An Oyo State-based sociopolitical group, the Oyo Kajola Group (OKG) has told opposition elements in the state to back off a dead horse, declaring that they cannot defeat the governor of the state, Engr. ‘Seyi Makinde, with lies and needless religious sentiments.
The group maintained that it was sad and discouraging that the opposition parties, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state does not have a meaningful manifesto to woo the electorate in the state other than to heat up the polity with religious bias and lies.
A statement by the Media Coordinator of the Oyo Kajola Group, Mr. Adebayo Ayandele, indicated that all the lies, deceit and misinformation being spread by the APC would not help its candidate on Saturday, as Oyo State residents know better than to return the state to ‘factory setting’ after four years of massive achievements under Governor Makinde.
The group particularly wondered why individuals, whom it described as opportunistic politicians, are bringing a religious twist into the governorship race, warning residents of the state not to fall for cheap bias and petty politics being played by the opposition.
The statement read in part: “We have watched with amusement how the Oyo State governorship race is being reduced to a joke by the opposition All Progressives Congress and its lying machinery.
“The frustrated party has, in the last one week or thereabouts, made it a business to tell at least two lies a day to discredit Governor Makinde instead of telling Oyo State residents what its candidate will do differently.
“From phony allegations of non-existent fraud to false claims of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) endorsing their candidate, the APC, having discovered that it is out of the governorship contest already, has been pulling different tricks.
“We are aware that residents of the state have seen through their lies and have resolved to re-elect Governor Makinde for the continuity of the good works he started under Omituntun 1.0.
The group stated that despite the APC activating its vote-buying machinery by moving from house to house to share money, its candidate will fail woefully on Saturday.
The Oyo Kajola Group equally warned the APC candidate and his backers not to divide Oyo State with religion, noting that attempts to incite one religion against the other will not bring any good to Oyo State.
It queried why anyone in the 21st century would imagine that religion still has a place in politics, especially when Nigerians just voted in favour of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the presidential election.
The group warned Oyo State residents, saying that anyone who wants the development and prosperity of the state, which has been on offer since Makinde assumed office in 2019, will not fall for the selfish antics of politicians, who only remember their religion during election periods.
“Sadly, the APC candidate, whose ambition seems to be dead on arrival, is in the bracket of opportunistic politicians, who always remember their religion whenever election is around the corner.
“Folarin has been in panic mode for quite some time, especially with the cold shoulders he is getting from the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who we learnt is more disposed to Makinde and may have instructed key supporters to work for the governor. No wonder he has resorted to activating the unhelpful religious card.
“We have it on good authority that the APC candidate and his backers have been spending more time shopping for the endorsement of Muslim leaders than they have spent campaigning in five months.
“While it is the right of every Nigerian to associate freely with any religion of their choice, it is ungodly and pure evil to instruct residents to vote along religious lines.
“The questions Folarin and his backers should answer are; what will they do for Muslims that Christians or traditionalists will not benefit and what has Makinde done for Christians that Muslims have been left out?
“We are aware that in four years, Makinde has been fair to all religions and has enjoyed the support of the Muslim Ummah, Christians leaders and traditionalists alike. If any of these bodies is supporting him, it is based on his achievements in office and not his religious affiliation.
“And this is what we would like residents of Oyo State to know as they elect their governor and House of Assembly members on Saturday; good governance has nothing to do with anyone’s religious profession.
“A Muslim who has done nothing tangible for Oyo State and the Muslim Ummah as a senator for 12 years CANNOT do any magic as governor; nobody can give what he does not have.
“So, while we sympathise with Folarin and his backers, having seen how the Oyo State governorship seat has become like a needle fallen from the hands of their lepers and how they will struggle unsuccessfully to win it, we plead with them not to cause disharmony among religious bodies and our people, who have always lived as one.”