By Samuel Adegoke
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State has slammed erudite lawyer and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), over his comments, describing the performance of Governor Seyi Makinde in his 11 months in office as poor.
The party was reacting to Akintola’s interview on South West Political Circuit, a Fresh 105.9 FM, Ibadan weekend programme that engages prominent politicians on local and national issues.
Akintola, who was a governorship candidate on APC’s platform in the run up to 2019 election in Oyo State, said Makinde has not impressed anyone. He posited that he has been practicing populism to attract public love and deliberately de-marketing his predecessor, Abiola Ajimobi and his legacies.
Rather than take hard decisions for the overall interest of the state, the lawyer said Makinde has been avoiding stepping on toes, thereby failing to maintain the standard he inherited not to talk of building on it.
But the PDP dismissed Akintola’s claims, saying he exposed his ignorance about the workings of government.
The party said Akintola in the interview, told deliberate lies to discredit Makinde’s soaring reputation as a man who has rescued Oyo State from the hands of oppressors, stressing that there was no basis for comparison between APC’s and current PDP administration in the state.
The statement signed by the state chairman and Publicity Secretary Chief Kunmi Mustapha and Akeem Olatunji respectively, read in part: “We, as a party find it very appalling but amusing that APC in Oyo state presumed that the good people of Oyo State could be continually embarrassed by its unremorseful and unapologetic party that rode to power on the backdrop of lies, deceitful propaganda, and unbridled penchant for power even in the face of lack of capacity and political will to be in government.
“APC government under Ajimobi did not only plunge Oyo State into unprecedented debt but also failed to tell Oyo people why Oyo State became poorer both economically and and in term of reserve, but for the purpose of education, there are things such as investment in human capital development, investment in socioeconomic development, as well as investment in infrastructural development. Governor Makinde is applying scientific and logical approach to governance in order to fully restore the state back to a healthy one, that is why we are moved by people’s views not opposition.”
The party listed eight road projects already undertaken by the Makinde administration to prove Akintola wrong.
It also emphasized that easing lockdown across the nation by both the federal and state governments was a confirmation that Makinde’s style of handling the COVID-19 pandemic is commendable as his style gave priority to the livelihood of residents, hence he did not embark on total lockdown.
Meanwhile, the APC in the state has called on relevant stakeholders in Oyo State to call Governor Seyi Makinde to order over his alleged penchant for engaging the Federal Government, its agencies and officials in needless face-offs as it has been the case in the last 11 months.
The party’s warning may have come against the backdrop of some reported cases of altercation between Makinde-led administration and the Presidency as well as officials and institutions of the Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which the opposition party in the state claimed was becoming worrisome.
In a statement issued on Monday by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, Oyo APC regretted that Makinde has never shied away from “open display of his naivety on the issues of good governance as well as the need to establish and sustain synergy with other tiers of government with a view to attracting opportunities to the state for the sake of indigenous and resident population.”
The party added: “It is inconceivable that a young governor like Engr. Makinde could hold the esteemed Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so lowly that he hardly exchange communication with the Presidency over many matters of importance. When the Oyo State Governor is not calling out the person of Mr. President, he must have someone in the Presidency to ridicule all in the name of belonging to the PDP and not the APC.
“Empirically, the only agencies of the Federal Government in the good book of Gov. Makinde are perhaps INEC and the Ministry of Finance for obvious reasons. The whole mess started on his inauguration day when the governor called the bluff of the Supreme Court and went against a celebrated verdict which restrains state helmsmen and the Houses of Assembly from dissolving elected local government officials.
“Gov. Makinde later followed it up when he brazenly discountenanced the letters drawing his attention to the violation of the Apex Court verdict written to him by the Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice as well as the Inspector-General of Police at different occasions. With this kind of reckless display of disrespect to constituted authorities, he (Makinde) convinced the whole of the stuff he was made of and up till today, he would not allow democratically elected officials to function at the local government level in the state.
“As if this was not enough, the same governor took the Constitutionally revered Justices of the Appellate Court to the cleaners during a live radio and television interview last year when he claimed a verdict they gave against him, on account of his gubernatorial mandate, was influenced by interested parties he did not mention. Another issues was that of his cold war with the Federal Ministry of Works over plans to duplicate efforts on the reconstruction of the Iwo Road, Ibadan interchange at a whopping cost of N8 billion without any engineering design.
“Recently, news filtered in that the governor was ready for a battle with the Nigerian Railway Corporation over issues of rights to some landed properties in Samonda, Bodija and parts of Ibadan at a time tongues were still wagging on the controversies surrounding the donation of 1,800 bags of rice by the Nigerian Customs Service and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Abuja to serve as palliative to the masses of the state in view the hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Oyo State Government is not ready to come clean on its management of the Coronavirus pandemic as the present administration has not demonstrated basic understanding of the danger locking around the corner. Rather than cooperate with the Federal Ministry of Health, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan among others to stem the tide of the virus in the state, Gov. Makinde is more interested in unnecessary muscle flexing and this is quite unfortunate as the trend, if not checked, would literarily remove our dear state from the national map with dire consequences.”