I am not an expert on automobiles, but there is one thing I do love about cars; their aliases.
For quite a long time, I thought the culture of giving nicknames to cars is totally Nigerian, as Nigerians have, over the years, amazed with the classic names given to some Toyota and Honda cars. From Toyota Camry to Honda Civic and Honda Accord cars, you would hear Nigerians regale with nicknames that often emanate from the car features.
For Toyota Camry, they had names like ‘Orobo,’ ‘Envelope,’ ‘Pencil’ and ‘Big Daddy,’ among others while the Honda cars were named ‘Baby Boy,’ ‘Bull Dog’ and ‘Evil spirit.’ But the ones that wowed me among the Honda series are ‘End of Discussion’ and ‘Discussion Continues,’ two brands which I have since found out were not necessarily named so by Nigerians.
No, this piece is not about cars, as I already established that I am not a car aficionado. It is about the performing governor of the Pacesetter State and Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Engr. Seyi Makinde, FNSE, the man who has proven beyond reasonable doubt that governance is a serious business and has gone about it in that manner since he was first elected in 2019.
Barely 10 days after his inauguration for a second term, the governor, today, Friday, June 9, 2023, flagged off the project for the construction of the Ojurin-Olorunda Abaa Road in line with his promise during the campaign. That is one move that proves that the people-centred leadership and the massive development of the state, which the people witnessed and relished between May 29, 2019 till May 28, 2023 would continue.
Speaking at the flag-off event, the governor declared that the event was in fulfilment of his promise to the people of the area and that the road, when completed, would uplift the economy of the area and the state. That is the discussion continuing; the governor, who promised at the beginning of his administration in 2019 to build infrastructure that target the economy, has continued with the same stride as he promised under Omituntun 2.0, Roadmap for the Sustainable Development of Oyo State, 2023-2027.
In his first four years as governor of Oyo State, Makinde embarked on what could be described as an aggressive infrastructure development programme, connecting all zones of Oyo State in a manner that would impact eternally on the economy of the state. Starting from the Ibadan-Oke Ogun axis through the 65 kilometres Moniya-Iseyin Road, the governor showed he meant business with road interconnectivity. The march moved on to the nearly-comoletwd 76 kilometres Iseyin-Ogbomoso Road, the rehabilitated Iganna-Elekookan-Igangan linking Oke Ogun to Ibarapa, while the Ido-Eruwa Road that would link Ibadan to Ibarapa was also flagged off towards the end of the first administration. Apart from these, ongoing works at the Oyo-Iseyin Road, Saki-Ogbooro-Igboho Road, Airport Road, Ajia-Airport Road with spur to Amuloko and many others also attest to the governor’s commitment to infrastructure development.
In only four years, the governor successfully changed the game for game for good by reducing the infrastructure deficit of the state, building hundreds of kilometres of roads, while also doing a good job of completing infrastructure projects abandoned by previous administrations, since according to him, Oyo State people must derive value for every of their resources committed to projects.
The passionate commitment to building infrastructure had made the people of the state rightly name the governor the Engineer of Modern Oyo State and contributed immeasurably to their re-electing him for another term of four years. But that re-election also came on the heels of the aggressive campaign and reassurances to not relent in doing all the good works necessary in his vision to uplift the state. During his campaign tours to councils and communities, Governor Makinde, having done his research about each community and their needs, touched on key areas where his administration would make an impact once he is re-elected.
Already, the teeming people of Lagelu Local Government have seen first-hand how the march to economic prosperity started by the governor between 2019 and 2023 would be sustained in line with his Omituntun 2.0 mandate, as the project that was flagged off by the governor is a continuation of the effort he made earlier to complete the Idi Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Ojurin Road, which was abandoned by his predecessor in office. Under Makinde, the road users in that axis breathed fresh air as the road was constructed from somewhere around Basorun, where it was abandoned, to Ojurin, with the flyover at General Gas also started and completed by the governor.
Today, Governor Makinde has reopened the vista of infrastructure development and the discussion around it in Lagelu Local Government and the move is unmistakably a great reassurance for the people of Oyo State that “Ise Rere o nii duro!” It is also a call to the teeming residents of the state to continue to pray for and support the administration in order for it achieve greater success.
Alao writes from Igboho, Oyo State.