Within the first 100 days in office, the administration of Governor Seyi Abiodun Makinde has through actions, policies and pronouncements attempted to stamp its footprint on the sand of history. Bayo Agbola captures some of these events.
It is on record that the first 100 days in office of Engineer Seyi Makinde as the Oyo state governor has been action packed considering some of his actions, policies and gestures. To some, the actions of the governor are what are needed to usher in the much anticipated humane policies essential to restore the lost glory of Oyo state. But the opposition political party, precisely, the All Progressives Congress (APC), think the governor’s actions and the drift of his administration are off course, that he is not getting his bearing as far as governing a state like Oyo is concerned .
In contrast, some civil servants, including teachers , local government workers and even the pensioners in Oyo state, Governor Makinde is the best in terms of his style of governance particularly in the areas of their welfare. They said the prompt payment of their salaries and pensions has aptly demonstrated the administration’s milk of human kindness.
According to them, it is unlike, what it used to be in the days of the immediate past administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi when the monthly salaries were paid at the convenience of the government, They say it was an era where pensioners were subjected to abuse before they could get the meager part of what ought to be their monthly salaries. They are glad the present administration led by Governor Makinde now pays the civil servants, pensioners and others their monthly salaries latest by 25th of every month.
No wonder teachers while appreciating the first 100 days of Governor Makinde in office, described him as “a performer with unequal giant strides”. Oyo state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and Secretary, Comrades Tojuade Adedoyin and Muhammed Abdullahi, in a statement minced no words in declaring that already, Engr Makinde is repositioning the state for better service delivery.
“Unarguably, his excellency’s sterling qualities as a leader is a pointer that attitude is a small thing that makes a lot of difference. The prompt payment of salary and pension to both serving and retired teachers of Oyo state are considered topical issues that we could never hoped for under the last administration.
“The total release of monthly salary by his excellency in funding teachers’ pension board remains an act that cannot be easily forgotten in the annals of history of this administration in Oyo state,” NUT said.
The teachers while commending the governor’s promise of allocating 10 percent yearly budget to education, appreciated the promotion of graduate teachers to salary grade level 15 as well as his promotion of free, compulsory and qualitative education in the state.
For the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state, in the first 100 days in office of Governor Makinde, the state has witnessed what it termed regrettable downward slide in the fortune of the state as a result of poor handling of its affairs by the Peoples Democratic Party’s administration of Engr Oluseyi Makinde.
Administration lacks direction- APC
APC in a statement issued by its Assistant Publicity Secretary in Oyo state, Prince Ayobami Adejumo claimed that the “new administration is currently basking in the euphoria of marking its first 100 days in office as this has become the practice in the nation’s democratic governance to pressure and allowing his subjects to embark on a comedy show in the name of celebrating fake achievements which cannot even stand the test of public scrutiny.
“Modern ethics of governance or public administration do not give room for experiments as an average prospective leader is expected to be armed with ideal blueprint or roadmap with which he plans to add value or make a positive difference. In the case of Oyo state at the moment, the whole world is worried that we now have a man who still campaigns for election after he had been sworn-in as governor.
“As a progressive entity, we are deeply concerned about the future of the Pacesetter State in view of the fact that the tempo of purposeful governance went away with the immediate past governor. We now have an administration which does not seem to know what governance entails. Obviously, handlers of the current PDP government are grossly incompetent and the earlier they realize this, the better for the future of our dear state.”
APC added, “If not a theatre of the absurd; how does a mere plan to purchase pleasure cars amount to a giant stride in enhancing security? How does the rebranding and unveiling of exercise books inherited from the successive administration change the face of education for the better in a state? How does a mere pronouncement change the status of Adeoyo State Hospital to meet up with the value of the University College Hospital, Ibadan?
According to APC, “on many occasions in the last three months, we have had Gov Makinde speak on probing the administration of Sen Ajimobi on the spurious allegations of graft in the morning and also come out in the evening of same day to applaud most of his policies while in office. Rather than engaging in bitter politicking and unnecessary grandstanding, we urge him to borrow a leaf from Ajimobi and come up with only programs and policies that could move the state forward in no time.
“Rather than roll out drums and make noise through media patronage to cover the track, Gov Makinde should apologize for his failure to deliver on his campaign promises. Basically, people care to know why the governor has not secured sole ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso for Oyo state as promised?
