Once upon a time, in our countless pages of fairytale, there lived a cock and a hen. The cock claimed to love the hen.When the cock was prophesying his undying love to the hen, right in the heat of passion, the cock promised to build multiple mansions for the hen, if only the hen would only let him make love to her. The innocent hen, unknown that the cock was just making empty promises that would never see light of the day, granted the randy cock a soft entry into her private area. Later on, when the hen reminds the cock about his beautiful promise of multiple mansions, the cock changed the narratives. End of story! Such is the hot romance between the average Nigerian politician and the electorates before the elections and the ‘dirge’ they sing after the politicians have been entrusted with power.
In 2019, despite the apprehension and rumours of violence from some state sponsored thugs to truncate the elections, some of us sacrificed our personal comfort and trooped out under the scorching March sun to exercise our franchise in favour of Engr. Seyi Makinde, in expectation of nothing but infrastructural developments for the benefit of the Ibarapa people. Like ancient sentries who watched over the city to prevent invasion by rebels, my people didn’t just vote but jealously guided their votes and kept a vigil at the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) office to ensure their votes counted. Three years after, till date, Engr. Seyi Makinde has only reciprocated our massive show of love for him in Ibarapa with resounding neglect and mere manifesto promises.
From the long list of roads under re-construction: reconstruction of the 3km Under G- stadium- Lautech 2nd gate road in Ogbomoso to the dualization of the 9.7km Saki Township Road down to the reconstruction of 45.3km Saki-Ogbooro-Igboho road in Oke- Ogun, dualization of the 7.2km around Idi-Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Odogbo Baracks road, reconstruction of Apete-Awotan-Akufo road, dualization of 12.5km around Challenge- Odo Ona Elewe- Apata Road and reconstruction of the 21km Airport-Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko in Ibadan, there is no iota of doubt to the fact that His Excellency is working in other zones, even when it is unwise to blind ourselves to our rising debts profile as a state.
But while other zones are praise-singing and basking in the euphoria of Makinde’s immeasurable developmental projects, Ibarapa people are busy lamenting of the long neglect by the Engr. Seyi Makinde’s administration. The pot-holes on Ido-Eruwa road keep deepening into dungeons, the multi-billion Farm Settlement is non-existent, even after two approvals etc. If not for the heroic and timely intervention of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, the persistent invasions and needless killings of our people by the Fulani herdsmen would have reduced Ayete, Igangan and Tapa to some ruinous rubbles beyond recognition as reputable towns on the map.
Despite our massive support for His Excellency, from all indications, it is as unhiddeable as a forehead scar that the people of Ibarapa haven’t just been treated like third class citizens (apologies to Buchi Emechita!), but have been wantonly marginalized in this political dispensation. Sometime early this year, His Excellency, with tail between his legs, came out to admit that he failed us in the area of security in Ibarapa, but kept silent about how our people increase on a daily as a result of lack of development. As we speak, I stand to be corrected, Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration can not point a finger at a single state sponsored project in the whole of Ibarapa land.
But before we conclude, Makinde must be reminded that way back, in the year 2015, when he was not yet a household name in Oyo politics, when he seemed not wanted even by his own people, when he contested under the umbrella of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and won just one ward through out the whole state, if history isn’t distorted, that single ward he won is in Ibarapa. However, it is unfortunate that while flirting with other zones for votes against 2023 elections, His Excellency has forgotten his First Love (Ibarapa land), where he was housed, sheltered and showered with love. This moment, too, shall pass. But we are not a people of short memory. We shall never forget His Excellency’s paper promises, dismissive demenour and his condescending go-to-hell attitude towards our people in Ibarapa land.
Olanrewaju Ojebisi, Esq is from Eruwa. He writes from Agbowo Area, Ibadan. He can be reached via email@example.com.