Gov. Makinde’s asset declaration and … – Yinka Olaito


With the outrage which followed Governor Seyi Makinde’s asset declaration, one cannot but be concerned about Nigeria (ns) situation. What is the noise all about? A 51 year old, professional engineer, oil and gas businessman declare asset of about $133 Million US Dollar and we doubt his ability of making that kind of money legally speaks volume about many of us.

I mean how old was Mark Zuckerberg when he hit that amount? Or are we saying Zuckerberg’s brain, colour and thinking are superior to an average black? Success in business can be determined by the viability of the idea, fore/insight, timing, strategy and commitment of the owner as well as what some refer to luck. Has any of governor Seyi makinde’s accusers proved to us none of these factors could not have worked to his advantage? Are we saying a man who publicly acknowledged he and his companies paid an annual tax of 1.5Billion Naira could not legally make such an amount?

From the little we gathered, Engineer Seyi Makinde started his entrepreneurial voyage in 1992; that was 27 years ago. This happened after serving his fatherland as a youth corp member with Shell Petroleum and worked for some years as pupil engineer in the same company. While it is easy to understand Oyo State All Progressive Congress’s noise, which is excusable as voice of opposition, politics take precedents in everything in this clime before reasoning.

One wonders why SERAP joined the bandwagon. As an individual, if I am not a Nigerian, reading through all the negative reactions in the media would tell me Nigeria is one God-forsaken land plagued with hopelessness and poverty.

The implication of the noise to me also supports the wrong belief no one can actually succeed in Nigeria. It buttress the popular malicious believe every rich people in Nigeria is corrupt and they are responsible for the plight of the poor. Where did we get that mindset from?

Our people need to be educated. Nigeria is not as bad as we think it is. There are still opportunities in this land and if one is diligent enough one can still make huge money with right ideas and connection. I am not a Millionaire yet but I am privy to some extremely young people who are doing well in Nigeria irrespective of what it is. There are other younger persons than Engineer Seyi Makinde who are doing extremely well in this nation. We should therefore stop giving ourselves bad names.

Our politics should not be politics of bitterness and envy. I maintain I am not a a card carrying member of any party and had never worked either remotely, directly or indirectly for any party as a professional. I celebrate success where I see one.

Instead of making noise about N48Billion asset declaration of a 51 year old, Nigerians should be more concerned about finding out if there could be any form of under declaration of asset knowing many politicians would rather do that than over declare their assets. I do not affirm this is the case here. This has been the bane of many frontline politicians in Nigeria than otherwise. Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was allegedly charged to Code of conduct for under declaration of asset.

For me, I will rather celebrate and encourage a man who came out boldly to declare such an asset than doubt or abuse him. In the first instance how many of those who are insinuating the possibility of corruption or over declaration of Engineer Seyi Makinde’s asset had done their due diligence through a thorough fact finding process before going to the media?

Let us all keep an eye on his readiness to turn the fortune of Oyo state around and holding him accountable to this than ranting about his wealth. It is my wish  he succeeds at doing this.

And one other concern:

President Buhari, these deaths are too many.

While the writer of this piece is not claiming to be more knowledgeable than the President in governance and politics involved in security and national defence, common sense tells me Nigerians are dying in drove daily due to all forms of insecurity.

The Boko Haram issue is still raging. Nigeria lost officers and soldiers just few days ago in an ambush attack. We may continue to live in self denial of this though. The Miyetti Allah has refused to be silent. Couple with this is herdsmen bandit and if we must not forget, the Shi’ittes are now formidable force.

Just yesterday, a building was razed down in Abuja. Sad enough was the death of deputy commissioner of Police and a young journalist, Youth corper, serving with Channel’s Television. The sin committed by this young journalist was he was trying to hone his skills through tutelage in a frontline media house.

I keep wondering how easy it is for our President and Senior military officers to go to sleep everyday without feeling the pains of gross untimely deaths happening every day? And in the midst of this, some young soldiers could run away with over a billion Naira or more meant for acquiring security gadgets or to pay soldiers who daily risk their lives for Nigerians.

*Yinka Olaito is a Media and Communications  specialist based in Lagos Nigeria


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