•The 10 Major Factors No One Will Tell You About
It’s no longer news that Governor Seyi Makinde, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded gubernatorial election in Oyo State, has secured a second term of another four years.
It is also no news that his victory was a landslide too. Makinde polled 563,756 votes to defeat his major challenger in the contest and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Teslim Folarin, who scored 256,685 votes.
What, however, has remained shocking to many is how Makinde was able to record such groundbreaking success, despite all obstacles, both real and the ‘presumed’ ones to be before him in the public space prior to the election. Of course, it is a well known fact that Makinde is loved but not many would have ever envisaged the margin to be that wide. It was a total degrading for APC. The margin has also been described by many as unprecedented in the history of Oyo State.
Makinde, it would be recalled, fought many battles, both internal and external, before the election. Especially at the national level in his party. The group he belongs to in PDP, the G5 advocated for power to shift to the South against the wish and decision of the party. That is coupled with the crisis at the state level within his party. Virtually all the party leaders were against him.
The first major issue was the accusation that the governor had breached agreement of the 2019 alliance which brought him to power. The likes of Senator Femi Lanlehin, Barr. Sarafadeen Abiodun-Alli, now senator-elect for Oyo South Senatorial district and other stakeholders denounced the alliance and pitched their tents with APC.
The powerbrokers in Oyo PDP were never with him on the allegation of running a one man show and also for not working for the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. His role in the success of APC’s presidential candidate and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu in Oyo State and the negative effects it had on PDP’s national assembly candidates was another issue many believed would have worked against Makinde.
So for him to have won the election means he hasn’t only sustained the broken jinx of second term, as championed by the late former governor Abiola Ajimobi, but has also set some new records. He has inferably broken all the glass ceilings in Oyo politics.
What Makinde did was calling the bluffs of the political establishments in Oyo State but kept his faith in the electorate. His victory, no doubt, has changed the status quo as far as godfatherism is concerned in Oyo politics. Though the election was a keenly contested one, but all said and done, there are some factors that really worked in favour of Governor Seyi Makinde.
One of such factors is that Makinde was able to bring to bear the 2019 experience of the coalition and what transpired thereafter on his re-election bid. It is an open secret that Makinde came to power in the first term through a coalition of major stakeholders and political parties in the state. So he must studied and understood all the gimmicks of politicians, which obviously gave him some level of confidence in his second term bid. Instead of engaging the aggrieved politicians, he concentrated more on the people by making sure their interests are well represented. He made sure he won the electorate to his side through his mega achievements in the Omituntun 1.0 programme.
According to a political analyst, “Seyi Makinde admitted he was not perfect under Omituntun 1.0 but was humble enough to admit he made some mistakes in some of his decisions and vowed to correct them if he has the chance.”
The analyst gave the issue of Agbowo Shopping Complex as an example. Where the governor openly admitted on radio that he made an honest mistake on the complex, and he apologized for it. He was not drunk in power. Another governor would have been so arrogant not to admit his mistake on that project. His admittance of mistake on the project won Makinde more fans.
Another factor is the prompt payment of salaries, pension and gratuity.
The civil servants love Makinde, the pensioners are his friends. He was able to seal their relationship shortly after he came to power in 2029, by placing a high premium on staff welfare through promotion, training and retraining programmes for civil servants in the state.
In fact, 25th of every month is referred to as GSM day within the civil servants in Oyo State. Apart from civil servants and pensioners, Makinde’s agric-business initiative and intervention in sports development has endeared him to the youths in the state.
Tinubu effect was also another factor. Whatever arrangement Makinde must have had with the former Lagos State governor and the President-elect really worked. Makinde was smart enough to identity where the interest of the people of South West tilted. He knew anything outside that could have been a political suicide. There is also an unconfirmed story of how Tinubu rendered financial assistance to Makinde in other to reciprocate his support during the presidential election.
While it was believed that the negative effects of the national assembly outcome as result of his support for Tinubu was going to work against his second term ambition, Makinde was able to manage that aspect too. He handled the situation excellently well, by reaching out to all candidates who lost out in the national assembly elections in terms of agreement and compensation. They all rallied round the governor and worked for his re-election at the end of the day.
The religion card being introduced into the game at the last minute before the election is also there. How Makinde was able to manage the situation is still a surprise to many. He made sure the Imams, as well as Islamic leaders across the state were reached out to and properly educated about the purported plan to tag an anti-islam. In the area of mobilisation too, the governor has the capacity to mobilize all party agents and several other logistics. The internal crisis within the main opposition party, APC also helped a great deal.
Above all, Makinde was firmly in control of the media. He identified the importance of the media and used it maximally. He was constantly in the media either radio or tv programmes, intimating people about his government’s policies and programmmes, as well as his achievements so far. In fact, up to 48 hours to the March 18th governorship election, Makinde was on three major radios stations in Ibadan, talking about what he has done so far and why he should be re-elected.
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