Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has stated that it was too early for him to speak on support for the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The governor, who stated this during the Town Hall Meeting held at the Saki Parapo Hall, Saki, said talks with the party leadership are still ongoing.
He added that the grouse of his colleagues in the G5 including Nyesome Wike (Rivers), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) is to ensure that the interests of everyone is protected in the party.
The governors have been at daggers drawn with Atiku since the conclusion of the party’s presidential primaries in May over their insistence that Ayu steps down for a member of the party from the southern part of the country.
Efforts made by the Atiku camp to make the aggrieved governors have a change of mind have yielded no result as they have consistently boycotted Atiku’s campaign rallies.
He said: “Regarding the presidential election; someone said I should speak out but that time has not come. One day is a long time in politics. I know what he wants me to say, he wants me to say who we will support in the presidential election.
“Let me tell you that we are still talking and politics is a game of interests. By the grace of God, I will still be the governor in the next four years, but there are many appointments at the federal level. If Oyo State’s interest is not protected; you know I cannot be governor and minister at the same time, it is some of you. But I am in the best position today to project and protect the interest of all of us.
“So, we are still talking. It is not yet time and it has a reason. But I plead with you; the federal election will not hang in the air, the polling units to wards to local government to states make up the federal level. So, our work is really from the grassroots. Let us go to our polling units, wards and organise ourselves at the local government levels. At the state level, we will do everything within our power.”
The governor had, earlier on Monday, at the Consultative Meeting with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders, held at the OYSADA Hall, Saki, informed party faithful that his administration would continue to meet their yearnings in terms of governance, project delivery and improvement of the welfare of party loyalists.
He, however, urged the electorate in the axis to support all candidates of the PDP in the 2023 general election, stating that he is happy that reconciliation efforts in the state have been successful so far adding that everyone needs to be on the same page for the success of the party.
The governor called for vigilance and patience from party members ahead of the elections, noting that he would address all aspirations.
Governor Makinde, who refunded all aspirants who purchased forms for 2023 elections but lost out in the party primaries, also said the six councils in the axis would be given a bus each, which would be handed over to the Campaign Coordinators, who must then return them to the party after the March 11 governorship election.
In his speech, the Okere of Saki, Oba Olabisi, lauded the governor over the various projects he has executed in Saki and other parts of Oke Ogun.
He maintained that the area has never had it so good under any administration, declaring that Oke Ogun will always be grateful to the governor.