…….Olawale Aremu, a Member of the GSM Advocates
In as much as Chief Obafemi Awolowo has been remembered for his lofty landmarks in the transformation of the southwest even after decades, I strongly believe that the Governor Seyi Makinde would be remembered after 2027 because the two personalities are like five and six.
Findings from the expert opinions, interviews in the national dailies, and documentaries revealed how the triumphs of the heroes are codified as a legacy for the coming generations to read as history. Many people didn’t live to witness or see the lives and works of many great Nigerians but read about such as Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, a pioneer in the country’s fight for independence. He is known as “Zik”; Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was a Nigerian politician who served as the first and only prime minister of Nigeria; Sir Ahmadu Bello was a prominent Nigerian politician who served as the first Premier of Northern Nigeria from 1954 to 1966. Known as the Sardauna of Sokoto; Chief Obafemi Awolowo was one of Nigeria’s foremost statesmen who played a key role in Nigeria’s independence and history. His achievements include the following:
As Premier of Western Nigeria (1952-1959), he introduced free primary education and free health care for all in 1955. He also founded Nigeria’s first indigenous TV station in Ibadan called the Western Nigerian Television (WNTV). Several cities have been named after him, and his face has been gracing the 500 naira note since 2001.
University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) is named after him. He promoted indigenous industry, agriculture, and infrastructure development across Western Nigeria; Chief Anthony Enahoro was one of Nigeria’s foremost anti-colonial and pro-democracy activists. He played a key role in Nigeria’s independence movement; Sir Herbert Macaulay, a prominent figure in Nigeria’s history, was a nationalist, politician, and social activist; Gen. Murtala Ramat Muhammed was a military ruler of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976; Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, also known as M.K.O Abiola, was a Nigerian businessman, publisher, and politician. He ran for president in 1993 and is widely regarded as the presumed winner of the election. However, the results were annulled by Ibrahim Babangida.
Just like I wrote in one of my previous articles entitled ” Seyi Makinde: Why Are You Moving Quickly?” His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde fondly called GSM has not forgotten to forget about his part of the history that will linger forever in Oyo State and beyond. The commissioning of the 38.85KM Oyo-Iseyin road project and the Iseyin Campus of LAUTECH (The College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources) will make him to be remembered beyond 2027.
Women’s inclusion in government will be forgotten so on, two Secretaries to the state government (SSG) on the bounce, the first-ever female commissioner for youth and sports, and even the President has equally nominated a woman for the same position at the national level and other key positions, are you asking me again how this will linger people’s memory?
The 110km Ibadan circular road is segmented into four sections, namely South-East(32.2km); North- East(20.8km); North-West(33.0km), and South-West(24.0km) is a by-pass for travelers, goods, and freight commuting through Ibadan along the Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway linking Ibadan/ Ife Expressway, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Ilorin geographically situated within Ibadan via Egbeda, Ona-Ara, Lagelu, Akinyele, Ido, and Oluyole local government areas. This simply means that the travelers coming from Lagos going to other states, like Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Abuja, and others will no longer pass through the Ibadan Iwo Road axis, but will rather boycott the entire Iwo Road traffic congestion by passing through the state-owned Technical University along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway and come out few kilometers to Asejire Bridge on Ibadan/Ife road.
The main purpose of the road is to ease the traffic flow in Ibadan and open up another corridor for economic activities in the state. Twenty years after it was conceived, Engr. Seyi Makinde being a visionary leader saw the need to actualise the dreams of many Oyo residents by awarding the Ibadan circular road to a competent construction firm in 2022. The 110-kilometer road was named after the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja by Engr. Seyi Makinde in honour of the former governor (Ladoja) who conceived the project when he was the governor of the state will no doubt bring more development to Oyo State when completed and you are telling me that this huge project will not carry GSM’s name till eternity?
Are you saying that the prospective economic boom in Iseyin and Oke-Ogun axis would not last beyond 2027? The governor, while addressing the people of the town, said that locating the college in Iseyin was a strategic decision. He also insisted that the decision to make LAUTECH a multi-campus institution was also taken to achieve accelerated development for the state.
According to him: “The zone will be opened to more economic activities as about 1,533 students resume at the college in the next few weeks. Let me mention that this commissioning of the LAUTECH Iseyin Campus in Iseyin exemplifies what happens when we have existing infrastructure, whether physical or administrative, to build on.
“We used to have one and a half universities when we came in; the Technical University and half of LAUTECH because it was jointly owned by Oyo and Osun states. But today, we have doubled the institutions, as we now have the Technical University, which is fully owned by Oyo State, and the LAUTECH and Emmanuel Alayande University of Education, which is also fully owned by Oyo State.”
He said further: “It is not just about all of these universities, but the fact that what we have done is to use our available resources to achieve our vision. Building on that, we took a multi-campus approach to expand LAUTECH. To ensure both campuses of LAUTECH are connected, we are constructing a brand new road, the 76.67km Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road, which is about 80 percent done, and I will come back here to commission that road before the end of this year.”
Are you saying that the COVID-19 experience would go missing in the grand style of GSM’s administration? During the COVID-19 pandemic and there was a NEC meeting in Abuja, Makinde stood out to advocate that we could not afford to have a complete lockdown in Oyo State, and we all recall when Governor el-Rufai referring to that when he came to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) some time ago, that they had a running battle. But at the end of the day, wisdom prevailed and each governor was allowed to determine what to do, and that was how we didn’t have a complete lockdown in Oyo State. Eventually, most of the decisions and initiatives Makinde utilized in dealing with the pandemic were ultimately adopted by the Federal Government.
Tell me how the civil servants would remember GSM just within 2027 alone when an unprecedented career progression radiates and radiated their engagements with his administration in terms of welfare and other packages such as uninterrupted payment of salaries and arrears, promotions among others.
If the sports complex of Adamasingba Stadium could eventually attract international competition as utilized by Nigeria’s sports authority then I wouldn’t know how this milestone would be forgotten in a jiffy.
The fact that the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Oyo State House Assembly, Hon. Debo Ogundoye became the chairman of the conference of the speakers in Nigeria which has elevated the status of the pacesetter’s state, tell me how this would make history not to remember GSM.
Dust-raising is of two types, positive and negative impacts, as people read about this piece about Makinde, they will judge whether he will be remembered beyond 2027 or not. But to me, this GSM of a man, who would be asked to further contribute his quota to the development of the country in different paths when he ceases to be the governor.
Olawale Aremu writes for the GSM ADVOCATES for good governance.