Since he lost in the 2014 governorship elections in Oyo State, popular Oyo State politician, Engineer Seyi Makinde has kept a low profile. But we can authoritatively reveal that he has quietly begun work on his 2019 governorship ambition.
And this is authoritative. We can also authoritavely reveal that Makinde who has made a bid for the much coveted seat 2 times now is coming back strong this time around.
At the last elections, he was Oyo SDP governorship candidate. He was one of the strong governorship aspirants in the race. Although, he is a relatively new and inexperienced, he emerged a strong contender for the ticket. He was also highly favoured by the top hierarchy of the party both within the state and in Abuja. Before he went to SDP he was in the PDP.
When he first joined the race, many didn’t believe he would have the stamina to survive fighting the governorship battle with the likes of incumbent governor and former Governor, Alao Akala. But he did. So strong was Seyi Makinde that pressure mounted on him to step down for other candidates. But he refused. When PDP didn give him the ticket he left for SDP. Makinde’s phenomenal rise in Oyo state politics has been a big surprise to so many party members.
This is because they did not know he had the skills to mobilize the grassroots. Not only did he spend years mobilizing party members across the state, he also mobilized his immediate Ibadan Constituency.
What has also helped him is the fact that he is a big spender. He has a deep pocket and he is believed to have spent over a billion naira on mobilization across the state at the last election. So, it is no surprise how a man who started from Ground Zero was able to build the Seyi Makinde Brand into a big one. Who is Seyi Makinde? He is an engineer and the Group Managing Director of the Makon Group of Companies in Nigeria. He graduated from engineering school and worked as an engineer for 5 years before founding his first business. The initial investment made by Makinde was N50,000, and over the next fifteen or so years the business grew to more than N1 billion.
In 2007 he contested the Oyo South Senatorial seat in Nigeria as a part of the All Nigeria Peoples Party. Since then, he has been an advocate for Nigerian journalists to get more involved when covering electoral politics. In 2011 Makinde entered the primary for the senate race, but did not receive the nomination from his party. He is a candidate for Governor of Oyo State for the Peoples Democratic Party’s 2015 campaign. During the campaign he has stated that religion and politics should be more separated in Nigeria. His campaign offices opened in March 2014 In 2014 the government police raided his offices, leading to the arrest of several members of Makinde’s campaign team, which Makinde has stated was an intimidation tactic against his election run.
In the early 2000s, Makinde rebuilt the school he attended as a child after discovering it had fallen into disrepair. He has also contributed to other infrastructure developments in his home district and sponsored sports tournaments for the district’s residents
Seyi Makinde was born in December 1967. He had his primary and secondary education in Ibadan; Oyo State, and later attended University of Lagos, where he studied Electrical Engineering and graduated in 1990.
Upon graduation from University of Lagos, Engr Seyi Makinde made several remarkable innovations specifically; the conversion of gas measurement devices to meet API 14.3 standard in Nigeria, a foundation that was laid with his undergraduate projects; Design and construction of a portable DC to AC converter (this was a mini project in his third year at the University of Lagos in 1988). He also designed a microprocessor based DC motor controller as his final year project at the University of Lagos in 1990.
A member of several national and international professional bodies such as Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE); Council For Regulations of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN); Oil and Gas Design Engineers of Nigeria (OGDEN); Instrument Society of America (ISA); Institute of Measurement and Control UK; America Measurement Institute (AMI) Sub Committee on Measurement Quality, he also trained at Industrial Control Services in Houston, Texas in 1998 on Safety Shutdown System; and Development of Analytical Competence for Managing Operations at Lagos Business School (now Pan African University) in 1999. He also studied Fundamentals of Crude Sampling at Jiskoot Auto Control Training Centre, Kent England in 2002 and Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA in 2005.
Between 1990 and 1997, worked with Shell Petroleum Development Company and Rebold International Limited, where he garnered a wealth of experience in management and execution of several projects. These and his entrepreneurial skills birthed his venture into private sector and set up his own business. He started Makon Engineering and Services Company in 1997, and today Makon Group is one of the indigenous companies playing in Nigerian Oil and Gas field with dozens of completed and commissioned projects.
A modest man from humble beginnings; he transformed his infant company into a multi-billion Naira business company now known as Makon Group with global locations spanning across Africa (Nigeria and South Africa), Europe (United Kingdom) and United States of America (Houston Texas).
Makinde has made several efforts to ensure capable hands with the technocratic and political experience are supported to win elective offices so that society at large will be the better for it. He is a member of non-governmental organisation whose sole aim is to transform the state through electoral offices. He has always been of the opinion that “the good ones amongst us will lose the moral right to ask questions if politics is left to the old system that has brought us to the stagnancy and abject poverty that permeates all the spheres of our nation.”
With a successful career in the business world; Makinde is now looking for a new and challenging call to publicly serve and give back to society. Though he contested for senatorial seat twice, he has become the most sought after governorship aspirant in Oyo State today by the people irrespective of their political leaning. He participated in providing strategic support towards the gubernatorial election of 2003 and in 2007, he contested in the general election for the Oyo South Senatorial District; also in 2011 he participated in the PDP primaries for the same Oyo State Senatorial District.
Makinde has credited the generosity and extensive philanthropy of his father as a major influence, and the unflinching desire to serve Oyo State through the capacity of the executive office so that more lives will be affected and changed.
He has created several jobs for Oyo State indigenes through his Youth Empowerment programmes initiated in 2006. And according to him, he remains committed to helping Oyo State’s private sector create jobs.
Makinde has made crucial contributions to the social, economic and educational development of Oyo State and he has been a recipient of various awards.
Makinde is a listener, thinker, a role model, a patient and ardent performer. He is a change agent and passionate about any course he pioneers.
When he first officially inaugurated his governorship campaign organisation, several years back he charged party members to be good ambassadors in their respective local government areas, just as he assured that there would be reward for every party faithful.
He officially inaugurated his campaign organisation tagged Omi Tuntun structure in all the 33 local government areas of the state and urged members to play down factionalisation and embrace unity in the party.
The inauguration ceremony was held at the Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan and it had in attendance notable party leaders and members.
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