Last weekend, Governor Makinde and his party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP lost out to the APC and Its candidate for the Saki West state constituency.
I have read a lot of reasoning regarding the event of last Saturday and how some are of the opinion that though, the APC won in the overall, It lost the ballot, marginally during the rerun.
That may be so, but with due respect to those who are of such opinion, to me, while there might be need for the Oyo APC to keep working on putting Its house in order, last Saturday was victory for the party and a significant loss for Makinde and the PDP.
If one looks at the circumstances surrounding the rerun in Saki, the truth is, Makinde and the PDP have the wherewithal to turn the table against the APC.
In Nigeria, the position of the Governor is a powerful one, no doubts.
There is also no doubts that Governor Makinde left nothing to chance in the attempts to win the rerun election.
If the APC was able to do just enough to protect Its marginal lead after the Tribunal cancelled results of some polling units and return concluded, the APC does deserve credit.
At any rate, the intent of this piece is not to concentrate on whether the APC should celebrate the win in Saki.
It is centered on Governor Makinde’s ascendance through a House of Assembly by election and whether the loss in Saki does signal something.
Prior to the 2019 general election, an unfortunate incident befell Oyo state House of Assembly.
The then Speaker, Michael Adeyemo passed away.
Adeyemo was a member of the APC.
Constitutionally, a by election to replace the dead Speaker was inevitable.
It was a few months to the gubernatorial primaries when the sad incident occurred and Seyi Makinde was in firm control of the PDP already.
Makinde and the PDP seized the opportunity of the by election to make a strong statement.
The PDP and Seyi Makinde nominated the present Speaker of the House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin as Its candidate while late Governor Ajimobi and the APC presented a younger brother to the deceased speaker as candidate.
It was a fierce contest.
Seyi Makinde literally migrated to Eruwa for the campaigns, walking all the streets and alleys of Eruwa and Lanlate, eating corn on the roads and drinking palm wine by the road sides.
The late Governor Ajimobi, sensing danger, also had to come down to Eruwa and Lanlate on the Thursday preceding the election and was on ground till the eve of election.
In the end, the results of the election was a landslide for the PDP and from there, a momentum was built that saw Makinde emerging as Governor in 2019.
From just one House of Assembly by election, a shot of adrenaline was fired up in the PDP faithfuls and it was enough to win them Oyo state in 2019.
I believe Governor Makinde had the event of Ibarapa East in mind while preparing for the return election in Saki.
Unfortunately, unlike in Ibarapa East, he left Saki empty handed.
Like I have said before, the victory for the APC in Saki is symbolic.
What only remains for the APC is to put Its acts together and build on the momentum of the victory recorded.
Seyi Makinde, more than anyone else, knows the import of the APC victory in Saki