By Babafemi Osunkeye
Contrary to the popular cliche that “politics is a dirty game”; politics is obviously not dirty, especially when played by people with honest, focused, visionary and caring heart; that is what Hon. Rotimi Makinde truly represents in our body politic. He is a name that rings a loud resounding bell in the high society and also among the masses.
Without a shred of doubt, Hon. Rotimi Makinde persona is derived from the sterner stuff of life, the compulsive need to weave enduring strands or legacies that would out-live one and the desire to be a change agent in the discharge of the social contract. A man of great patience and tolerance, his scruples border on the fundamental assumption that life is a selfless service in which there is more to gain in giving of one’s time, energy and resources than in being a docile recipient of its offerings.
Specifically, Makinde is a man of many parts; a well known Yoruba actor, car dealer, hotelier and a politician with meritorious and indeliblible achievements, very youthful and he is in his late forties. The dogged, consistent and resilient politician has been contesting for several political offices for many years. He was the candidate of the AC in 2007 election when the party was massively rigged out that resulted into various litigations which eventually produced Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the governor of the state in Nov 26th, 2010.
Makinde was a former staff of NNPC, an accountant that rose to head PPMC Ibadan depot up to the time he voluntarily retired after 20 years in public service, he re- contested the House of Representatives seat in 2011 and got a landslide victory seat to represent Ife East, North, South, Central and the Area office. It would be recalled that before the elections, some gun men attacked his supporters and five people were killed on the altar of a church. Among those that were murdered were Rotimi Makinde’s younger brother.
As at today Makinde is one of the leading politicians with reputable image and enviable credentials in Osun state and particularly in Ile Ife. Whilst he held sway as Member House of Representatives
He had about 15 motions and 8 bills to his credit in the 7th Assembly where he served as the deputy chairman Human Rights committee of the House. His life impacting socio-economic empowerment initiatives to his constituents during his 4 years representation at the National Assembly also speak volumes for him to date.
Although he lost his 2nd term bid to return to the lower house in 2015 due to protest votes. The reasons were not far fetched, he was adjudged to be the most vocal voice in Ife and for his blind loyalty and support for the the sitting Gov Aregbesola who contested against his kinsman, Sen Omisore. Aregbesola commissioned Makinde into politics, so he had no choice but to sell his principal and his party to the electorate in Ife, this situation led to a sharp disagreement and breakup between him and many of his people including the then Ooni of Ife. He therefore had to slug it out with the likes of Sen Iyiola Omisore, Prof. Wale Ladipo, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and other big wigs that made up Ife as strong hold of PDP in the election. They all had scores to settle with him and so he lost the election.
Meanwhile despite the electoral defeat, Makinde however holds no grudge with his people, he remains in Ife, he interacts more with them and believes that he lives for Ife and he is for Ife no matter what the situations offer. Without contradiction the generality of the people in Ife are daily regretting their roles in voting Makinde out.
In giving back to his community and to also encourage youths who are interested in broadcast media, the astute politician in December 11th, 2016 launched his private radio station which is now waxing stronger, Oodua Fm 90.9. The station is strategically located in the heart of Ile Ife, precisely on the hill top of the ancient city of Ile Ife.
Makinde holds a Master degree in Finance and he is married to the daughter of Chief Muraina Oyelami, the Eesa and a renowned world class artist from Iragbiji, Osun Central Senatorial district. The lady was an OAU graduate of Political Science and former winner and crowned Queen of a famous Miss Osun beauty pageant. The union is presently blessed with two kids.
A good leader is not made overnight while charity begins at home. Rotimi Makinde is a product of good home, family life and dependable allies, the reason he enjoys peace and supports both at home front and at national level.
When it comes to Nigerian politicians, one finds an undeniable difference in Hon Rotimi Makinde. He is a rare Nigerian politician who has articulated a definitive ideology for governance. He is a social democrat and patriot. He believes that the public sector can work for the people delivering quality services equivalent to the best institutions in the world and it can be cost efficient.
Babafemi Osunkeye is a Public Affairs Analyst and Convener of Rotimi Makinde Vanguard