This is the story of how the once chummy relationship between Gov. Seyi Makinde & Hon. Mulikat Akande crashed. A few years ago, both of them were close political associates. Hon. Mulikat Akande, a top chieftain of the Oyo PDP was very influential within the rank and file of the party. She had a good grassroots presence as she was capable of tilting votes to her choice party when it came to elections. So, she was an asset to anybody who needed her help.
Engr. Seyi Makinde, who wanted to become the next governor after Senator Abiola Ajimobi saw her as an embodiment of asset and secured her support. Hon. Mulikat also threw her wait behind Seyi Makinde who was then an aspirant and eventually the candidate of the PDP for the Guber election. More than any other person, Hon. Mulikat was said to have worked assidously for Makinde’s victory, taking him to meet stakeholders.
Eventually, Makinde won and many came to see Hon. Mulikat as one of the influential personalities behind Makinde.
But that 2-year relationship is now over. The once cordial political relationship between the governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde and Hon. Mulikat Akande has crashed.
It is an open secret within the political circle in the state that the duo are no longer on the same page politically.
They are now in what could best be described as a cat and mouse relationship. It would be recalled that Hon. Mulikat recently raised an alarm that some people loyal to the governor had allegedly ordered Lamidi Mukaila aka Auxiliary to kill her, though some claimed the honourable must have raised such vicious alarm to whip up sentiment and sympathy.
Recently, this former majority leader in the House of Representatives and 2019 Oyo North Senatorial candidate on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola, said that she stepped on so many toes to support Makinde. She added that she would do things differently if given another opportunity, adding that Makinde has used and dumped her.
The legal practitioner-cum-politician made this known on Political Circuit anchored by Mayor Isaac Brown on Fresh FM on Saturday, in Ibadan, the state capital. Her words: “There is always a first time for everything, if I am given another opportunity, I will do things differently. I feel used and dumped. “I met our leader, His Excellency Rasheed Ladoja, once after the 2019 elections and I knew what he told me. Baba is not happy with me. There are many others in Baba’s shoes. I was blinded by love for PDP. It was nothing personal”, she said. When asked if she regrets supporting Governor Seyi Makinde in 2019, the former majority leader apologized to her supporters in Oyo North senatorial district for throwing their weights behind Engr. Makinde.
“I stepped on so many toes to support Engr. Makinde”, Mulikat added. She noted that Sen. Ayoade Adeseun and other governorship aspirants on the platform of PDP had better chances than Engr. Makinde in the build-up to the 2019 elections, adding that she was instrumental to how the Oyo State Governor got the PDP’s ticket against all odds. While the Ogbomoso-born politician was speaking further on the programme, she lamented how Senator Hosea Agboola betrayed her in the 2019 National Assembly elections
With this new development, those who were privy to Mulikat and Makinde’s closeness couldn’t, but wondered what could be responsible for the breakup. So close were the duo back then that Mulikat was rumoured to be the one controlling Makinde. She was seen as the most powerful woman in this dispensation. There was even this story that she was given two appointment slots per local government across the local councils in Ogbomosho zone.
But, on the contrary, City People gathered that their rift actually started shortly after the election, when the governor was putting together members of his cabinet.
Mulikat, as several other stakeholders, was said to have been sidelined as far as nomination and appointments into some key positions were concerned. Mulikat, against her wish, was given only Ogbomosho North, out of the three local governments in her constituency (Ogbomosho North/Ogbomosho South/Orire), when caretaker chairmen were to be nominated, it was learnt.
City People gathered that the animosity has been there since then, but that Hon. Mulikat Akande decided to be silent about it.
To make matters worse, Governor Makinde went ahead to make Senator Hosea Ayoola Agboola a.k.a Alleluyah the Chairman, Oyo State Advisory Council, while Mulikat Akande is just a member.
It is believed that Alleluyah shouldn’t have been given such high appointment over Mulikat, who sacrificed a lot and immensely contributed to the emergence of Engr. Makinde as governor of Oyo State.
Inside sources also hinted City People that rather than compensating Mulikat for her efforts, what Governor Makinde did was to use divide and rule tactics by appointing some loyalists of Mulikat into his cabinet without consulting her. As an example. Appointment of the sacked Hon. Commissioner for Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Professor Raphael Afonja was cited.
Another evidence that things were not well between Governor Makinde and Mulikat Akande were the events that played out before and during last zonal congress of the party. It was a surprise to those not in the know of the hostility between the two when Mulikat teamed up with Fayose group and worked against governor Makinde’s candidate, Arapaja.
While some observers believe that the whole crisis between Makinde and Mulikat, as well as that between the governor and other stakeholders in Oyo PDP, however, must have been engendered by excessive demands from the leaders, while others believe it was a matter of betrayal on the parth of the governor.
They argued that Makinde had not done well in carrying along those who really worked for the success of the party in the last election. Mulikat is not the only agrieaved member. The likes of the former Deputy Governor of the state Alhaji Azeem Gbaolarunmi, Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan, Engr. Femi Babalola and others are not also happy with Makinde
According to some of her loyalists, Hon. Mulikat Akande was the one holding forth for PDP in the South West, when the chips of the party were down, as a serving federal honourable. She was said to have championed most of the major reconciliations that gave birth to the structure that Makinde met on ground. And that when Makinde rejoined the party, she didn’t only embrace him, but also supported his ambition.
It was gathered that it was Mulikat who took Makinde to PDP leaders at the national level and tirelessly worked for him to secure the party’s guber ticket. She was said to have also put in her very best during the last election. Though Mulikat, a two-term House of Reps honourable failed in her bid to represent Oyo North Senatorial District in the Senate. She lost to the incumbent senator, Fatai Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
As it is now, some people believe if Governor Makinde really wants to win his second term bid and if he wants reasonable votes from Ogbomosho zone, he must reconcile with Rt. Hon. Mulikat Akande, as well as other leaders across the state.
They believe Mulikat is a politician to beat in Ogbomosho zone. To them, she has the structure and the experience as a two-term federal honourable and adorned Majority Leader of the House of Reps, with connections at the national level of PDP.
Though the Arapaja-led exco as South West Vice Chairman of PDP has vowed to reconcile all the agrieaved members of the party, and has since commenced moves to achieve this task.
But the question now is, can Makinde and Mulikat Akande reconcile to work as a team ahead of 2023 election? Only time will tell.