From Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan) & Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos)
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, on Wednesday, declared their support for the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, saying the governor of the state, Seyi Makinde, was only speaking for himself.
Governor Makinde had on Saturday, during a radio programme, said he and other aggrieved PDP governors would not work for the presidential candidate of the party for some reasons.
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He said a northerner cannot complete eight years tenure and also return power to the North for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to take over.
But speaking at an emergency meeting of the leaders of the party from the 33 LGAs of the state, the former minister of Mines and Steel Development, Elder Wole Oyelese, said Makinde was not speaking for the party in the state but for himself.
He said PDP leaders would work and deliver the state for Atiku in 2023.
Oyelese said; “A good politician would not speak like that. For Makinde to say he would not work for Atiku doesn’t mean anything. He is on his own. It is an empty threat.
“If he said we should not vote for Atiku, who are we voting for? We are too sophisticated for that in Oyo State. Makinde is a new comer in Oyo State politics but we shall continue to work for our party.”
Also speaking, a foremost party leader, Engr. Femi Babalola, said the governor is also guilty of the points he raised against the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Meanwhile, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, has said the South-West is now out of the equation in the current power sharing arrangement in the PDP.
He stressed that rationality and respect for all tribes must prevail in the party’s march towards the 2023 elections.
According to him, the earlier the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, did the needful by stepping down, the better for the party’s campaign to take shape.
Speaking with Daily Trust, yesterday, George stated that as the Atona of Oodua of Yorubaland, he cannot keep quiet when the tribe was being cheated out of the political equation in the state.
He said, “What do we tell our people in Yorubaland? The presidential candidate is from North East, the director general of the campaign is from North West, national chairman is from North-Central, let’s say acting chairman of the Board of Trustees which is nothing, is from South-East, vice-presidential candidate is from South-South. What are you bringing to Yorubaland?
“I just pray that we would not regret this nonsense. 24 hours in politics is a long time. I hope rationality, sensibility and respect for all the tribes of this country would play a major part in their position.
“South-West is completely out. Does that make a national sense? In the constitution, everybody is important.”
Bode George has aligned with the G5 governors in the party led by Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State to call for the resignation of Ayu following the emergence of a northerner as the presidential candidate of the party.