On governor Seyi Makinde emulating Pa Awolowo
By May 29, Seyi Makinde will be inaugurated to serve his second term as governor of Oyo State. He defeated Senator Teslim Folarin of the APC and Adebayo Adelabu of the Accord Party in a hotly contested election.
Reminiscing about the 1956 election in the Western Region of yesteryears, I was enthused in the 2019 gubernatorial election in our Oyo State when governor Seyi Makinde defeated the grandson of the stormy petrel of Western Region politics, Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu, fair and square—”Like our sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo, like our governor Seyi Makinde.”
In 1956, the Western Region comprised Lagos State, Ogun State, Oyo State, Osun State, Ondo State, Ekiti State, Edo State, and Delta State. The 1956 election was the first election conducted on the basis of popular universal adult suffrage, that is, the right of all adults to vote.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was already the leader of government business in the Western Region at the time and had embarked on important and far-reaching intra cultural developments all over the then Western Region.
These phenomenal intracultural developments and unprecedented social-economic developments included free primary education in January 1955, the building of Coco House, the building of Liberty Stadium, and many other developmental projects in all corners and crannies of then-Western Nigeria.
So the governance of welfarism, or call it pragmatic socialism, which the sage Papa Chief Obafemi Awolowo enacted within this short period had been and is still the benchmark for all those aspiring to govern the six states comprised in the present geopolitical zone-western geopolitical zone to follow and improve upon.
It is, therefore, a thing of joy that in the 2019 and 2023 gubernatorial and state assembly elections, the electorate in Oyo State, reminiscent of the 1956 electorate, voted overwhelmingly for Governor Seyi Makinde. The appreciative electorate in Oyo State saw in Makinde a model per excellence in our Pa Awolowo to be copied in governing Oyo State.
- Peter Olaosebikan, Ibadan.
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE