By Aderibigbe Yisahu, a member of GSM Advocates.
In the realm of leadership, there are those who merely follow the beaten path, and then there are pioneers who blaze new trails. Governor Makinde of Oyo State is unquestionably among the latter, a true pacesetter in every sense. His tenure as the governor of Oyo State has been characterized by innovative policies and a commitment to improve the lives of his people, setting a benchmark that other states can only hope to emulate.
One of the hallmarks of Governor Makinde’s leadership is his ability to think outside the box. When the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the nation, he chose a path less traveled. Unlike many other governors who imposed strict lockdowns, Governor Makinde balanced public health with the need for economic sustenance. His approach allowed business and day to day activities to operate, ensuring that the livelihood of his state were not unduly disrupted. Other states soon looked up to Oyo as a model, recognizing that there could be a middle ground between lockdowns and economic hardship.
Governor Seyi Makinde is a man of his word. From the moment he took office in 2019, he made a commitment to ensure that workers in Oyo State received their salaries promptly.
This promise has not only been fulfilled but has continued without interruption. Other states marvel at this feat, as they struggle to keep up with their own payroll obligations.
In the face of the removal of petroleum subsidies, Governor Makinde once again demonstrated his innovative approach to governance. While some states opted to increase workers’ salaries by a mere ten thousand naira, he took a different route.
He introduced the SAFER program, a comprehensive and impactful intervention. This initiative addressed hunger by distributing food items to the most vulnerable, extended loans to entrepreneurs, provided essential farming equipment and fertilizers, and even subsidized transportation costs through Pacesetter Transport Services.
His focus on holistic solutions set him apart as a governor who genuinely cares about the welfare of his people. Governor Makinde’s impact extends beyond the social and economic spheres. He elevated Emmanuel Alayande College of Education to the status of a full-fledged university of education, a move that promises to enhance educational opportunities in the state.
Additionally, the commissioning of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) College of Agricultural science and Renewable Natural resources in Iseyin reflects his commitment to improving the educational landscape.The governor’s dedication to infrastructure development is also evident in the ongoing road construction projects across the state. The transformation of road networks from Oyo main town to Iseyin and beyond has made a tangible difference in the lives of the people.
Governor Seyi Makinde’s impact transcends any one sector of governance. His commitment to security, healthcare, and education is evident to all who see. His innovative policies and unwavering dedication have set the standard for governance in Nigeria. In Governor Seyi Makinde, Oyo State has found a leader who is not content to follow in the footsteps of others but is determined to set the pace for others to follow.
His visionary leadership, innovative policies, and unwavering commitment to the welfare of his people make him a true pacesetter governor. Other states may copy and paste, but Oyo State’s Governor Makinde has established himself as a pacesetter, piloting a pacesetter state with pacesetter mechanisms.