- Governor ‘Seyi Makinde won the 2023 governorship election in Oyo State without the backing of the core power brokers in the state.
- Instead, he relied solely on his performance in office and the affinity he had developed with the people.
- The Makinde administration now aims to attract more industries to Oyo State, Nigeria by improving power supply, completing more road infrastructure, and improving healthcare, security, solid minerals exploitation, and tourism.
During the 2015 governorship election in Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajumobi did something that had never been done in the state when he got reelected to a second term as Governor.
Due to factors such as the truncation of democratic rule and the apparent reluctance of the people of the state to renew the mandates of previous governors, nobody at that time had gotten a renewed mandate. But Ajumobi broke the jinx in 2015 with a combination of shrewd politicking and hurricane Buhari, sweeping aside Senator Teslim Folarin of the PDP to return to Agodi Government House for another term.
GSM has accomplished the same feat: In 2023, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde (GSM as he is affectionately known) joined the very exclusive group of Oyo’s two-term governors, with his reelection to Agodi for a second term. Ironically, he beat Senator Teslim Folarin to the race, the same man that Governor Ajumobi defeated in 2015.
Official records seen by Nairametrics show that GSM polled 563,756 votes to defeat Sen. Folarin, his main challenger who polled 256,685 votes.
Who is Governor ‘Seyi Makinde: The 55-year-old father of 3, who holds a degree in fluid and gas metering engineering from the University of Lagos, was odds on favourite to return to Agodi Government House. The power of incumbency, the almost religious devotion that Civil Servants in the state have for him, his age and wide appeal with the common folks always favoured his reelection chances.
The governorship election was always going to be a referendum on the performance of the incumbent and based on the result; it was a resounding vote of confidence.
He achieved this feat without the backing of the core power brokers in the state and relied solely on his performance in office and the affinity he had developed with the people.
As he returns to Government House Agodi for a second term, the task ahead for the smiling baby-faced Governor is simple – restore the economic prosperity of the people of Oyo State and by implication the purchasing power of the citizens.
His manifesto: In 2019, candidate ‘Seyi Makinde promised to increase internally generated revenue (IGR), improve the infrastructure deficit, reduce the dependence on Federal allocation, and attract more businesses to the state.
In his Omituntun 2.0 campaign manifesto, he highlights an increase in IGR which has resulted in a reduction in dependence on federal allocations from 67.6% in 2019 to 51.22% at the end of 2022. IGR grew from an average of about N2b monthly in 2018 to about N3.9b monthly in 2022 an increase of 90.24%. By promptly paying salaries and pensions as when due, the state government is injecting N12b monthly into the economy, thereby increasing the purchasing power of the citizenry.
Purchasing power is one of the factors affecting the long-term viability of businesses in Oyo state, especially in Ibadan, the state capital and economic nerve centre. The Malls that sprung up post-2015 have largely become deserted with many of the shops closing down. This can be attributed in part to the economic downturn being experienced in the country but is also a function of the low purchasing power of the residents of Ibadan.
The Makinde administration aims to attract more industries thereby creating more jobs for its residents. This it intends to achieve by improving power supply to industries with programs such as the Oyo state -Shell Nigeria Gas project which will deliver 60 million cubic feet of gas per day to industrial, manufacturing and commercial entities. This will also serve emerging industrial corridors/zones and the planned independent power projects in the state.
Some of the highlights of the administrations plans for the second term it has now secured include:
Agriculture utilizing private sector-led government-supported projects, development agency-led government-supported projects and government-led private sector-supported projects. Add 18,000 more farmers to the biometrically captured farmers’ register, and embark on constructing feeder roads that link major farming communities to markets.
Improve the infrastructure: This is in keeping with his first term objectives by completing over 300km of roads in 2 years, embarking on more junction improvements in major areas and resuscitating in conjunction with the private sector moribund state assets. The Government also intends to work with the NRC to develop an intracity rail system to link OmiAdio-Dugbe-Sango-Olodo-Erunmo using the old rail line.
Other areas that are to be improved include healthcare (renovating more PHCs and procuring more ambulances), security, solid minerals exploitation and tourism.
Coming into politics with a personal fortune exclusively from his businesses that are non-government affiliated, GSM was not your quintessential Nigerian politician. His style appears to have riled the political powers in the state and he really can be said to be a man without a godfather.
His allegiance is to the people, and we look forward to seeing him keep his promises to those who elected him into office.
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