Despite continual denials by both parties, it is getting clearer by the day that all is not well between the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde and his deputy, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan.
Olaniyan, in a recent interview, insisted that his relationship with his boss remained cordial. Advising those trying to cause division between him and Governor Makinde to look for better things to do.
The deputy governor, reacting to an online publication, “Governor Makinde’s Deputy, Olaniyan Has Vowed Never To End Rift With His Boss”, was quoted to have said that, “he had no rift with the governor, adding that even if there was, as a true Muslim, he would seek for resolution and not take a stand that was contrary to common sense as reported by the online newspaper.
Olaniyan reiterated that he has a mandate to work with Governor Makinde to serve the people of Oyo State as the Deputy Governor, saying that he was totally committed to doing so and would not be distracted by reports emanating from shady sources and mischief makers
Meanwhile those who should know believe denials from both camps are just for political purposes, so as not to send a wrong signal to the general public.
“What we now have is a kind of cat and mouse relationship between Governor Makinde and the Deputy”, a source told City People.
As a matter of fact, the ill-treatment being meted out to the deputy governor on a daily basis has gotten to the peak, and that he, Olaniyan is only waiting for the right time to speak out, the source further revealed.
According to some reports, the deputy governor is said to have never been carried along on state matters neither is he allotted any responsibility. They gave as instance the refusal of Governor Makinde to handover to his deputy when he contracted COVID-19 and spent some weeks in isolation in March 2020. Rather than involving his deputy, Makinde appointed a former UCH CMD, Professor Temitope Alonge to act on his behalf as Head of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force.
Also recently, while speaking on why Oyo State Government didn’t participate in the one year remembrance of late former governor Abiola Ajimobi, CPS to Governor Makinde, Taiwo Adisa stated during a radio interview that the government wasn’t informed, that Olaniyan who attended the programme did so in his individual capacity.
Another great pointer to the fact that there may be a big crack between Makinde and his deputy, Olaniyan is the latter’s presence at Makinde’s perceived political enemy, Hon. Mulikat Akande’s Ileya party in Ogbomosho. Olaniyan didn’t only attend the party, he participated in the Ankara Aso-Ebi.
According to those in the know, so bad is the situation between Makinde and his deputy that if there should be a parallel congress in Oyo PDP, the deputy governor is most likely to go with the agrieaved faction of the party.
Another source who confided in City People said, “it is unfortunate there may not be room for reconciliation between the two gladiators. Even if the governor is ready for reconciliation, his political allies may never allow such”.
“The whole thing is all about trust, power and ambition, as regards 2023. The governor’s camp don’t trust Olaniyan and they must have advised the governor against alloting some responsibilities to him. They simply see him as an ambitious man who can not be trusted,” the source added.
That Makinde is having issue with his deputy is not a new thing in politics. In fact, it is normal for Deputy Governors to be relegated to the background in Nigeria. Former governors Ladoja, Akala, Ajimobi all didn’t have it rosy with their deputies. They all, at a point or the other, had disagreements with their deputies.
What is, however, of great importance is how the whole matter will be handled by both parties.
Will they reconcile and let go of whatever is their differences in the interest of the party or will they let their individual political ambitions prevail? Will the Deputy Governor decamp to another party, if all the reconciliation mechanisms fail at the end of the day? Time will definitely tell.
– Dare Adeniran