By Prof. Adekunle Akinyemi
The new Oyo State Governor-Elect Seyi Makinde aka Omituntun who has been renamed GSM since being declared the Governor-Elect last Sunday by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC is heartily congratulated. The people of Oyo State are overjoyed by his entry into the governance of the Pace-Setter State. We have no doubt that he will make the necessary impacts to keep Oyo State in the pace setting mode with a lot of humility and decorum from his new team for the next four years.
GSM, who refers to himself as Omituntun as his campaign slogan ordinarily epitomizes humility and respect as his modus operandi. It is therefore expected that Omituntun, meaning ‘new water’ will symbolize a new wave of governance in Oyo State. His loving affection for the grassroot and ability to co-exist with people of all shades and colours have contributed in no small measure to his landslide victory at the polls. The coming together with other political gladiators such as Former Governor (High Chief) Rashidi Ladoja, Senator Femi Lanlehin aka SOLAN and other significant others, won him the last election and he has copiously acknowledged their contributions in many fora. There had been shouts of joy and celebrations in many quarters that Omituntun won the elections despite the heavy doses of advertisements, jingles and social media input of his very strong opponents.
Oyo State had been seriously bombarded with extremely innovative advertisement and campaign stunts. This is perhaps second to the Action Group (Chief Obafemi Awolowo) era except that no politician, this time around was able to use the Aerial dimension using helicopters to hover around big cities with the names of candidates in the Presidential or Gubernatorial positions as Baba Awo did decades ago.
Baba will be forever remembered as ‘first in Africa’ in many aspects of Nigeria’s political life.
The stage is about to be set for GSM to take over the reigns of governance of Oyo State from the 29th of May 2019 DV. No one can fault the progress that Oyo State has made in the pacesetting operations and achievements to date. Omituntun has indeed put himself on the spot to deliver, in terms of quality and quantity, to make Oyo State the cynosure of all eyes and first among equals. This is precisely why it is necessary to have GSM set a schedule with time frames for his new administration. GSM must hit the ground running. The people of Oyo State will not settle for “AFRICAN TIME” or a “GO SLOW APPROACH” to governance. Milestones need to be set to cater for the urgent needs of the people. The Economy of the state must be properly set with a High-Powered Economic Team. Unemployment must be put to rest with the opening up of moribund Industries and the entry of new ones. Agricultural development must be addressed to put food on the peoples’ tables and make the State self-sufficient. Security of lives and properties must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Education and Health are key to the success of any progressive society and these call for attention in Oyo State. Educational infrastructure and the conditions of learning in our Institutions at all levels must be improved. Primary Health care must take pre-eminence in the GSM menu because health is wealth.
The people of Oyo are interested in GSM hitting the ground running, with almost three months available for the proper planning of good governance. His Omituntun approach must herald peace, progress and prosperity to Oyo State. The first HUNDRED days will be assessed. The first SIX Months will be assessed and the first YEAR in office will complete the cursory look at GSM’s FOUR YEAR or possible EIGHT YEAR term. These milestones are important and significant. It is clear that with these in mind, GSM cannot be on the driving seat of a mediocre team. He will need to select a star-studded team of qualified, capable, dedicated goal-getters, with oneness of purpose. They should be people, who can work relentlessly to get him the success that he desperately needs and plans for Oyo State. The team must consist of people of integrity. The new Governor will need to fix square pegs in square holes in his appointments to avoid putting the State of Oyo in a mess. We are well aware of political expediencies and other ‘Nigerian Factors’ which are rampant in Nigeria. These bad habits of misuse of power should be avoided in Oyo State. Resources (man and materials) are abundant and more than adequate in Oyo State to avoid such mistakes from now on. We wish you good luck in your planning for good governance.
Finally, one will like to call the attention of your administration to the need for massive awareness campaign for people to shape up and adjust to the new Omituntun wave of leadership. Please emphasize the need for discipline as a way of life and let the people of Oyo State know that there will be stiff consequences (penalties) for corruption and indiscipline, if we want to move our State forward. Will GSM in his Omituntun stride take Oyo into the DIGITAL ERA of Governance? That is the big question. Long live Oyo State. Long live Nigeria.
Professor Adekunle Akinyemi writes from Pikesville, Maryland.
He is the President/CEO of Ceezek Foundation, Inc. and Chairman/CEO of the BookHouse Education Trust of Nigeria. He is a Features writer in the Nigeriaworld, News about Nigeria.