Debo Adeoye, Ibadan
As many governors serving their first term in office continue the celebration of first year in office, the Oyo State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the achievements of Engr Seyi Makinde, in his first year as ‘Impressive Report Card’.
The statement was made by the chairman of the state chapter of CAN, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu while responding to questions from journalists gathering responses from personalities across the state on the accessment of governor Makinde’s first year in office.
Makinde joined other first term governors in Nigeria to celebrate first year in office on May 29, 2020 as the executive governor of Oyo State.
The Oyo CAN through its chairman who rated Governor Makinde’s achievements within the first year in office as Impressive Report Card, however charged him to consolidate on the gains of the past 365 days and work harder to deliver more democratic dividends.
“For our governor in Oyo State it’s a time of praise and commendation. Of course, no parents would bash or condemn a child that returned home with excellent report card, it’s impossible.
“Governor Makinde deserved our praise if we put into consideration how the administration of Seyi Makinde has been positively affecting lives of the masses in the state. To us, his report card is impressive and we congratulate the governor and his team for moving to the second session with enviable report card.
Answering question on modus operandi used in rating the governor, Pastor Akanmu said “the perspective by which we grade or rate governor’s performance defer, the politicians or contractors likewise some groups are not likely to be on the same page with us.”
“Our decision to award His Excellency passmark was borned out of the direct impact of his administration on individual, especially masses, and common man’s life, by extension, standard of living in general.
“Giving capital projects preference over regular payment of salaries, entitlements, gratuities, provision of welfare packages, free medical treatment for senior citizens and children and settlement of pensioners arrears while rating performance of a state governor is unacceptable and anti-masses.
“Even if the governor does every roads, water, and others, but does not do well on renumeration, welfare, agriculture, education, his grade would have been negatively impacted,” Pastor Akanmu emphasised.
“How would the masses and civil servants not support or stand up for him when their children’s education (school fees, books and other associated bills) is no longer a burden on them. With this, parents are opportune to commit little resources to other areas of their needs. Many children have returned to school with joy.
“Pensioners and civil servants were able to settle outstanding bills, the purchasing power of the common man has been lifted because civil servants and retirees could afford to meet up with their needs. And that’s the only thing that has the power to set people free from the boundage of poverty and live better. Death among the pensioners and public servants has reduced drastically, for the fact that they could afford necessity, purchase of drugs and eat better meals as against what they suffered in the past.
“For instance again, very insignificant number of population condemned governor Makinde, whereas masses are praising his decision based on the fact that over 75% of the population source for means of livelihood/survival on daily basis. Besides, as a state having its comparative advantage in agriculture lockdown the state during rainy season would lead to famine. Masses would have been greatly affected, so, we appreciated his decision on that.
“Let me tell you this, our position on his one year in office is also premised on the laid down principles of our Lord Jesus Christ, which mandated us to care more for the survival of people around us, especially the poor/masses. This was clarified in the last lesson Jesus gave to his disciples before the passion story begins his suffering and death.
“In the Bible, Jesus says: “Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me”.
“Jesus teaches—and warns us—that what will count in the final judgment are only deeds of love and mercy performed for the needy. In fact, at the end of his discourse, he says, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not to it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life,” he quoted
“Our salvation, in this passage, is a matter of how we treat the least of these. Jesus has made it clear that what matters most is taking care of people in need.
“By feeding the hungry, we discover our own hunger and our own connection to others. And we find Christ there. When people respond to human need, or fail to respond, they are in fact responding or failing to respond, to Christ. For Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,” Pastor Akanmu added.
He however advised the governor to embrace everyone, see criticism as a motivating ladder and not to relent on his past achievements but intensify efforts to touch other sectors.
“My candid advice for the governor is to bring together all instruments used during electioneering, discuss his activities so far and the next steps with them. See criticism as another means catalyst. Now he must spread out his tentacles to touch other sectors and improve on those he started work on earlier.
“We all know he cannot satisfy everyone, but larger percentage of the population should be able to speak well of his administration. He should work harder than before, give check and balances priority in his administration. Never embark on antipeople’s policies. Secure at least 75% of people’s support for every policies to be introduced. There must be regular interaction between the governor and the people of Oyo State.
“As a leader, he must be vigilant, he must be conscious of his environment, dissociate himself from sycophants. Put a system in place that will force some of his lieutenants who failed to live up to expectations in the last twelve months to re-examine and rewrite their stories.
“We commended the governor for giving people’s oriented projects priority in his first year in office. It’s a reflection of his love for the masses in appreciation of their support, when they refused to allow anything to hinder them from massively voted him in as the governor of Oyo state,” Pastor Akanmu concluded.