As the May 29 handover day draws near Oyo State Governor-elect, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has taken a number of steps that have been viewed in different ways depending on the political side the viewer belongs. While some say he’s too eager to mount the throne, others say he is doing exactly what is expected of a governor-elect.
After he was declared the winner of the March 9 governorship election, Makinde has paid a courtesy call on prominent personalities in and outside the state while many from all walks of life turned his Ikolaba residence to a Mecca of some sort.
It is just a few days till he is sworn in, Newspeak takes a look at the pattern drawn by the governor-elect’s actions:
Two days after winning the election, the Governor-elect received the Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Prof. Michael Ologunde, and other principal officers of the university and leaders of the Students’ Union. They had all come to pay him a congratulatory visit at his residence.
During the visit, Makinde, promised that his government would be looking to providing solutions to the challenges facing the institution. LAUTECH is obviously one of the big issues he will be confronting the moment he wears the toga of governor.
Makinde visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta. He said the visit was meant to appreciate “Baba Obasanjo” and seek wisdom from the elder statesman to govern Oyo State.”
He said: “This is the type of visit that will give us the needed tonic to forge ahead positively in Oyo State.
“Oyo state is in a bad shape but I pledge to apply wisdom to make things better.
“Obasanjo had warned against corruption and transparency. We are very much aware of this too. With God, Oyo state will never be the same again,” he added.
The Governor-elect visited the then National Chairman of Social Democratic Party(SDP), Chief Olu Falae in Akure where he stated that he came to thank him for his support.
Makinde hosted a delegation of Social Democratic Party (SDP) led by Chief Olu Falae, at his residence in Ibadan.
While hosting Falae, he assured that his government will vigorously pursue regional integration in order to develop the states across the South West region economically, socially and politically.
The Governor-elect visited the outgoing governor, Abiola Ajimobi, at the government house, Agodi.
During the visit, Makinde, pointed to the imperative of tapping from Ajimobi’s experience in governance. He also expressed the desire for both of them to work together for a prosperous state in fairness, justice and equity.
Speaking to Ajimobi, he said: “I want to give the assurance that our state is dear to all of us hence we threw our hat in the ring. You have done your part for the state and you have tried your best.
“If you remember we once had a meeting and I said I will like to share in your vision if you were going to hand over to me. Here we are and the position remains the same. We need to have a shared vision of how was want our state to develop.
“I have come to let you know that I want us to make the transition as smooth as possible and to give the people the assurance that we have the same vision which is to see the prosperity of Oyo state.”
Shortly after the visit to Ajimobi, the governor-elect left the country for few weeks, apparently to take a rest from the rigours of an electioneering campaign.
During his time abroad, Makinde received an award from Egbe Omo Oduduwa and Ibadan Descendants Union in Minnesota.
He also attended a programme at the University of Pennsylvania organised by Nigerians at Penn where he discussed Nigerian politics and election process. He was also in Botswana where he met with international investors.
The first official thing he did upon his return to the country, was to set up a 10-man transition committee to interface with the government’s team ahead of May 29 swearing in.
Senator Hosea Agboola was appointed the chairman of the committee.
Thereafter, he attended an induction organised for outgoing, newly-elected and returning governors by the secretariat of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja.
While still attending the induction in Abuja, Makinde stated that he did not promise to pay workers in the state N30,000 minimum wage during the electioneering campaign.
In a statement issued on his behalf by his media aide, Dotun Oyelade, he “queried the intention and sincerity of the outgoing government to open negotiation with the labour unions on the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage in Oyo come this Monday which is exactly 30 days to the exit of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi led out going administration.”
“It was not part of his electoral promises to increase the wages and salaries,” the statement added.
Apart from previous statements alleging that the lame-duck administration of Ajimobi was awarding huge contracts with intentions to empty the state’s treasury, the statement on the minimum wage generated some dust as many, especially in the All Progressives Congress (APC) accusing him of reneging on his electoral promises even before being sworn in.
Governor-elect on Tuesday, attended the Nigerian Bar Association Annual Conference in Akure, Ondo State.
He joined the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), at the event.
A post on his official Instagram page, he said, “we will run a government which adheres to the rule of law in Oyo State.”
Observing that the governor’s pre-inauguration activities have shifted away from his residence, Newspeak reporter on Friday decided to take a look at the human and political traffic at his residence.
Expectedly, it was quiet. One of those met at the house said the governor was out of town.
“Oga is not around, he is out of town. If he were to be around, you’ll see a lot of people on the street.
“You see that everywhere is dry. You would have seen people everywhere immediately you entered the gate of the estate.”
Apart from two SUVs and a Toyota car that drove in and out of the compound while our reporter was on ground, nothing else happened.
The same quietness was observed at his office at Iwo Road.
Except for a group of six men who sat outside the office building discussing, the workers inside the building were going about their duties normally.
His absence from home, two weeks to his inauguration, should not be a surprise as it is thought that like king getting ready for coronation, the governor-elect may not be seen until the day he breezes in to take power. Undoubtedly though, the next two weeks will be one of the busiest for the incoming governor.