The recent endorsement of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde is raising storms within the fold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Daily Trust on Sunday reports.
All is not well with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State. The recent endorsement of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming general elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, climaxed the almost four years cold war in Oyo State chapter of the party.
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The crisis started shortly after Governor Seyi Makinde was elected with support of coalition parties in 2019, hence many of the party stalwarts defected to the opposition parties when their agreements could not be fulfilled.
The governor, who usually says that he has no leader in the state, however argued that those who worked for him to become a governor have been paid for their roles.
Among those who defected were his close political associate and a respected politician in the state, Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan; a former House of Representatives majority leader, Alhaja Mulikat Adeola-Akande; a grassroots mobiliser, Ademola Omotosho; an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola; an elder statesman, elder Nureni Akanbi; among other notable politicians in the state.
Other aggrieved members who remained in the party have at one time or the other insisted that they would work against the party at the poll.
At the moment, many PDP members are angry with the statement made by Makinde that he would not support the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The APC spokesman in the state, Wasiu Sadare, told Daily Trust on Sunday that though he has not come out to pronounce his support for Tinubu but Seyi Makinde was on his own.
He said; “He has not come out to say that he is supporting Asiwaju but if he does, we will appreciate it. But as for us, we are focused, mobilising, and canvassing for vote for Asiwaju Bola Ammed Tinubu and we are confident of his victory.”
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that some local government legislative members from Saki West Local Government Area of the state last week took the governor to the cleaners for the comment that he would be supporting APC presidential candidate.
A former minister of Mines and Steel Development, Elder Wole Oyelese, said he has been appointed by the party leadership at the national level to serve as the chairman of the party campaign council in Oyo State and he has been mandated to restructure the party in the state.
Governor Makinde had on Saturday, during a live radio programme, said himself and other aggrieved PDP governors would not work for the presidential candidate of the party for some reasons.
Makinde had on the radio programme said a northerner cannot complete eight years tenure and also return power to the North for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to take over. He also argued that the national chairman of the party cannot come from the North and the presidential candidate also emerge from the North.
Oyelese, who frowned at the statement made by the governor while hosting elders and leaders of the party across the 33 local government of the state in his Bodija country home, described the governor as an ingrate for his action against the party and leadership of the party in recent time.
The elder statesman said; “Seyi is an ingrate. He has forgotten how some hoodlums almost killed the two of us during his electioneering campaign when I took him round to visit the leaders and elders of PDP in the state. He is a very selfish politician. He is making mistakes because he had betrayed those who assisted him to become governor. We thank God he is making mistakes at this stage. If he had been the one to bring Atiku to Oyo State, he could have wrecked havoc before the election.”
Oyelese said Atiku is hungry to take Nigeria to a higher level and ready to unify Nigeria.
“Atiku is hungry for better Nigeria. As we speak today, we have 400 support groups for Atiku in Oyo State. Atiku has mandated me to bring up another PDP structure in Oyo State. I can assure you that by God’s grace, Oyo State will vote massively for Atiku and he will win the state.
“We don’t need to go through anyone to see our president because we have a direct link with him. So, I invited you elders and leaders to intimate you that we have enormous task ahead of us. All of you will work and reap your fruit unlike the one we are doing at the moment in Oyo State.”
Corroborating his remarks, foremost party leader, Engr. Femi Babalola said the governor is also guilty of the points he raised against the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Babalola said; “He that comes to equity must come with clean hands. As an Engineer, I analyse issues. The first question I asked myself was is it good for a northerner to take over from a northerner? And another question is that is it good for an Ibadan man to take over from Ibadan man that spent eight years? So, for Makinde that benefited from such, why is he now antagonising another person? He didn’t see anything wrong in that but when it is Atiku, it is wrong.”
Another leader from the Hausa community, Alhaji Saheed Mamood Saheed, said the Hausa community would work massively for Atiku in 2023.
“We must make sure we vote Atiku for the people to enjoy the dividends of democracy. Makinde betrayed us the northerners in Oyo State. We approached him on some of our markets which were shut for him to reopen them but he declined. Some of our people cannot go to market again. But our efforts shall be compensated when our president emerges.”
The secretary for the Oyo State PDP Coligate Management Council, Alhaja Mariam Motunrayo Alliyu, on her part, said people are surprised with the statement made by the governor of the state.
She said; “We thank God that Makinde has came out to tell us where he belongs. What if he didn’t tell us before the election? With this, we shall continue to prepare ourselves for the task.”
Also, a former Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, said in a statement that she would work for electoral victory of the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Akinjide said Atiku is “the only candidate with the competence for the herculean task to fix Nigeria and correct the disastrous eight years of APC misrule.”
Against the backdrop that Governor Seyi Makinde, who is an ally of the River State governor, Nyesom Wike, might not commit himself to ensuring Atiku’s victory in the state, the Akinjide-led group said its leaders and members are mobilising for the victory of Atiku and other PDP candidates in the state.
“After extensive deliberation today 3rd of November, 2022 at Ibadan, Oyo State, we, the NATIONAL MANDATE GROUP, Oyo State chapter, being PDP leaders and members who have joined together in support of our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, wish to state/clarify our position concerning the upcoming 2023 general election as follows:
“First and foremost, we appreciate the people of Oyo State for considering our party, the PDP, as the best option and voting for our candidates in both the gubernatorial and the presidential elections in 2019, and for your continued and undiminished support thereafter.
“We give our wholehearted and unshakeable resolve and commitment to support the PDP, Alhaji Atiku and indeed, all other PDP candidates during the upcoming 2023 general election. We are confident that Atiku Abubakar is the best qualified leader to rescue reform and restore Nigeria to greatness.
“The NMG elders and leaders hereby vehemently refute, disown and deny any suggestion that the Oyo State PDP will support any candidate other than Atiku Abubakar for the presidency of Nigeria.
“We deeply abhor and frown at any denigration or use of our Oyo State anthem, of which we are justly proud, and which is the heritage of all Oyo State citizens regardless of religious or political affiliation, to imply support for any candidate whosoever vying for political office.
“It is totally unacceptable and demeaning to reduce the Oyo State anthem in the service of mere partisan politics. Our state anthem speaks of our rich and God given front line position as the pathfinder state and should remain inviolable and unsullied,” the group said.