Oluseyi Makinde, son of late Pa Olatubosun and Madam Abigail Makinde, has become a beacon of hope for many young Nigerians. His rise to stardom was never a day journey but one of hard work, perseverance and a strong desire to succeed irrespective of obstacles. Born on 25th of December 1967 in the ancient city of Ibadan, as a young man, Seyi Makinde has made a name for himself. Born into a family who places education high, Seyi was enrolled into St Paul Primary School and St Michael Primary School for his primary education. On completion of his primary education, his parents enrolled him into Bishop Phillips Academy Monatan, Ibadan for his secondary school education and thereafter gained admission into the University of Lagos in 1985 where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He was then posted to serve his fatherland at shell cooperation. He was later trained in Industrial Control Services in Houston, Texas in 1998; and Development of Analytical Competence at Lagos Business School (now Pan African University) in 1999. As a young individual with a drive and desire to succeed and also make a name for himself, as well as with experiences gathered from working with international companies for over five years,  at age 29, Seyi Makinde founded Makon Engineering and Technical Services; an instrumentation, Automation and Control Systems Company.

Years later, Seyi Makinde delved into politics with a strong desire to make his state great again. Saddened by the unbearable hardship faced by many in the state as a result of corruption and underdevelopment of state infrastructure, he was determined to do all that it takes legally to transform Oyo state. In 2007, he contested for the Oyo south senatorial seat under the All Nigeria Peoples Party but lost to the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Kamoru Adedibu. He defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) years later and sought the ticket of the party for Oyo south senatorial seat but lost again. Unperturbed and with an unrivalled courage, he sought to contest the 2015 governorship ticket under the platform of the PDP. However, upon the conclusion of the party’s primary election, he was denied the governorship ticket. With an unrelenting desire to overcome the denial, he defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), under which he contested the gubernatorial but was defeated by Abiola Ajimobi who went on to govern the state for 8 years.

According to James A. Michener, ‘Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries’. Upon a meeting with the Peoples Democratic Party’s heads, Seyi Makinde defected back to the Party. He then went ahead to win the party’s nomination as their gubernatorial candidate for the 2019 governorship election. When the results were announced, Seyi Makinde emerged as the winner and thus became the governor of Oyo state on 29th of May 2019. Just as Theodore M. Hesburgh stated, “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet,” Seyi Makinde instantly began the process of fulfilling his campaign promises.

In a bid to be transparent, on 16th of July 2019, H.E Seyi Makinde declared his assets, which was in the sum of ₦48 billion, an action alien to Nigerian politicians. In line with his inauguration day promises of running a government centered at providing quality services for the people of Oyo state as well as provision of welfare services to OYO state civil service, he pledged his four years salaries to the Teacher Pension and Trust Fund. He also promised payment of salaries on or before 25th of each month (a promise which he has kept and fulfilled). On the 10th of July 2019, H.E Seyi Makinde pledged to waive his immunity if ever accused of corruption which was another action Nigerians had not seen before.

Before becoming governor, Seyi Makinde is well known for philanthropic contribution to humanity and the society. He once sponsored a medical team from the United States of America to Nigeria to carry out free medical procedures. He also donated 1 million naira to UCH Indigent Patients Fund, donated 5 million naira to support LAUTECH fund raising effort in 2017, and Donated 50 Million naira for 2017/2018 Seyi Makinde Bursary Scheme Award to 2,500 tertiary institution students. He is also a member of many prestigious associations. Some of these associations include  member of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Oil and Gas Design Engineers of Nigeria (OGDEN), Council for Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), International Society of Automation (ISA), Institute of Measurement and Control UK; and American Measurement Institute (AMI) to name a few.

As a result of his philanthropy and excellence at work, H.E Seyi Makinde is a recipient of numerous awards. Some of these awards and recognition include;

  • Junior Chamber International (JCI) University of Calabar Chapter – Entrepreneur Excellence Award
  • Nigerian Union of Journalists (Oyo State Council) – Laudable Contribution to Humanity Merit Award
  • Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (Oyo State Chapter) – Gold Merit Award for immense and invaluable contribution to sports development
  • Nigerian Association of Social Workers Merit Awards (Oyo State Chapter) – Philanthropic gestures and contribution to sports development
  • Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Ibadan) Merit Award – Astute Politician of the Year, 2018

Loved by many, H.E Seyi Makinde has continued to amaze many Nigerians. Many say it is too early to sing songs of praises but the great leadership shown even during this global corona pandemic as well as the improvements experienced in Oyo state points to the fact that, governor Seyi Makinde is worthy of being our personality of the month.

This article was written for Fatherland Gazette by SOLA ALOGBA


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