Barely 24 hours after his glamorous outing at the final burial ceremony for the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi in the premises of the Olivet High School, Oyo, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde was at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), Ibadan.
He was guest of the station’s live interview session branded ‘Meet The Governor’ during which he answered varied questions from listeners of the programme across the length and breadth of the state and beyond.
The soft-speaking but assertive governor used the platform to review his past three years in office and scored his administration over 75 per cent success rate in service delivery and his electoral promises he had made before 2019 gubernatorial elections.
Makinde revealed that the policies and programmes of the government in the areas of education, health, security and economic expansion had brought a positive turnaround to the state.
Shortly after he had left the studio, his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa issued a statement wherein Makinde promised more dividend of his administration till the last day of his tenure in May 2023.
The governor declared that he had put the developments at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention behind him, stating that the party would do the necessary to rescue Nigeria from the current administration.
He added that though a Northerner emerged as the party’s presidential candidate despite the decision by Southern governors that the presidency of Nigeria should rotate to the South, he was duty bound to ensure harmonious efforts to send the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) out of power.
He said: “We have seen the outcome of that presidential primary but it is what it is. In politics, if you cannot get what you desire, you look at where you are, evaluate and see how best you can deal with your situation.
“At this point in time, as PDP and for the generality of the people of Nigeria, they want APC out of government at the national level. So, we have to work. The task for us now is to get rid of APC. Once we are able to achieve that, then the agitation will still continue. Four years is not really long.
“What is important is what we want to do with Nigeria and how we can ensure our people get what they deserve nationally. It has been seven rough years for APC. People can compare the 16 years of PDP economically with the seven years of APC.”
When asked if he could put a figure to the performance of his administration in three years, the governor said: “With regards to the promises that we made to the people of Oyo State, I will say we are well over 75 per cent and we are not stopping. We will continue up until the last moment in the tenure of this administration.”
Governor Makinde further explained that the administration focused on four major pillars of education, health, security and economic expansion and that the state has experienced a great turnaround across the four sectors and other areas in the last three years.
On education, he stated that apart from the administration scrapping education levies and putting in place an educational grant for all public primary and secondary school students per term, it has embarked on massive building of education infrastructure and repositioned the sector.
The result, he said, is the general improvement of the state in public examinations like WAEC, where the state now stands at 11th position as against the number 26 position he met when he took office in 2019, disclosing that the administration has also made progress in the area of healthcare delivery across the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare strata, beginning with the completion and commissioning of abandoned projects at the Adeoyo State Hospital, Ibadan.
Makinde also stated that the government has put in place new equipment and facilities, including Renal Dialysis and modern theatre equipment, which will also be commissioned in commemoration of its third anniversary.
He said: “On the primary healthcare facility, we said Oyo State people must not walk more than a kilometre to wherever they are living to access standard primary healthcare facilities and we set out to reconstruct and remodel at least one primary healthcare centre in all the political wards in Oyo State – 351 of them.
“We will be commissioning some of them during this period. At least, we are sure that about 200 of the 351 are done and dusted. We are talking about a primary healthcare facility that is comparable to anyone in the world.
“Then, we also said that we are going to expand our economy through agribusiness, because we know where we have comparative advantage is our land-based resources. So, we are looking at agribusiness.”
Also as part of measures to expand the state’s economy, the governor explained that his government began a massive infrastructure development drive across the agribusiness corridors of the state, saying: “There is no point when you go out there and you farm and the produce cannot get to the market. So, we started constructing roads, especially to the Food Basket for Oyo State, which is the Oke-Ogun region.”We constructed the road from Moniya to Iseyin so that, at least, from that point, we can evacuate the farm produce. I also said that our infrastructure will target our economy and I am not going to embark on a project just because it is good or it is nice to have.
“We went to Saki, we completed the road that was abandoned because we have a lot of agricultural businesses around Saki, Igboho, Igbeti, Kishi axes.”
He noted that the government has gone far with building infrastructure that target the economy, as it is equally constructing roads from Oyo to Iseyin, from Ogbomoso to Iseyin, from Beere to Ona-Ara, from Ajia to Airport Road and Amuloko, while a limited rehabilitation is going on presently at the Igbo Ora-Igangan Road.
He further said that his government has been able to grow the Internally Generated Revenue of the state from around N1.8 Billion monthly, which it inherited in 2019 to over N3.3 Billion monthly.
Another area where the governor reckoned that the administration has scored high is security, as he stated that despite the overall insecurity challenges facing the country, the state has done well as far as having a safe and secure environment is concerned.
He maintained that the establishment and provision of necessary logistics support to the Oyo State Security Network Agency codenamed ‘Amotekun’ as well as the massive support the agency has been enjoying from federal security agencies, who have also been up and doing, has culminated in surmounting insecurity challenges in the state.
While speaking on the participation of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) chapter, in the prolonged strike embarked upon by the national body, Makinde said the lecturers should not have joined the industrial action.
“Let me quickly use this opportunity to address the issue of the ASUU strike in LAUTECH. If the lecturers were sensitive, they should not have joined the industrial action.
“As of today, their subvention is being withheld. If they don’t go back to school, I won’t release their subvention. So, the students must know who to hold accountable.
“When we came in, we met 13 months salary outstanding. We worked to take the institution from Osun back to Oyo state. So, we expected 100 per cent cooperation at least for the sake of the students but there are people who want to play politics among them.
“Now, I can assure them that we will pay the lecturers who return to classrooms to teach our children. Those who want to be fomenting trouble should go ahead. I don’t care whether it is an election year. I will only do whatever is right until the last day of my tenure,” the governor said.
He equally warned politicians who he said have been showing traces of desperation to wait for when their opportunity will come, declaring that they would not be allowed to hijack the government from him like they hijack party structures here and there.
Makinde, who expressed the confidence that the people of Oyo State would give him their mandate for another term of four years, as they know those who have their best interest at heart, said: “Anyway, we won’t allow anyone to hijack the current government under my leadership, because I also know that the people of Oyo State, at least, know those working for them. They have experienced administrations in the past and will always know what to do at the right time.
“To me, it sounds somehow to see someone preoccupied about hijacking structures of every political party he identifies with. You should know what such a personality can do if he eventually gets the mandate of the people.
“Well, what I know is, the people of Oyo State are wise; they know what they want and where they are going. They have experienced the characterisation and antecedents of desperate politicians in the past. I can tell you that the electorates know that those desperate politicians are thieves and they would want to give me their mandate for another four years. The people of Oyo State, at the appropriate time, will speak through their votes to those politicians,” he said.