INTERVIEW: Why People Address Me As Friend Of Makinde (Òre Gómìnà) – PDP Loyalist, Royal Umbrella
Hon. Yomi Olajide, popularly known as Royal Umbrella or ‘Ore Gomina’, is a staunch supporter of Governor Seyi Makinde. In this interview with Segun Kehinde and Mayowa Okekale, He bared his mind on his relationship with the governor, how he formed the acronym of Governor Seyi Makinde to be GSM, Makinde’s two years in office, and other germane issues in the state. Excerpt of the interview below:
QUE: What brought about the name GSMist and Ore Gomina?
ANS: Thank you very much for the question. I want to say Governor Makinde has been my childhood friend since the 1980s from Iwo Road but God has destined him to be what I can liken to an index finger. You know an index finger is the tallest among all fingers. So, that is the way I can actually refer to him now. He is a very brilliant and intelligent person.
In 2007, he contested for Senatorial election under the umbrella of ANPP, he did not win. Again, He tried his luck under SDP to become governor and did not win.
But in 2018, I decided to join him to achieve that course because I was not with him in previous attempts. Before I joined him, I was with Akogun Sarafadeen Alli and Baba Ladoja. And when I joined him, I told everybody around me then that I wanted to support my childhood friend in the struggle and, to God be the glory, He is the Executive Governor of Oyo State.
So, on what really brought about GSM, which is the acronym of Governor Seyi Makinde and which he is being fondly called now, happened on March 9th during the election. After the election, as they were collating results in the 33 local government areas of the state, I could see that my friend was winning. Shortly after, I decided to post a statement on Facebook ‘Dawn of a New Era’, hoping that my friend will win and become the governor. Later, another thought dropped in my mind that people use GSM for communication and I tried to relate it with G, which stands for Governor; the letter S standing for Seyi and M for Makinde, and he eventually was announced as the winner. I was very happy. So, that was how GSM came into being.
Since that time, when I hear people shout or say ‘GSM’, I am always happy because I see my initiative become popular not only in Oyo State but in the whole world. I feel that innermost joy. It is more than money. That is why I have passion for his administration and anything GSM. And when people call him His Excellency, I call him Governor Seyi Makinde, and the day he was being inaugurated, he said that he preferred to be called Governor Seyi Makinde.
I want to take this opportunity to also thank the PDP PRO in the person of Engnr Akeem Olatunji for the efforts he is putting into the promotion of this administration. He has shown he is committed and dedicated to this government and I want to really thank him for that.
Today too, we have GSM DEFENDERS where a group of people came together and started promoting the policies of the Governor and defending our party, PDP. In that instance,
Last Year, they nominated me for ‘Best GSM Defender Award’ and I won that maiden award.
I am for GSM and will continually be.
When I noticed some certain things on our PDP Whatsapp platforms that I felt were not too good, I had to see for overhauling because I perceived some people were engaging in anti-party activities. Yes, we needed to. We cannot call ourselves PDP loyalists and still be seeing APC, ZLP, and other people of other parties in our loops. So, that was what brought about ‘GSM DIRECT’. I felt our loyalty must always lie with Governor Makinde and have to be committed to his course, and that was how the platform emerged.
Que: Sir, anytime you use the word GSMist, many people, even within the party, keep wondering what defines the word. Can you shed more light?
Ans: Yes, it is true that a lot of people are ignorant of that word. You know we have Awoist, Zikist, Lamist, and GSMists are just what I coined from the above appellation to mean core loyalists who believe in the ideology of Governor Seyi Makinde; those who believe in the ideals and leadership qualities of GSM. So, the moment you believe and show love in GSM, I see you as a GSMist. See, let me also add that they are in categories; we have Natural, Special, Honourable, Masked & Unmasked GSMists. All the categories are classified to encourage others to improve their loyalties to GSM. I love GSM the way I love my mother.
QUE: The administration of GSM, as you fondly call him, is two years today. How would you rate his performance considering the past and present Oyo state?
ANS: By all standard, his administration is very interesting because it is people-centered; because it is committed to lifting the people of the state out of poverty; because it is dedicated to making sure the state has a new face in terms of developing infrastructure and expanding the socio-economic of the state. And this is what everybody is seeing today. His achievements in the last two years are superb and excellent.
Yes, it is not easy to deliver on all the promises he made during the electioneering campaign at a go, but I believe that he will continue to do his best for the people. As we can all see, his administration is centered on four pillars; Education, Health, Security and Economic expansion, and he is already working effortlessly in that direction.
If you take a cursory look into his administration, you will realise that, in his first 365 days in office, GSM laid the proper foundation, which we can refer to as a blueprint for a new Oyo State. Look at the strides in infrastructure. Look at what he has done in the education sector. You and I know what he has been able to achieve as far as the security situation is concerned in Oyo State. We know that this state is relatively peaceful than ever, though some people may not understand now but later, they will appreciate the good works of GSM.
Que: A lot of people who know you very well also call you Ore Gomina, meaning Governor’s friend. What brought about the name?
Ans: (laughs) Actually, this question is a very funny one and if I tell you about the genesis, you will also laugh. It was a name given to me out of pity and derision as a result of the situation I found myself in that fateful day. Now, how did it happen? It happened precisely August 2019 when I was driving to a particular place and when I got to Mokola, my car developed a fault around that area. I alighted and asked some people around to help me push it so that it can work again. As they were pushing it for me, it was still not responding, and along the line, some of them who know me very well then started calling me names including ‘ore Gomina’ just to ridicule me. And this incident happened after GSM has already been inaugurated and they saw all the efforts I put into the emergence of my friend, GSM. So, that was how they tagged me that appellation, ‘ore Gomina’.
Que: As an acclaimed ‘Ore Gomina’, what have you benefitted from this government so far?
Ans: One thing is, one has to be very patient. Let me cite a case that happened under Senator Rashidi Ladoja when I was still with him in 2003. I think Engineers have a way of doing their things. Before I could benefit anything under Ladoja’s administration, it got to the last year of his administration.
The first year, there was nothing. In the second year too, nothing came up not until Supreme Court returned Baba Ladoja that I was fortunate to become Caretaker member along Hon Yinka Bibire in 2007. Allah knows best.
Most importantly, as a politician, you must have a means of livelihood because if you base all your life on politics, you may eventually regret it. Politics should be seen as a secondary matter or hobby. If you are expecting that the governor should do something for you, you will disappoint yourself. The most important thing is for the governor to make welfarism of the people as priority which GSM is doing in Oyo State. I am happy with that because people refered to him as Populist Governor. Whenever I post something about GSM on social media, some aggrieved people often call me GSM’s dog, sychophant, hypocrite and other unprintable names. I am not perturbed and remain undaunted. GSM blood flows in my vein.
I can tell you that the issue of 2023 Governorship Election is already settled with GSM because the good people of Oyo State are solidly behind him. Politics is a game of number BUT GSM I know will put smiles on the faces of Political class because they are his Political Envagelists. God will guide his paths to a resounding success in his desire to change Oyo State from Poverty to Posterity.