avoid the entanglement of the glamorised ideas that the plum position had been surrounded with by most of his predecessors.
For someone whose chief reason for contesting for the position of the number citizen of Oyo State in the first place is to make a difference, glamour of office is a toga that Engr. Seyi Makinde cannot afford to don.
Governor Makinde gave a glimpse into his simplicity and determination to change the face of governance in Oyo State when he asked the organisers of the Oil and Gas Reception he attended earlier this year at Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort to allow him sit and brainstorm with his people who thronged the venue to celebrate one of their own. He followed it up with a public declaration of his assets as soon as he was sworn in. The move shocked millions of Nigerians, including his detractors who have since realised that the wealth that had turned them into braggarts pales in greatness, compared to what God has put in the care of Makinde.
Without mincing words, I can unequivocally say that the good people of Oyo State made the right choice during the general election held earlier in the year by casting their vote for this illustrious son of Ibadan. I am not making this assertion based on what Engr. Seyi Makinde has done so far as governor. Rather, my declaration is based on Governor Makinde’s vision for Oyo State’s citizens, regardless of class – something he had been working tirelessly to actualise since he declared interest in the office of the governor about a decade and a half years ago.
How am I so sure? My little interaction with Governor Makinde revealed a tireless worker whose love for his people is unrivaled. He has got a chain of thriving businesses, so flourishing that they have been able to sustain him for the period he was contesting and losing before God eventually crowned his efforts this year. His lifestyle is such that shows a man who believes that God deliberately blessed him in order to bless others. In fact, it is this mindset that pushed him into politics. He knew abundantly well that he could only reach a very few people in his private capacity but could affect millions positively if he held an elective office.
As I said in my speech during a reception held in Governor Makinde’s honour earlier this year at Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, an average oil and gas person is a go-getter, a shrewd businessman/businesswoman, an astute manager of resources, a pristine administrator, an uncommon visionary and a cheerful giver. And when all these sterling qualities are exhibited by an individual who is imbued with the fear of God and unparalleled love for the governed like Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde, one must congratulate the people of Oyo State for eventually getting it right.
Chief Sanusi, the Chief Executive Officer of Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, writes from Ibadan.