Hello <<First Name>>,

It has been an activity-packed two weeks for me. But I am happy that I can spend the next few minutes sharing something with you. How have you been? I hope you enjoyed the Easter break. It was a good opportunity to rest from all the hustle and bustle of daily life and, as a Christian, a great time to reflect on the love that God showed mankind.

It was, sadly, not such a good one for some of the traders in Agodi Gate Auto Spare Parts Market. I could not believe my eyes when I got to the market the next day and saw the damage that had been done. In the last four days, I have had to travel from Oyo State to Abuja, to Sokoto State to Bauchi State, but I have not been able to shake off the feeling I got from visiting that market. While we will do our best to get them back economically, my visit to that market made me think about something related.

The firefighters reported that they could not get into the market and do their jobs because of how the market was planned. People lost their livelihoods because of the lack of planning of the built environment. And I notice this in the way we construct things in Nigeria. When we need to decide between safety and economic gain, we often go for monetary gain. 

This attitude permeates both politics and governance. Of course, like I always say, our leaders are a product of our environment. When people who place a higher premium on financial advantages over safety end up as leaders, they will also not prioritise their people's safety. We see this in budgetary allocations, in road construction, in the building of infrastructure. How do you explain low-quality materials used in constructions while the contractors and leaders pocket the monies for their own selfish use?

This is why each election cycle must be seen as an opportunity to bring in leaders who have empathy—people who have shown that they care about people's safety. Similarly, if you choose to be a leader, you must be determined not to be callous. You must use whatever opportunity you get to show that it is possible to be different. You can be a product of an environment but choose to reinvent yourself because you are educated to do better.

You may be wondering what book I am reading this month. I have been so busy that I have not been able to pick out a book yet. But not to worry, in my next newsletter, I promise to share what I am reading.

Stay safe!


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Seyi Makinde
Governor's Office, Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Ibadan 200223

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