FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Pikesville, Maryland, USA
WHAT NEXT FOR SEYI MAKINDE OF OYO STATE?

he dust is gradually settling down. The euphoria of being elected as next Governor, the number one position in Oyo State is gradually waning. The honeymoon is at its peak, getting ready to fade away giving room for the reality of governance. The ever-impatient people of Nigeria and Oyo State especially are starting to ask questions as to what the next administration is up to. Is it going to be the same old stuff or a brand-new beginning? Are we looking for a mediocre group in governance or a star-studded team? Are the criteria for selection into the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA), Parastatals and political offices going to be based on merit or on the Nigerian factors? Is Governor Seyi Makinde aka GSM, going to sustain the Ajimobi momentum or start a new race all together? Will there be peace and security beyond compare or people are going to continue to live in fears, especially of an NURTW hijacking government?

The people of Oyo State are anxious and waiting for the new wave of GSM, as the Pilot. The print media is agog with opinions as the broadcast media (Radio and Television) is getting saturated with expressions of concerns. The social media is not relenting as the watchdog of the Nigerian Governments at all levels. People are seen converging in groups across the State discussing various issues and concerns. Economy, Security and Unemployment concerns with the ever-recurring issue of LAUTECH had been the foci of concerns. The Newspaper Stands have become the meeting fora for people to exchange ideas and discuss national issues and many of them have expressed confidence in GSM based on his antecedents.

Oyo State of Nigeria, otherwise referred to as the PACE-SETTER State, because it had the leading/leadership reputation of being second to none in Nigeria. Students of History and those who are familiar with Nigeria's development will not deny this fact. The WNTV/WNBS, the edifice of Cocoa House, the Liberty Stadium (now named after its creator Baba Chief Obafemi Awolowo) and many other innovative ideas were and still remain the first of their types in the whole of Africa. These unparalleled innovations, qualify Oyo State to be second to none in its pace-setting and dynamic propensity. Can GSM create new feat, equal or break the existing records of the late sage? These and many other questions are being asked in many quarters and in many circles.

We all know that records are meant to be broken. In his earlier days in High School, he (GSM) set a record which had only recently been broken. Can he embark on a record setting mission for Oyo State of Nigeria in the next four years? His 48/96 months journey commences when he is sworn-in and this is the essence of this write-up. With over two months available for preparation to steer the ship of the state, it should not be difficult to pick and choose from the abundant human resources available in Oyo State and in the Diaspora, especially those of Oyo State origin. GSM has no choice, he has to hit the ground running. Forty-eight months (4 years) is not such a long time. If the great advantage of almost three months between pronouncement as Governor-Elect and Swearing-in, will not yield the advantage of hitting the ground running, the populace may easily regard this new administration as the 'Business as Usual', laisse faire type of administration.

It should not take forever to appoint his Kitchen Cabinet and core of indefatigable Assistants Advisers and miscellaneous workers. We are all well aware that for now, out of all the political office seekers, he is the only one appointed, with INEC's pronouncement of GSM as the Governor-Elect. All that is left is for GSM to 'shine his eyes' very well and fit square pegs in square holes in his appointments. His usual benevolence will not be tenable or exchanged with respect to good governance. Not even his beneficiaries will stand by him, if he performs less than maximally.

In the spirit of good governance GSM has to make continuity one of his hallmarks so as to avoid the colossal waste of abandoned projects and end up with a museum of unused tools and equipment on government premises. He will need to assemble a list of what his predecessors did right and their short-comings as he takes off. This vital information-base, will guide him towards the path of success. Change is the only thing that is constant and inevitable as nothing stays the same. Change also remains a critical attribute of any dynamic organization. As a new-comer into the Government House, GSM will need to let people realize that they are now swimming in the 'new waters' omituntun and in a different terrain. He has to back himself up with massive campaign on the on-going changes in the State as well as attitudinal revolution of the people. We are all optimistic that all will be well with Oyo State of Nigeria. Oyo State and the entire Nigeria-nation certainly deserve good governance. Good luck to the new Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and the other rookie governors of other States of Nigeria.

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