The Guardian

Makinde: Creating a new president of Oyo politics

Saturday, December 29, 2023, marks exactly seven months into Governor Seyi Makinde’s second term in office. He is the second governor to break the second term jinx in Oyo State, after his immediate past Governor Abiola Ahimobi led the way in 2015.

However, there was a difference in the jinx of Governor Makinde's second term. While the late Mr. Ajimobi rode on the All Progressives Congress (APC) merger bandwagon to sweep the South-West region in 2015, the incumbent governor achieved the same feat on March 18 using the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). did. , established in 2023, independently, without dependence on bandwagon effects or federal power.

Makinde's personality and popularity will tilt the vote in Oyo State in favor of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 presidential election and against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential flag bearer of the PDP. Ta. I voted for him in the gubernatorial election.

President Tinubu won all 33 local councils in Oyo, while the APC also won all three seats in the Senate and a significant number of seats in the House of Representatives. However, portraying Makinde as a master of the game, he impressively single-handedly turned the tables on March 18 by defeating the governorship candidates of the APC and Accord Party, Teslim Folarin and Adebayo Adelabu, respectively. others.

Contrary to fears that President Tinubu and the APC's victories in the presidential and National Assembly elections would create a bandwagon effect against Makinde, the incumbent defeated his opponents in 31 local councils and his party The incumbent defeated the opposition in 31 local councils, just as one PDP also claimed statewide rights. Parliament seat.

The governor has joined the G5 for opposing the party's presidential candidate, Mr. Atiku, due to the belief that North Korea cannot produce the next president. He won re-election without the support of those who slandered him. After eight years in power of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Makinde will also be praised for winning a second term without the support of Rashidi Ladoja, a former PDP governor and popular Emir of Ibadan, among others.

Recall that Makinde is alleged to have usurped the PDP nomination from Senator Kola Balogun, brother of the immediate past member of Oyo South, Oba Lekan Balogun, ahead of the 2023 general elections. He rather supported Mr. Joseph Tegbe. He defected from the APC to the PDP following the controversial APC gubernatorial primary election won by Mr. Folarin but ultimately resulting in the PDP losing the seat to the APC.

Initially, many observers believed that Mr. Makinde's refusal to allow Senator Balogun to get a return ticket to the PDP South senatorial seat led him to become the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Lekan. – They were concerned that it would put them at odds with Balogun and the traditional Ibadan Council. This was against the backdrop of the fact that a similar development led to the political fall of the late Mr. Ajimobi. The result on March 18, when Makinde won by a landslide, was in stark contrast.

If we evaluate the last Oyo State governorship election, it can be said that Makinde is perhaps the only Oyo State governor who won re-election based on his personal popularity and support among voters. Oyo has failed to come to terms with his PDP national headquarters, just as key stakeholders in his PDP have distanced themselves from his re-election ambitions. No one, not even the late former Governor Bola Ige and Mr. Ladoha, had achieved such political heights. The late Mr. Ajimobi was also popular, but as the previous gubernatorial poll showed, he was not as popular as the incumbent governor.

Once again, Makinde demonstrated his grip and control over Oyo politics soon after he was sworn in for a second term on May 29. This was reflected in the way he handled the incident of the former chairman of the state's Park Management System (PMS). Many commentators claimed that Alhaji Mukaira Lamidi, also known as the Auxiliary Member of Parliament, was being encouraged by the governor to carry out the crisis to intimidate the opposition.

Before the vote, there were fears that the government-backed Auxiliary and his gang, seen as terrorizing Ibadan, would become more violent during Makinde's second term. However, no one imagined that the same government would sooner or later silence the auxiliary organizations. As a result, most violent acts in Oyo's Motor His Park have subsided since then.

Even the opposition parties, which at various times during the election period had been feasting on the negative influence and activities of the auxiliary organizations to campaign against Mr. Makinde, have nothing to say anymore.

For the first time in Oyo politics, the voices of the opposition were silenced and no one, including the APC, bothered to challenge Makinde's electoral victory in court. Some call Mr. Makinde the mayor of Oyo politics, while others see him as the face of Oyo politics. The governor is so powerful that his words become orders even within the ruling PDP, which now functions according to his orders. An insider said, “PDP does not have an Oyo branch. Everything is concentrated around the governor. There has never been a situation like this where the influence of one person cuts across party politics.

“At the moment, Governor Makinde appears to be closer to an APC-controlled president than APC stakeholders in Oyo.”

