The pendulum of the political calculation in Oyo State may once again swing towards the Peoples’ Democratic Party. According to an independent poll conducted online by The Street Journal last month, indications emerged that the PDP enjoys more followership and has again become the party of choice in the state, closely followed by the Senator Rashidi Ladoja-led Accord Party while the Action Congress of Nigeria occupies a distant third position.
The reason adduced by analysts is the alleged mismanagement of the confidence reposed in the sitting Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Investigations revealed that the fortune of the ruling ACN has been largely affected by the style being used in running the affairs of the state by Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Not a few Oyo State indigenes have opined that “the state is being run like a personal estate by a Governor who appears to be bereft of ideas.”
Street Journal gathered that the Governor’s personal fame started dwindling not long after a flood ravaged some parts of the state in 2011. The Governor’s Senior Special Assistant had stated that the Governor had to cut short his Umrah trip to Saudi Arabia out of sympathy for the victims of the flood. Of course no one had course to doubt the Governor’s spokesman. The Governor was however not sighted anywhere in the state until 5 days after, thus giving him the image of a Governor that cares very little about what happens to the people he is leading.
Though the Ajimobi administration has embarked on some projects, most of them have been unfortunately described as being ill-timed or poorly conceived by indigenes who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the projects.
For instance, the overhead bridge being constructed in Mokola, Ibadan has been described as unnecessary. Some other projects of the Governor have also been described as ill-timed. And as it stands, the Governor and his policies have become an exceptionally good campaign platform for opposition parties who are already planning to send the Governor packing from the Government House, Agodi.
The Governor’s policies and projects have simply made the party unpopular within the state.
One of such is the beautification project in Ibadan, the capital of the state, which has led to the demolition of many structures and rendered a lot of people unemployed. Though the idea of beautifying the state is not a bad one, and will eventually give the capital city a good outlook in the end, alternative provisions were not made for most of the road side traders who were displaced as a result of the beautification exercise. Street Journal sampled opinions across the city and it was agreed by many that though the idea was a well conceived one, the implementation is poor.
The people affected by the beautification incidentally form a large chunk of those who voted the present administration into power. Nike Akinsanya, one of the traders whose shop was affected by the exercise disclosed that she has already picked holes in the Governor’s statement that “nobody loves Oyo State more than I do because Oyo State people have been very kind to me”. “The kindness has been abused”, Akinsanya said.
The civil service too cannot be said to be really pleased with the way things are going. The sack of civil servants is one of the things being counted against the Ajimobi administration in many quarters. Though some of those sacked allegedly falsified their ages, the rationale behind the sack of some can barely be explained. Meanwhile 14 Directors of Personnel Management have also been shown the way home, an action that has made it become a fad within the state’s work force that “even civil service jobs are no longer secure”.
Incidentally, the state is yet to commence the payment of N 18,000 minimum wage.
Street Journal’s investigations have revealed that though the Governor’s beautification effort might be good in terms of aesthetics, it has however turned out to be a poor political move because it is one of the things that will count against the ACN in the next elections.
Apart from his policies and projects, one other thing that is fast pitching people against the head of the present administration is the Governor’s attitude which many believe will get him into needless fights just like his predecessor.
Though all internal squabbles within the ACN in Oyo State have been resolved, findings have revealed that they have been done merely on paper. Many who feel they have been wronged in one way or the other are waiting in the wings for payback time. Moreover, the fact that Governor Ajimobi has been “unanimously” adopted as the leader as the new leader of the party (sequel to the death of Alhaji Lam Adesina) and the candidate for the 2015 governorship election does not mean other people in the party do not have ambitions of governing the state in 2015.
It is already being predicted in some quarters that as usual, the “imposition” or “anointing” factor that trails the emergence of candidates in the party will again rear its head and some bigwigs will end up leaving the party.
Street Journal gathered that the Governor picked a quarrel with a serving Senator over a matter many considered to be trivial. The Governor openly complained that the Senator did not put his (the Governor’s) picture in the programme of events when the Senator went to commission some projects for his senatorial district. Some have attributed the quarrel to the Senator’s suspected governorship ambition.
A former Governor of Oyo State reportedly visited the Government House to commiserate with the Governor over the demise of his mother. Sighting the former Governor, the First Lady queried the security operatives around on how the man got in and who allowed him. The visibly embarrassed man turned back and those around him disclosed that they heard him muttering to himself that “the Governor’s husband has spoken”.
A more recent one was the alleged detention of an Oyo Prince, Ganiyu Ladigbolu who was allegedly detained by the Governor’s Chief Security Officer apparently in relation to a disputed land matter.
Many indigenes have disclosed that close to two years after they voted based on the notion that Oyo State deserved better than what the PDP administration offered, the replacement has not impressed them.
Findings revealed that if the present trend continues, the ACN might as well be on its way out of office in Oyo State and the only thing that can stop the PDP from harnessing the opportunity being offered is if it fails to put its house in order and present a worthy candidate for the governorship race.