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OYO101: Paradigm Shift— How Emerging Reality Is Changing Oyo Political Landscape | Muftau Gbadegesin

Governor Seyi Makinde took a huge gamble in the last election. What many thought would backfire and affect his re-election eventually turned out to be a blessing in disguise? But it wasn’t easy after the first election where his party’s candidates suffered humiliating defeat. Certainly, backing a Presidential candidate of a party other than your party’s can cause electoral downfall. The governor was lucky and strategic not to have allowed the anger and rage that ensued after the first poll consumed him.

In any way, sitting governors from a party backing a Presidential candidate of another party is not new in the country but the result always proves fatal. It happened in 2003 when five out of six southwestern governors under the defunct Alliance for Democracy unanimously threw their weights behind the re-election bid of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Immediately the former military head of state won at the poll, he turned against his kinsmen and undermined them using the instrumentality of the state. Crucially, there was a frightening experience in the past but Governor Makinde nonetheless decided to stick to his gun by backing Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

In effect, while Oyo APC recorded a landslide victory in the first poll – three senators and nine House of Rep members; like the 2019 scenario, the party couldn’t muster the same stamina and energy to replicate a similar feat in the second poll. Clearly, the two weeks extension between the first and second poll could be described as the saving grace for the governor because it paved an incredible way for him and his team to bridge various political gaps, close ranks, and appeal to those that matter for support that led to a mouth-watering victory at the poll – one that is novel in the anal of the state political trajectory.

 

With more than 300, 000 votes, the governor not only won convincingly but appears to be the eyes and ears of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Oyo state. In retrospect, nobody would have thought such a sudden political bromance between politicians from different parties would work out seamlessly. But here we are marveling at politics being played in an unconventional, unusual, uniquely different way. Perhaps, if there is anything we have learned in this last election, it is to never write politicians from across different parties off. Just as we’ve been repeatedly inundated, politicians don’t fight when their interests align. And today’s sworn enemies are potential bosom friends. One day in 2021, governor Makinde hosted the president-elect at the government house in Ibadan. He spoke glowingly about the former Lagos state governor who was on a courtesy visit to the state after the demise of the Soun of Ogbomosho land. Many people interpreted Governor Makinde’s remark as a subtle attempt to thrust himself into the camp of the Jagaban of Borgu.

To dispel such rumor and speculation, governor Makinde would later play host to a group advocating for the end of Tinubu’s political hegemon in Lagos: Lagos4lagos movement. Of that, people concluded that no such thing as the governor backing Asiwaju at the future poll exists. Alas, we still have a lot to learn as we move toward the next political dispensation. But politicians across party lines know very well the essence of promise-keeping and honoring agreements. In this case, they strike a deal without recourse to their various political affiliations. Consequently, the decision to covertly support both the President-elect by the governors of Rivers and Oyo came at a huge cost. Such a risky marriage of inconvenience could have backfired had a candidate other than the president-elect emerged. But life itself is about risk. If you can’t risk it, you won’t win it. In other words, life favors the bold, the brave, and those who can risk it all to win what they set out to achieve. The emerging political reality is taking unprecedented twists and turns.

 

What we know of power-sharing, distribution of political appointments, and largesse will equally take dynamically different outlooks. Between 2023 to 2027, we are going to witness different breathtaking political compromises and agreements. Within that space, new things will happen. The old will get older, while the young will age. The rich, apparently will get richer while the poor are expected to have an improved standard of living.

Essentially, the effectiveness of government policies both at national and sub-national levels in tackling the menace of insecurity, unemployment, and basic infrastructural facilities will either transform the lots of the people or reverse them. That APC is the ruling party at the federal and PDP is ruling in Oyo state will become inconsequential in the coming dispensation. APC politicians must brace up for that. Even PDP loyalists who have not enjoyed the pecks of federal might for the past eight years must be warming themselves up for the rain of favor that will descend on them. Governor Makinde has hit the jackpot of power. He’s going to be the only PDP governor from the South who has the ears of the president at the villa. That to me is unprecedented. And that to me is the tip of this emerging political reality iceberg.

OYO101 is Muftau Gbadegesin’s opinion about Issues affecting Oyo state, published on Saturdays. He can be reached via @TheGMAKing on Twitter, muftaugbadegesin@gmail.com and 09065176850

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Akéde Ọ̀yọ́http://Akedeoyo.com
Akéde Ọ̀yọ́ is Oyo's foremost Online Community Newspaper, Publishing Articles on Politics, Culture, Sports And Entertainment.

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