Voices of prominent officials and personalities of Oyo PDP such as former Minister Elder Wole Oyelese. former deputy governor, Hazeem Gbolalunmi; The voices of former minister Jumoke Akinjide and others can no longer be heard.

With this development, it could take another three years for someone like Ladoja to gain influence in state politics, considering he is said to have faced off against Makinde in the last general election.

A recent report described the incumbent governor as the Lionel Messi of modern politics in Oyo State. The report also likens him to the Biblical David, the mega-killer of Oyo State politics, based on the results of the last governorship and House of Representatives elections in the Pacesetters state.

Before the election, Makinde boasted on a radio show that he and his party would record a 100 per cent victory, the kind of comment you wouldn't expect to hear from any of his predecessors, especially considering the nature of Oyo politics. was. But the governor said it and got it done.

The Oyo State governor has also displayed unusual qualities in office by the manner and manner in which he freely engages and entertains other governors across political divides.

Can Adelabu turn the tables against Makinde?
Will Minister of Power Adelabu’s defection from Accord Party to APC on December 15, 2023 turn the tide against Makinde? This is one of the questions on the minds of political analysts. Many APC members who were aiming for cabinet seats as compensation for their efforts to win President Tinubu were disappointed, but if Mr. Adelabu is in a position to challenge whomever Mr. Makinde chooses on the PDP platform, he will turn his fortunes around. I believe that it can be done. In 2027.

But other stakeholders don't see it that way. They claim that the incumbent Minister of Power does not have the political strength to win the Oyo governorship election or revive the ailing APC.

In an interview with the Guardian, Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan, South West Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), said: “Unless there is a consensus, it is impossible for Adelabu State to surpass Governor Makinde in Oyo politics.” Ta.

Mr. Olopoeyan was once a member of the PDP and was one of the fruits of the Alhaji Lamidi Ayedib politics, but after the 2019 governorship election, he had a falling out with Mr. Makinde and left the party to join the NNPP. He has been at odds with the governor and one of his ardent critics for the past four years. Suddenly, before the last election, Olopoeyan reconciled with Makinde and softened his critical stance.

He dismissed the perception that Makinde had become the czar of Oyo politics based on the results of the last gubernatorial election and the unusual silence of the opposition since May 29.

According to him, “opposition parties, especially the APC in Oyo, who are currently criticizing Mr. Makinde’s policies are a waste of time and energy.”

He added: “The Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led APC government is also not making life easier for Nigerians at the federal level, so the people will not just listen to such a party.” That's why there seems to be no opposition. It is not easy for opposition politicians to not start antagonizing any state government. The majority of gubernatorial candidates from other parties later worked for Mr. Makinde, but some collapsed the structure to Mr. Makinde's supporters.

“If we have to blame Mr. Makinde, we should also ask what the three senators and 12 members of the APC are giving back to their various constituencies and even to the members of the party. , the Commissioner of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Zacchais Adedeji, and other persons appointed by the Federal Government. What did they give back to Oyo State during the relaxation period?”

Olopoeyan said those who lost elections, like Folarin, can be forgiven for losing. “But what will happen to those who win or those who are appointed? Makinde is fine being the governor, but this young man has always proven that he is with and for the people. This is why he looks like the emperor of Oyo politics but is not. If Oyo politicians are not careful, Makinde will be the first to break the third term jinx by choosing a successor in 2027. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or before 2027, but in today’s situation, Mr. Makinde is in a far better position than any other politician in Oyo.Politics,” he submitted.

He noted that when it comes to those living in a fool’s paradise, Mr. Adelabu will not prove anything better than what he achieved on the consensus platform in the last gubernatorial election.

“Makinde polled 563,756 people and won in 31 out of 33 local governments. This was his actual political power in Oyo.

“Despite the fact that Folarin did not have full support from APC members in Oyo and the Presidency also did not pay attention to him, he managed to garner 256,686 votes, which is the highest of his original votes. “So it could be considered a test of his popularity compared to the president,” said Adelabu, who polled 38,357 people on the Accord platform.

“The reason Adelabu surpassed 300,000 in 2019 is due to Ajimobi’s influence. Even if the minister wins the APC governorship ticket in 2027, there are other interests within the party. We will still have a hard time because there are politicians who are in the same position,” Olopoeyan said.

He said what Makinde should do is to settle down within the next three and a half years and focus on serious infrastructure development in Oyo.

He also said that President Tinubu may not have time to support his personal ambitions as the former Lagos State governor is busy seeking a second term, which will not be easy.


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