For years, the political phrase “ọ̀yọ́ kìí n sini lẹmééjì” which means, “Oyo does not serve anyone twice”, held true for so many governors in Oyo State until it was broken by Abiola Ajumobi, who completed two terms.
Six months ago, everything pointed at an easy path for Governor Seyi Makinde to easily avoid the “ọ̀yọ́ kìí n sini lẹmééjì”. First, there is disarray in the camp of the APC due to the defection of Bayo Adelabu to the Accord Party. It would be recalled that Mr Adelabu was the APC candidate in 2019. He left the party after losing the APC primary.
Secondly, Makinde even escaped the trapping of non-payment of salaries and pensions of workers, a major factor that pulled down others before him.
However, Makinde is now facing an existential threat from within the PDP over the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly elections, where the party suffered losses in the three senatorial seats and eight Reps seats.
Several party members of the PDP have blamed the defeat suffered by the party on Makinde because of his relationship with the G5 governors, who opposed the presidential candidate of PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
The tacit support for Bola Tinubu, the president-elect is believed within some quarters to have created a “top to bottom” effect that cost some of his allies.
Former governor Rasheed Ladoja, during a meeting, blamed Makinde for the outcome of the election.
He made reference to Osun State, where governor Ademola Adeleke delivered the state for the PDP. The former governor endorsed Teslim Folarin at the meeting.
“After Oyo State governor (Seyi Makinde) picked the PDP House of Representatives and senatorial candidates to represent the state at the National Assembly, he didn’t offer any form of support to them.
”He didn’t spend money to support them or gave out a word to the citizens for any single one of them. Even God detests actions that are unfair and unjust.
”So when Saturday, March 18 comes, please, leave all you are doing and go out to cast your votes for Teslim Folarin, the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state,” he said.
Another stakeholder in the party, Hazeem Gbolarumi, the coordinator for the Atiku campaign in Oyo, also faulted the Makinde and promised that the PDP will vote on the principle of “fairness, justice and equity”.
Other notable politicians like former Minister of FCT (state) Jumoke Akinjide, Femi Babalola Jogor and Wole Oyelese are believed to be against Makinde’s re-election bid.
Also, Folarin is courting Mulikat Akande, a former member of the House of Representatives. She backed Makinde in 2019 but their relationship turned sour afterwards.
Makinde, in a recent interview with Edward Obilo of Splash FM, reacted to the dissatisfaction within his party, noting that his lack of public service experience caused the dissatisfaction.
“As politicians, we are selfish beings. We equate our personal interest to the collective interest, that is where conflict comes in. For me, I will rather focus on the collective interest. What is best for our people. Yes, it is possible that some certain people, their collective interests did not align with collective interest and what I have sworn to do for our people.
“I have good news for them, over these past three-plus years, I have learnt quite a bit on the job. This is my first public service assignment. Prior to becoming governor of Oyo state, I never occupied any position. In the private sector, it is result oriented and not about ego. Under Omi tutu II, those people will have a meeting of minds and seek alignment more so that things that are not necessarily going to affect the outcome, we can be gentle,” he said.
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All may not be gloomy for Makinde, as Folarin has to deal with public image and perception, particularly his link to the NURTW crisis in 2010. It would be recalled that in 2010, as Senate Majority Whip, Folarin and then Governor Alao Akala were at dagger drawn ahead of the 2011 gubernatorial race.
The Road transport union was also divided between the politicians. Lateef Akinsola also known as Tokyo backed Folarin, while Abdul Lateef Salako known as Eleweomo backed Akala. Eleweomo was brutally killed during the 2010 fracas.
During one of the debates held ahead of the election, Governor Makinde brought up the murder of Eleweomo and told Folarin that he has the case file. Folarin responded that he should disclose it publicly.
Whatever May be the case, on Saturday, Oyo voters will decide the fate of Makinde.
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