GUEST COLUMNIST

PDP must protect Seyi Makinde from the hawks

Recent events in the south west region of Nigeria have got me thinking. They all seem to be revolving around Oyo State. Crises kept erupting, they are quelled and the erupt again.
The Fulani s who have been herders in Oyo State for centuries suddenly arose and started a new wave of aggression against the indigenous people of Oyo State, preventing them from going to their farms and maiming them.
The rise of Mr Sunday Igboho did address the problem, at least on the surface. He succeeded in ‘chasing’ the Fulani out of the forests in the south west. After the event, Igboho started talking as words came to his mouth. He lashed out at everyone, including Makinde. He rained invective, curses and other unprintable things about everyone else.
Trust Nigerians. Our people began to compare Saul and David. Saul killed his thousands, David has killed his tens of thousands. The same sycophants that nearly got David killed at the hands of Saul reincarnated in Oyo State. Their chants of praises urged Igboho on in his path.
You know that song that made Saul react angrily? And the spirit of God left him, the people left him, even his own son left him and pitched his tent with David. If Saul was to stand for an election that year, he would lose woefully.
This same situation is about to play out in Oyo State. The people seem to have become very attracted to Igboho at the moment. The problem is that Igboho might be playing the card of the opposition, knowingly or unknowingly. Some opposition hawks may be lurking in the shadows of Igboho to deprive the Oyo people the benefit of good governance in the coming years.
Take a look at these and answer for yourself. How were the people of Oyo people living with their Fulani people before now? Even though it was the Ondo governor that started the campaign to remove the killer herdsmen from his domain, the effect resonated more in Oyo State.
It is more worrisome that Makinde did not have enough advice before embarking on giving a speech that threw all his supporters into a fit. He used the most contentious phrase on Nigeria today. The Livestock Transformation Plan. Once they read that, he had been compromised. As it is with majority of Nigerians, even the educated, we do not interrogate things before jumping to conclusions. When the gentleman explained himself, everyone recanted their harsh words to him.
My advice to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is to rally round the embattled governor,who may be heading for a greater crisis as the elections approach. Anything and anyone could be used to cause him to buckle under the pressure of anger and frustration.
The people of Oyo State should take their time to observe things going on around them before they are used to truncate their own happiness. Makinde is delivery the goods to his people. No normal person would say he does not like that. But sadly, we are not in a normal clime. There are people who profit from crises, misery and poverty. These people must not be allowed to deter the performing governor from doing his work.
A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

Alex Agbo, public affairs analyst writes from Lagos.

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