Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, at the weekend came hard on critics of his style of open governance, saying they cannot distract his government from recording giant strides in the state.
Makinde, who made the declaration while speaking at the inauguration of the South West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the United Kingdom, said he is aware why there have been searchlights on his person and administration.
A statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also quoted Makinde as charging PDP stakeholders to readily project the good deeds of the party’s office holders in order not to give room for negative narrative.
Makinde, who observed that interest groups in the United Kingdom had played important roles in the politics of Nigeria, said no fewer than 200,000 Nigerians now live in the United Kingdom.
He maintained that the task ahead of the PDP is to regroup and launch chapters everywhere Nigerians are found.
According to him, “I am aware of the enormity of the responsibility that rests on me. The searchlight is beamed upon me, and all my actions are being met with the strictest scrutiny.
“I know that it is the seeming controversy that will be given more attention. My open declaration of my assets is generating furore in certain quarters, but these are unnecessary distractions; my focus and the focus of our administration is on good governance. We shall not be distracted.”
The governor also seized the opportunity to invite investors to Oyo State, declaring that his efforts so far have been geared towards eradicating the out-of-school children syndrome, which he said accounts for 400,000 right now; expansion of the state’s economy and promoting security in the state.
“In the past month, I have focused on two things to set the state on the path to greatness. They are to ensure that we put the right policies and processes in place, and working with ideas that would help increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the state,” he said.
Makinde stated that his focus on security was borne out of the fact that without security, businesses cannot thrive, adding that he had given his commitment to enhancing security to the commanders of the Task Force in charge of Oyo and Osun States Operation Burst.
He said the decision by the state government to cancel the N3, 000 school levies and examination fees had resulted in the unprecedented huge turnout of students for placement examination into JSS1 and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) conducted in the state last week.
The governor also said the commitment of the PDP towards strategising for the future was not in doubt, adding that members of the party must also be alive to their responsibilities.
Makinde said: “The PDP has one job, and only one job which are to regroup, refocus and re-strategise. Creating chapters everywhere in the world where Nigerians are found shows our commitment to this job. I believe Nigerians have had the opportunity to see clearly which party really means business.
“I have one request to make of you. Never stop talking about the good things we are doing. When good things are not given prominence, the consensus is that only bad things are happening. We cannot allow evil narratives about the PDP or its stakeholders to gain any type of momentum. It is our jobs as worthy ambassadors to shut down such narratives, quickly and definitively.”