Some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have alleged that the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, is secretly meeting and working for Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate, against the stance of the five aggrieved governors.
Recall that Makinde and governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) had resigned their membership of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in September 2022 in protest of Iyorchia Ayu’s continued stay as the national chairman of the party.
The aggrieved governors, who formed the Integrity Group, were expected to name their preferred candidate in January 2023 but their inability to agree on a common choice has left them unable to declare their stand.
However, in an interview with Punch, a member of the National Executive Committee of PDP, Diran Odeyemi, described Makinde as a smart politician, saying that he is working for himself because of his political future.
Odeyemi said, Makinde financed Atiku’s rally in Oyo State contrary to public perception that he was working against the interest of the party.
According to him, “governor Makinde is playing smart and working for himself. He financed Atiku’s rally in Oyo state. All his men, apart from Taofeek Arapaja, the Deputy National Chairman (South), were at that rally and they all pledged their loyalty to the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.”
In the same vein, a former governor of one of the North-West states said Makinde is aware of Oyo state residents’ choice and he cannot dump Atiku since he is also on the ballot.
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He alleged that Seyi Makinde had a secret meeting with Atiku where both men agreed to work together.
He said, “Politics is reality. You don’t burn the bridge when you have crossed to the other side because soon, you will need it to return. The message was clear when at the flag-off of the governor’s campaign rally, chants of Atiku filled the air. Governor Wike was there as well as the other members of their group.
“The governor knows the choice before his people. Being on the ballot, he knows he can’t dump Atiku just like that. I am aware that he had a secret meeting with Atiku recently where both men agreed to work together”
The party’s deputy national youth leader, Timothy Osadolor, described Makinde as a smart young man who knew when to strike for his good and has since left Wike in his shenanigans.
He said: “Governor Makinde is a very smart young man. Give it to him, he knows when to say yes and when to say no. He knows when to talk and when to keep mum. He has since left Wike in his shenanigans.
“Makinde is seeing the handwriting on the wall and he is making his moves. The only person who is still in doubt is Governor Wike and as an outgoing governor, we wish him the best.
“Nigerians know for a fact that Atiku is the next President of this country. Seyi is close to his people in Oyo and the people know that their yearning for good governance will be realised with Atiku than with any other candidate. That was what the people demonstrated when the governor kicked off his re-election campaign.”