James Rohn, an American entrepreneur, an author and a motivational speaker quoted: Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. One might not succeed at anything if the skill of consistency is not applied. The initiator of ‘omi tuntun’ in Oyo state, Oluwaseyi Makinde has proven this assertion to be true. Makinde has been tagged as a failure because of his numerous failed attempts to attain political position in Oyo state, yet, he remained consistent. This of course made him the number one citizen in Oyo state, Nigeria.
In 2007, Oluwaseyi Makinde contested for the Oyo South Senatorial seat under All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but lost the race to Peoples’ Democratic Party candidate, Kamoru Adedibu. After the failed attempt, he aspired for the Oyo South 2011 Senatorial seat under Peoples’ Democratic Party but lost the primary. Remained undeterred by the failed attempts, in 2014, he aimed for Oyo State 2015 governorship ticket under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) but was denied governorship nomination ticket. He defected to Social Democratic Party (SDP), contested for the Oyo State 2015, but lost. In 2017, he joined the PDP after the Caretaker National Chairman of the party visited him in Ibadan. Makinde returned to the party after wide consultations with National leaders, Oyo state leaders and elders of the Social Democratic Party.
Who is Oluwaseyi Makinde? Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde is a Business man, philanthropist, politician, an Engineer, an expert on Fluid and Gas Metering. He is the Group Managing Director of Makon Group Limited; one of the domestic oil and gas company in Nigeria. In 1997, after five years of work experience with international oil and gas companies, he founded his first oil and gas private business; Makon Engineering and Technical Services (METS). Makinde is a member of National and International bodies: Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Council of Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Oil and Gas Design Engineers of Nigeria (OGDEN), International Society of Automation (ISA), Institute of Measurement and Control UK and American Measurement Institute (AMI). After several failed attempts, Makinde secured majority votes; 515, 621, he was elected into the office of the Governor of Oyo State at the 2019 gubernatorial elections for Oyo State held on March 9, 2019.
Prior to his grand victory, Makinde promised to be the fresh water (omi tuntun) Oyo State needs. He pledged to revamp the education sector in the country; from the primary level to the tertiary level, the health sector; offering affordable health care services to the residents of Oyo, Improved infrastructure across the state, job creation across the state by providing low-interest credit facilities, supporting small and medium business and creating an enabling environment for investments. He also promised to pay outstanding salaries including the pensioners and reviewing of those who lost their jobs during the reign of the outgoing government. The ‘omi tuntun’ is ready to make the change happen! Where do Oyo residents really need the ‘omi tuntun’?
One of the campaign promises of Makinde is to revamp the education sector in the state, in order to fare better than outgoing government; this has to be achieved strategically. Education has to be taken very important, the primary, secondary school and the tertiary. The incoming government has to objectively look into the case of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). The school has been in internal crisis due to the negligence of the past government of Osun state and the outgoing government of Oyo state. LAUTECH is a state University jointly owned by these two states, yet, the school lacks proper management and funding. The incoming Makinde led-administration should have a roadmap to get the school well-functioning again; the students of LAUTECH have suffered enough. More so, the Oyo state Library needs this fresh water. The library is in a dilapidated state, it is far below standard. If you have plans to visit the library, remember to take your bow, arrows and spear along; you are about to go hunting too! The ‘Oyomesi’ library does not wear any look of intellectualism; the environment is dirty, weeds at every nooks and crannies of the library. Ibadan has over time won the award of ‘the dirtiest’ city in the country, it was appalling to found out that even the library is not spared.
The exterior of the library was terrible and the interior didn’t look anything better, there were broken ceilings, out-dated and worn out air conditions and the light source was broken. There were no resourceful materials, textbooks or journals to find on any of the shelves in the library. I wondered if it was really a State Library. Can anything good come out of such dilapidated situation? Yes! The incoming government can make it happen, it needs to be reconstructed, well managed and more resourceful books to make it a true definition of a library. The State library is a metaphorical representation of the state of education in Oyo, there is a need to correct this menace.
The health sector deals with the lives of individuals; where there is no sound health, there is no wealth. A state cannot survive with unhealthy residents, so, the need to make this sector work. The Oyo state hospitals are in a comatose state, there is a need to put them on oxygen for survival. In a one week tour to Oyo state hospitals, I engaged three state owned hospitals. My discoveries include: bad structure, no pharmacies, no protective gadgets for health workers, lack of amenities needed, no ambulance and those available are not properly maintained; Oyo residents have to look for vehicle to convey victims in case of referral, lack of expertise and no electricity; health workers have to use lamp to carry out their duties. One of the state hospitals visited, Adeoyo Maternity hospital has a beautiful exterior but the interior says otherwise. The wards in the hospitals are tattered, dirty and the stench oozing out is highly infectious. During the visit, Saki state hospital revealed that they have written letters severally to the State government for electricity but no reply and no change; the health workers in the hospital have to use lamp or other source of light to carry out their daily activities.
This is another area the Oyo state residents really need the incoming government to look into. How can a state be productive with such a bad health sector? The state hospitals lacks health facilities to discharge duties. Makinde should draft out concrete plans to fulfill his campaign promises; to make health care services affordable and also available for the residents by providing health care facilities to the state hospitals.
INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT
In just few months I became a resident of Ibadan, three common phenomenon make me wondered why Ibadan is called a city. Surveying through some major places in Ibadan: Bodija, Challenge, Mokola, Ojoo, Sango, Agbowo, Iwo, there is a common feature. The common phenomenon: the large number of beggars on the road pleading for alms from people, the dirty state of the environment and no traffic light.
Ibadan, the largest city in the country also has an award of being the dirtiest; there are wastes in every nooks and crannies of Iwo, Agbowo, Ojoo. The dirty state of these places in the city makes it difficult to find fresh air, to make the matter worse, most residents result to burning or throwing away into the drainage. There is an institution that deals with waste in the state, yet, the capital city is dirty. The incoming government will have to look into the laid down institutions, change them if need be or restructure their methodology and purchase more vehicles for wider reach. Also, there should be sound awareness to the residents of the state in the dangers in disposing wastes carelessly and there should be a penalty attached for defaulting. This will reduce the rate of the careless dispose of waste in the state, especially, the capital city.
The issue of traffic light is a great concern. How should a busy road like Iwo, Challenge, and Sango be controlled without traffic lights? This is another appalling situation in the state; Ibadan is indeed a village in a city. For the ‘omi tuntun’ administration, the traffic lights in the state especially the busy roads have to be repaired or replaced; traffic lights are not for decoration. So, the people of Oyo should not rejoice yet, until the ‘omi tuntun’ gets to these areas and beyond; ‘it is not yet Uhuru’. The incoming government has to prove to the people they are in power to serve them better and not to serve their pocket.
Finally, I congratulate Eng. Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde for the emphatic victory; it is time to prove your worth and establish your claims. On this note, I say to His Excellency, we are watching you on 3-D!
Omolola Lipede (The Talking Pen) is a contributor to The African Progressive Economist and the opinions expressed here are her own. She is currently an Economics post graduate student at the University of Ibadan.