Oyo PMS: After the Reggae, play the Blues

Harrysong in his 2015 hit song, “Reggae Blues” inspired the title of this piece and while this is neither about Harrysong nor about music, you should know however that just like the track, this piece should take you about five minutes to read. Shall we? 

Reggae and blues are both musical genres, but they have distinct characteristics and origins. Reggae, a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s is characterized by its use of syncopated rhythms, strong bass lines and a focus on social and political issues. The music is often associated with Rastafarianism and its lyrics often include themes of unity, love, and freedom. 

Blues, on the other hand, is a genre of music that originated in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterized by its use of the blues scale, the use of the 12-bar blues chord progression, and lyrics that often reflect personal struggles and hardships. Blues music is often considered the foundation of many other genres of music, such as rock and roll, jazz, and country. In summary, reggae and blues are two different genres of music with distinct characteristics and origins. Suffice to say that after dancing ‘reggae’, it is expected that a more soothing ‘blues’ be played to serenade the listeners and dancers on any dance floor, a better part two of something, so to say.

In this article, “reggae” represents the lack luster first episode of the Oyo State Park Management System from inception in 2020 to early 2023 as witnessed by residents of the Pace setter State with respect to the perceived conduct of the erstwhile chairman of its disciplinary committee. 

The “blues” however represents the latest moves by Oyo State government to restructure via widening the PMS membership and thereby getting the hitherto ‘notorious’ crop to play by the rules within the ambits of the law while earnestly looking out for the residents to dance to new love tunes from the newly upgraded PMS juke box.

Still basking in the Omituntun 2.0 euphoria in the air and partially wet from the downpour at the historic Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, news filtered in sometime around afternoon of May 29, 2023 that His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde (FNSE, DSc, GSSRS) of Oyo State had dissolved the disciplinary committee of the Park Management System (PMS) in the state, coming just few hours after the governor took oath of office for his second term. “I have the directive of the Executive Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde to inform you of the dissolution of the Disciplinary Committee, Park Management System with immediate effect from today, Monday, 29th May, 2023,” the statement read. This act, genuinely triggered some panic buttons in the ancient capital city of Ibadan and the subsequent events that ensued in the following couple of days in the city, left very little to desire.

The park management system was introduced in February, 2020 by Governor ‘Seyi Makinde after he proscribed all activities of the erstwhile National Union of Road Transport Union (NURTW) in the state on May 31, 2019, just a couple of days after being sworn in as Governor for his first term in office. 

The average public perception of the PMS in Oyo State since inception in 2020 has however been more of a potpourri of happiness that NURTW and its attendant shenanigans was done away with as well as an unfortunate paucity of the obstreperous character in the person of the erstwhile chairman, disciplinary committee of the establishment. Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi a.k.a Auxiliary, had his moments and one could arguably say of his persona that he was wonderfully and ‘fearfully’ made. It was however not surprising that he chose to react to the news of the dissolution of his committee in line with the same modus operandi which he had become renowned for over the years. He sure played a number of reggae tunes for many to forcefully dance via his chosen lifestyle. 

It is pertinent to emphasize the numerous behind-the-scene efforts of notable individuals such as Balogun ‘Seye Famojuro, who with the blessing of the Governor, deftly midwifed the hugely commendable process of bringing on board all erstwhile warring factions that hitherto represented splinter commercial vehicle driver groups in Oyo State. 

The Thursday, 1st of June, 2023 landmark town hall event, co-facilitated by Fresh FM and Oyo State government was Chaired by the erudite scholar, Professor Duro Adeleke, a Former Head, Department of Linguistics and African Languages at the University of Ibadan, notable elder statesmen in Oyo State who contributed at the event included former deputy governor and current deputy national chairman of the PDP, HE Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, the Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters at the Oyo State House of Assembly, others are Senator Ayoola Agboola and Dr. Saka Balogun, the Chairman, ALGON Oyo state; Hon Sikiru Sanda and other local Government Chairmen were also present.  Service commanders were also on hand to issue caution to the transporters, warning them of dire consequences if and when they flout the law of the land. 

The live broadcast event which held at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Buildings, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, served to provide a viable platform for all stakeholders involved, giving them ample opportunity to vent their grievances and make workable suggestions towards ensuring a better, robust, better serving and law abiding PMS in the Pace setter State. 

It featured a no-holds-barred session where previous and current factional leaders of various transport groups came forward to ventilate while also helping to proffer meaningful solutions to the issue on ground. 

The event clearly went a long way to help galvanize the process which was almost a done deal as at then but desperately in need of such quorum for formality and record purposes. Putting into perspective the world class Bus terminals (comprising the duo already completed and in use, as well as those under construction), one can not but give worthy kudos to Governor Seyi Makinde for such strategic move and being able to pull off such laudable achievement in the transport sector of the State. 

Oyo State government has since reconstituted the Park Management System with the erstwhile secretary, Alhaji Tomiwa ‘Tommy’ Omolewa now tasked with leading the team comprising notable former leaders from the defunct NURTW and others.

Finally, it is therefore appropriately in order to openly make a concerted request of the newly constituted Alhaji Tomiwa ‘Tommy’ Omolewa led Oyo State PMS and here it goes… 

“Alhaji, after the ‘Reggae’ (of Auxiliary), play the ‘Blues’ of a peaceable and professional Park Management System for all and sundry in Oyo State.”

Oladayo Ogunbowale is the official Compere and erstwhile S.A. Communications to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

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