“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair
A prophet is said to be without honour amongst his people. There is nowhere that this saying is proven truer than in the present Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) Oyo state chapter.
Certain members of the party in the state are taking the gentle and quiet disposition of the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, for weakness. One wonders what premise they built this assumption as gentility does not equate weakness by any stretch of the imagination.
They probably thought that since he had not held any Political office before, he could easily be influenced and tossed here and there as a governor. But how mistaken they are. They probably need to take a more-than- cursory look at the man’s background, and they surely would rethink their misadventure. Anyone who has amassed such great wealth and experience, like Seyi Makinde, in the shark-filled ocean of the international corporate world, should never be underrated.
A man who set up his business with the sum of fifty thousand Naira ( N50,000) and nurtured it to become a conglomerate worth billions of Naira, with mult-racial employees, surely deserves respect. However some people still continue to ignore the fact this man is made of stern stuff. This perhaps, is playing to his advantage as events have gone on to show.
Despite the attempts to distract him from within, Governor Seyi Makinde is committed to the service of the people who elected him to govern and manage the state’s resources not to pander to the whims and fill the bellies of a few politicians who hold exaggerated impressions of themselves, and their political worth. He has gone about his work as governor of Oyo state with uncommon stick-to-it-iveness.
While his PDP traducers conspire against him in the state, Seyi Makinde continues to soar high at the national level daily. He was recently announced as the Secretary of the PDP Convention Planning Committee chaired by Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa state. His appointment was not only reflective of his political stature nationally, but also in recognition of the leadership traits that he exhibits in his private and public life.
One is really at a loss as to what could have boosted the confidence of these few dissident voices in Oyo State PDP to make them think they can wrest the party from Engr Seyi Makinde, or turn the people of the state against him. The depth of their delusion is truly awe-inspiring. Their actions can best be likened to a group of poorly-fed chicks working to undo an eagle. This is an epic fail, and as they say in the streets “Ko le werk”.
Perhaps it may not be out of place to X- Ray why these so-called “PDP elders” in Oyo State, with shrouded political antecedents, are upset with the people’s Governor. Is it for altruistic reasons and non-performance which may include inability to pay workers’ salaries regularly, meet the needs of pensioners, or embark on projects that have direct impact on the lives of the people ?
Is it that they are not happy with the governor because he promised free and quality education, employment for our teeming youths but hasn’t delivered ? Perhaps, Makinde promised improvement in the health sector, security for lives and properties, build infastructures, increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, but failed woefully ? Are these what drew the ire of our “Pseudo Party leaders” with diabolic penchant for romancing the opposition ? This is not the case, however.
In all the cardinal sectors listed above, Governor Makinde has done excellently. One doubts if there is any governor in this present dispensation who has employed more people than Seyi Makinde. Within two years, he has surpassed the achievements of his predecessor who spent eight years in the same office.
As we have seen from above, it is certainly not because Governor Seyi Makinde has fallen short in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people. Their grouse against him is that the governor has reduced them to paupers, which actually means that he refused to give them unrestrained access to state’s resources, after they “worked” for the governor during the elections. Pray tell, what was their worth before ? Everyone knows that they gained prominence riding on his back .
Were they the ones who bankrolled his election expenses ? Their anger only stems from the governor’s refusal to let them dip their sticky fingers into the state’s till.
Makinde’s offence was saying NO to the continuation of business as usual; the situation whereby party men, having “worked for the governor” claimed by default, the sole rights to government appointments or to contracts that they would collect payments for and not execute.
Objectively, party men do deserve reward for their work in election victories. In recognition of this, Makinde has indeed been fair to all. The few who are disenchanted are those whose demands are simply not reasonable; demands that can only be met to the detriment of the people. Makinde would rather be on the side of the people than a few political jobbers who are bent on feeding fat on the state’s resources.
In his character as a peace-loving and self-effacing person, the governor has reached out for detente to reason with these folks. They have however continued to spurn the olive branch consistently extended to them in spite of their inciteful comments and conspiratorial actions against him.
To the above extent, the governor would let them be as he can only do so much. “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake” as Napoleon Bonaparte once said. It is clear to the politically-savvy that these few party men are making career-defining miscalculations and consistently taking the wrong turns.
As things are, they ordinarily should be left to stew in their own juice. However, one implores the governor, who has shown sufficient magnanimity towards all, as the leader of the party, not just in Oyo state, but the south west region, to continue to play his fatherly role towards all and bring back to the fold members of our party who were led astray by these belly-first leaders.
I want to, in the same vein, enjoin the aggrieved leaders to be open to genuine reconciliation with the governor if they truly have the interest of the state and the party at heart. Antagonising the governor over issues that can not be publicly affirmed is a no-win situation for them.
They should wake up and smell the coffee regarding the political strength of Engr Seyi Makinde as the man is no push over. They should remember how he effortlessly turned the tables against them earlier in the year in the South West PDP Zonal Congress wherein even Ayo Fayose, a true PDP heavyweight, had to doff his hat to Makinde in spite of himself.
With that and their overall future interest in the PDP in mind, I call on them to contritely make peace with the governor before
they cross the rubicon. A gathering of Chicks against the Eagle can only have one outcome.
May God bless Governor Seyi Makinde!! May God bless PDP!! May God bless Oyo State.
Omolere Omoetan is the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Deputy Governor of Oyo state.