“Why has the governor refused to pay the 30 thousand naira minimum wage to workers? Why has Gov Makinde not been able to wean the state from being dependent of monthly federal allocations and loans? After all, it is dawned on the people that all he (Makinde) was to take an advantage of the people and make fake promises just to be a governor.
The party noted, “however, now that Gov Makinde is preparing to commission most of the Model Schools built by the administration of Sen Ajimobi, we are appealing to him to monitor and support all the contractors handling various developmental projects across the state and, at the same time, endeavor to give due credit to the APC government since government is a continuum. Since Ajimobi left office, no single pot hole has been fixed on any road anywhere in the state and this is rather unfortunate.”
Where impacts were made
However, amidst the applaud and the expected position of the APC being the leading and possibly the only opposition party in the state, Governor Seyi Makinde has been able to prove his worth in the last 100 as a determined leader who is fully prepared for the challenges ahead having hit the ground running with landmark impact in key sectors notably education, agriculture health, security, infrastructure, and investment drive
In the area of security, contrary to the fears that the prolonged internal crises rocking the state wing of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) could pose major threat to the smooth take off of the Governor Makinde administration in the state, the governor to accordingly tackled the situation in a surprising manner with the ban on activities of the union.
Days after this, the governor in another surprise package stormed the Oyo state office of the Code of Conduct Bureau in Ibadan to become the first public officer in the state to make the details of his assets public during by declaring his assets worth over N48 billion in fulfillment of his promise to do during the electioneering campaign.
On education, Governor Makinde soon after he was inaugurated as governor, publicly announced immediate scrapping of the N3,000 levy payment by secondary school students in public schools every year in the state. The levy was initiated by the immediate past administration with an assurance of providing free, qualitative education in and across the nooks and crannies of Oyo state. Also, in the education sector, the governor in his first 100 days has facilitated the rehabilitation and commissioning of school buildings in the three senatorial districts of the state.
At the Baptist Primary school in town during the commissioning of 20 blocks of classrooms, Governor Makinde said, “I want to assure you that our government will continue to influence and implement good policies that will bring total transformation to the state. With the support of all, we shall record unprecedented achievements and thus leaving our footprints in the sand of time.
“It is worthy to mention that the present administration is not oblivious of the fact that childhood is filled with natural wonders and curiosity and that learning environment must reflect a classroom and outdoor space that inspire a sense of wanting to investigate and explore. This was part of what necessitated the need to embark on a project like this, which will enable our children to explore both their natural and social environments.”
Improve budgetary allocation for education
In adding to the moves at boosting the state education sector, the governor while speaking at the flag off of the free distribution of textbooks and notebooks to all students in the public schools across Oyo state disclosed that his administration plans to jack up its budgetary allocation for education sector to 12percent from its present above 6 percent.
He said this will take effect from the 2020 budget, stressing that the intention is to fund education adequately within its means with aim of improving the state human capacity development index. The government therefore urged that all hands must be on deck to ensure improved standards of education in the state.
Governor Makinde pointed out that the decision to increase the budgetary allocation for education was in line with his promise during the electioneering campaigns to step up human capacity development by training and retraining the state’s vibrant youths in various skills. He said there will be no going back in his determination to take Oyo state to an era where education will be well-planned and well-funded.
“I enjoyed the same gesture from the government of Oyo state in 1980s, so what we are doing today is not new. They provided us chairs, tables, rulers, pencils, and mathematical sets etc. We need to reclaim the lost glory of Oyo state and reposition it to be among leading states in the country.”
Emphasizing that Oyo state would have a better rating in next year’s school certificate examinations due to his government’s current interventions in the education sector, the governor urged the students to take their studies seriously so as to perform excellently in their various examinations.
In the area of health sector, Governor Makinde is on the verge of turning the moribund Oyo state government owned, General Hospital at Adeoyo into a modern day hospital. The place is now a beehive of activities as it under goes facelift in and around the hospital environment. The state government he announced equally plans to provide the hospital with modern and state of the art equipment.
Should Governor Makinde sustains the present tempo by working assiduously to resist and perhaps subdue the usual political pressure the state is reputed for, it will not be out of point to predict that there are better days ahead for the state and entire people in Oke Ogun, Ibarapa, Oyo, Ogbomoso and Ibadan axis of the state.