Even In Ona-ara, Gov. Makinde Floors Folarin With “Cashless Crowd”— Oyedeji Ahmed (LMP)



It was a mouthwatering moment for the God Sent Man (GSM), His Excellency, Seyi Makinde, and his entire entourage on Saturday as a huge crowd of party supporters and other residents thronged the Peoples Democratic Party Campaign rally in Ona-Ara, the hometown of Teslim Folarin, the current senator of Oyo Central and Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, where the Governor canvassed support for his re-election and other candidates of the party in the February 25 and March 11 elections.

Despite the scarcity of Naira, thousands of residents cheered enthusiastically when Governor Makinde and his running mate, Barrister Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Lawal, arrived at the venue at around 5:50 p.m. after meeting with the CAN, League of Imams, and Alfas, traditional worshipers, among others.

The kind of smile the residents wore was exceptional likewise the kind of feelings they had and the screaming they gave all echoing “Seyi Lekansi”, “Omo Olodun Mejo” “Alaa Nu Mekunu”, most especially when he walked humbly to the venue of the rally which was filled to the brim with enthusiastic party supporters.

The turn out was indeed impressive and massive despite the fact that it’s not the local government of the Governor. Neither the home town of his running mate, Bayo Lawal, who enjoys wide popularity in the entire Oke-Ogun and support of his town with the way huge crowd greeted the campaign train of the Governor, and by all accounts, it was one of the best outing shows.

Seeing how many people flocked to the PDP rally’s campaign venue in Ona Ara, and the extreme show of love the residents exhibited on his way back home, one could start to ask what kind of electoral strategy Senator Teslim Folarin is trying to employ since, in truth, the people of his local government have long been in love with Governor Seyi Makinde.

It appears that the people have already decided to re-elect the governor in recognition of his enormous contributions to the state’s growth, as well as for the prompt payment of salaries, pensions, and health benefits, also for the improvement of the state’s infrastructure, lighting up Oyo State, revamping the educational system, and making the state so peaceful and appealing to investors, all of which have undoubtedly increased the state’s IGR.

This may have contributed to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, commending the governor for his effective leadership of the state.

On Thursday, during a courtesy visit as part of his presidential campaign tour of Oyo State, Tinubu spoke in the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office in Agodi, Ibadan.

He said Makinde had shown qualities of a good leader and a hardworking person, and he had performed admirably in the state.

The APC presidential candidate praised Governor Makinde for being fortunate to have contributed to the history of a great state like Oyo state while outlining his commitment to the region. He also added that national politics should be devoid of ethnic sentiments.

The remarks made by Tinubu has continued to make Oyo residents including members of All Progressives Congress to admit quietly that Governor Seyi Makinde is a good product to market and that no individual opposition member would dare challenge the People’s Governor at the polls given his widespread popularity and support in the state.

What then is Teslim Folarin waiting for instead of stepping down for Governor Makinde, who had already won the Governorship poll before it was held? What more would be his appearance at polling units around the state when, in actuality, he is not running a serious campaign?

Would he continue to rely on Tinubu, who ostensibly appreciates Governor Seyi Makinde and would ten times prefer the Governor over Teslim Folarin, who grabbed the ticket away from his chosen candidate for governorship, Mr. Adelabu Penkelems?

This may have been one among the reasons that allowed Tinubu and other prominent APC members in the Southwest to see the governor before attending the rally at Mapo hall.

Certainly, Tinubu deserves praise for honoring our loving Governor, who serves as the state’s chief executive and chief security officer, in accordance with the law, by paying him a visit first before attending his campaign rally.

The two leaders from two diametrically opposed sides laughed heartily and professed their love for one another, and through out the APC’s campaign on Thursday, there were no reports of violence nor clashes between members of political parties.

As a result, I believe that other presidential contenders also need to take note of JAGABAN’s impeccable manners and astute tactics as well as emulating Governor Seyi Makinde’s leadership prowess and administrative acumen at conflict times.

Oh, let’s see how Teslim Folarin and the other contenders for governor will compete with my own loving GSM given his resounding successes and advancements of Oyo state under the #Omituntun 1.0 at the upcoming debate hosted by Fresh FM.

Oyedeji Ahmed is an avid writer,
SSA to Oyo Deputy Governor,
Public Affairs

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