By Babs-Oluribigbe Adeoye
Exact same day when supporters of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, gathered together at Ibadan to launch what they termed as South West Agenda 23, in support of their idol’s aspiration for presidency in 2023, Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, made a bold but rattled statement.
Without doubt, the governor must have been informed about what was going on in the capital of the state he is governing, and most likely, his choice to make such a statement at the venue of the handover ceremony of 33 vehicles and 396 motorcycles to the Oyo State Security Agency, otherwise known as Operation Amotekun, looks understandable.
His word: “I have heard some of our political leaders jostling around and saying they want to become the president of Nigeria in 2023.
Further he said: “It does not matter who is the president in Abuja. In a restructured Nigeria, every corner of the country will feel the impact of the government. That is what we need”.
Makinde’s statement was believed to be targeted at the people gathering in Ibadan to test the ground for the Tinubu presidency in 2023.
Some say the governor must have been out of touch with Yoruba or South-West politics as far as 2023 is concerned, others applauded him for what they termed as statesmanship statement.
But what exactly did Makinde mean?
Here he goes: “I think what we need at this stage is to secure our people and restructure Nigeria. It does not matter who is the president in Abuja”
Let us reminding ourselves the time the governor made this statement, Nigerians are still at a loss over the kidnapping but now released three hundred students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in Katsina State.
Oyo state governor however goes philosophical: May God protect those running around for the presidency till 2022. By that time, we will meet and, by then, we will get to know whether it is restructured Nigeria or Yoruba presidency that we need.”
So if the governor is talking about the incumbency of securing the nation, one should know where he is coming from as it is becoming clearer every passing day that the country is going through a tough period in regards of the numerous insecurity challenges.
But does Makinde has a point? Senselessly, may he should. What rather remains vague is the type of restructuring he is advocating. He didn’t quite elaborate. Infact restructuring means different things to lots of politicians in our country.
It is even difficult to situate his statement to mean calling for Yoruba self determination or independence from what the Fulani under President Buhari, has turned into a Fulani colony.
Some political analysts feared that latest advocacy of the governor may even be seen in the light of many Yoruba irridentalists’ expression against the unity of the nation in diversity but turned to adversity.
With the well equipped of Amotekun by the governor and some of his counterparts in the Southwest region, a community police being created, funded, and centrally controlled from Abuja is a contradiction in terms!
Prior to the gathering of May 15, 2020 at Mauv 21 Event Centre, Ring Road, Ibadan by the Asiwaju Tinubu loyalists, strong delegations, among whom were those at the meeting have visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola III and Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, sought their blessing for the aspiration of Bola Tinubu.
The two ancient towns are major cities in Oyo state, which Makinde which Makinde governs.
“Already, Makinde knows where he would belong in the 2023 permutation. But currently, no one is sure of where the PDP, his beloved party is standing on zoning”, a source told the newspaper.
Whether Makinde is playing politics or speaking with a tongue in his cheeks, as some wont us to believe, it is crystal clearly from that time Makinde made the statement in Ibadan, he has been counted among those who are sick of the rat race over who becomes president in Abuja where power is over-concentrated and abused and where financial resources are concentrated and looted.