OYO STATE: Neither Makinde Re-Election nor His Replacement by APC or Accord Candidate can Guarantee A Better Life For Working People and Youth
- Only a government formed by working people and run on Socialist Programme Can Satisfy the Needs and Desire of Workers, Youth and the Poor
It is no news that incumbent Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is one of the candidates that will be participating in the 2023 general elections as the Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP. Going by the prevailing political atmosphere in the State at the present time, the chance that he may secure the re-election is something that cannot be ruled out.
By Ayodeji Adigun, Secretary, SPN, Oyo State
The illusion invested in Seyi Makinde/PDP-led government especially in the early part of the regime has continued to persist among a layer of working people though now in a decline. Largely behind this illusion is the huge propaganda the regime has built up around all forms of deceit packaged as achievements in some areas like education, agriculture, security, infrastructure and the welfare of workers and pensioners
In the area of education for instance, the cancellation of the N3,000 administrative fee and examination fee as well as free distribution of six exercise books to each of the students in the public primary and secondary school, something which recent revelation shows was riddled with corruption following an allegation that a unit cost of an exercise book was approved at 2,100 naira, were all branded by the regime as free education.
This is a falsification and misrepresentation of fact! Free education goes beyond the cancellation of the N3,000 administrative fee and the free distribution of six exercise books for primary and secondary school students in the State. Free education entails so many things like the expansion and modernisation of physical infrastructure like classrooms, laboratories, library, sick bay, provision of textbooks, uniforms, free meals and bursary to students. Also central to the delivery of free and quality education are well-trained and competent teachers with provision of impressive remuneration for them.
Other sources of illusion in Engr Seyi Makinde-led government also include the huge propaganda and noise which the regime has also built around the payment of salary on the 25th of every month, which though has begun to suffer a delay recently. There are also construction and repair of roads, installation of street light and construction of bus terminals which are all done through a fraudulent contract system / private public partnership that is often used by bourgeois politicians and their acolytes to loot public fund.
In addition to the propaganda and deceit packaged as achievements, illusion in the Makinde-led government is aided by the memory of the monumental failure of the immediate past APC regime led by the late Abiola Ajimobi and the current APC-led federal government which to a large extent has made life more miserable for mass majority of the working people.
However, it is important to state that the illusion in Makinde-led government is not without growing mass discontentment and dissatisfaction against the pro-establishment politicians including Engr Seyi Makinde himself and their political parties among vast majority of the working people. This obviously suggests that the 2023 elections may not likely enjoy a massive participation by the working people such that some of the persons that will participate will largely be mobilised with money.
Given this kind of political circumstance, the likely outcome of the 2023 elections will only favour any pro-capitalist politicians with enough money to either buy votes or mobilise and hire political thugs towards a forceful manipulation of the election process and the results. It is in the consideration of this background, that the re-election of Engr Seyi Makinde is something that cannot be ruled out.
Aside being an incumbent Governor with free access to State fund, it is also the question of his close control over the motor park thugs organised around Park Management System, PMS, which he created following the unlawful proscription of the activities of the NURTW in the State.
Again, with the current level of infighting going on among members of the other leading bourgeois political parties in the state at this present time, it is not likely that they will be able to agree on the formation of the kind of coalition formed against the APC-led government in Oyo State during the 2019 general election. Without such a coalition which frustrated the succession plan of the then APC-led government, it would be difficult to stop the Makinde’s re-election in the 2023 general election.
MAKINDE’S RE-ELECTION OR HIS REPLACEMENT IS NOT A WAY FORWARD FOR WORKING MASSES
Regardless of who wins the 2023 election, the chances that things will be very tough for the mass of the working people in the State are very high. With the current huge debt profile of Oyo State which is around N200billion now and the increasing decline in the Federal allocation to the State owing to the acclaimed subsidy payment, there is every likelihood in the coming period that a chunk of federal allocation to the State will be squarely dedicated to debt servicing and repayment
This means that the coming government given its pro-capitalist orientation will likely reduce the funding of social services like education and health care. This will be together with an aggressive imposition of obnoxious taxes on working people and the poor as means of generating revenue for the State most of which will be devoted for the servicing and maintenance of the opulent lifestyle of the pro-capitalist politicians and their acolytes.
The introduction of the so called #30,000 drilling permit fee by Engr Seyi Makinde-led government for any citizen willing to draw water through borehole drilling is a glimpse of what should be expected if Seyi Makinde-led government is re-elected.
Also, the recent slash to 80% of the subvention for all the State owned tertiary institutions, delay in the payment of salary against the 25th of every month promise by the Governor Seyi Makinde and the planned handing over of the Government College Ibadan, GCI to Wale Babalakin-led group of the old boys Association are clear indications that a tough time awaits the working people in the State if Seyi Makinde secures a re-election.
Unfortunately, given the pro-capitalist orientation of other leading pro-capitalist political parties like APC and ACCORD and their candidates participating in the election, there is no way a government formed by any of them could satisfy the need of the working people should Makinde lose his re-election
WORKERS AND POOR MASSES MUST RESIST ANTI-POOR POLICIES
Given this background, it is obvious that no government formed and controlled by pro-capitalist politicians and their political parties will ever have the capacity to satisfy the economic need and interest of the working people.
Nonetheless, working masses and youth should be prepared to struggle to resist any anti-poor policies imposed by whoever wins the 2023 election both at the state and national level. However, such struggles must be linked with the need for a socialist transformation of the Nigeria state and its economy which is the only socio-economic arrangement with the capacity to use human and material resources of the society to satisfy the overall interest of the vast majority, not the greed of a few as presently obtains.