Rivers Elders Council urges governors to emulate Makinde’s governance style

By Olumide Olusegun |

A member of the Rivers Elders Council, Chief Asukewe Iko-Awaji, has highlighted the exemplary governance style of Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, urging governors across Nigeria to emulate his approach.


Chief Iko-Awaji emphasised Governor Makinde’s commitment to alleviating the burden on citizens by prioritising wealth creation over excessive taxation.

He stated this while responding to questions in an interview with Punch Newspapers on the recently increased electricity tariff by the Federal Government.

He commended Makinde’s efforts to foster economic growth without imposing heavy financial burdens on the people.

According to Chief Iko-Awaji, true leadership entails uplifting the populace rather than burdening them with additional taxes.

He cited Governor Makinde’s focus on improving infrastructure and providing essential services without resorting to excessive taxation as a model for effective governance.

He said, “There is a governor in Nigeria today, he will tell you that he didn’t become governor to punish his people. He became governor to help the people out of their debt.

“Rather than increasing taxes in the state, rather than taxing the people much, he looked for an avenue to create wealth. That governor is doing very well. When you are leading the people, you are not to punish the people.

“You have to lead and the work of the leader is to help. If the people have electricity and you say they should pay, it is a different thing but there is no light and you are taxing the people.”

When asked who the governor was, he said, “Let me mention him so that other governors will learn from him; the governor of Oyo State (Seyi Makinde). People should learn from Makinde.”

He also suggested to the governors to organise a lecture where Makinde could share his insights on governance.

Chief Iko-Awaji highlighted Oyo State’s impressive economic performance, ranking sixth in Nigeria’s list of wealthiest states, despite its low taxation policies.

He also praised Governor Makinde’s dedication to ensuring that state workers received their full salaries, even during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Governors should hold a lecture and let Makinde come and teach. Go to Oyo State, he is not taxing the people like other states, yet the state is growing.

“From the last publication, you can see that Oyo State is the number six richest state in Nigeria. Even during COVID, when other states could not pay half the salary, the Federal Government was paying half the salary, and Makinde was paying full salary.

“So, governance is not about punishing the people. It is to see a way to lift the people from their poverty,” the Rivers State Elder, added.

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