Makinde Facing Flaks over Political Jamboree


Pitching tent with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in the crisis in Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, faces strident criticism over his political jamboree within and outside the country. Kemi Olaitan writes

For four months now that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elected its presidential candidate in the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at its national convention in Abuja, it is no longer news that the main opposition party has been engrossed in fracas with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his camp that include serving and former governors and other leaders, behind the threat to its unity.

From London to major cities in the country prominent stakeholders led by Atiku himself had continue to engage in various meetings to pacify Wike and his camp to no avail raising question about the self-acclaimed appellation of Atiku as a unifier. The governors with Wike who had consistently insisted that the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, must resign his position, for a member from the South,to take over to ensure inclusivity of members, are Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.

With many analysts believing that redemption is becoming the last thing on top of the mind of the key dramatis personae in the party which held sway in the country for 16 years, the shocking but expected position of Wike and his group last Wednesday that they would not participate in the campaign council of Atiku Abubakar, until the resignation of Ayu, has further reinforced that. The former deputy national chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, who read the position, after a long meeting held at Governor Wike’s private residence, near Port Harcourt, maintained that their position was not negotiable as the chairmanship of Ayu undermined the unity and constitution of the party.

While accusing Ayu of compromising the May 28 and 29, 2022 presidential primaries of the party through his conduct, they said the published presidential campaign council list was tantamount to putting the cat before the horse, noting that they were worried over the division in the party and its internal mechanism need to brace up to the challenges.

George said, “We resolve that we are deeply concerned by the division in our party. We are aware that over the years our party has developed conflict resolution mechanisms that guarantee inclusiveness.The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cat before the horse. The pertinent issue remains the resolution of the leadership which is a departure of Senator Iyorchia Ayu must resign as the National Chairman of the party for an acting Chairman of the Southern Nigerian extraction to emerge and lead the party on the national campaign.

“Consequently, we resolve not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.”

Among the governors backing Wike, one person whose face has been consistent in all the meetings held with the camp within and outside the country, was Governor Makinde of Oyo state. Indeed, for political observers in the pace setter state, it is in the realm of conjecture not to believe that the engineer turned politician who is seeking a second term in office, has abandoned not only governance but the state as he is now more seen in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, than Ibadan, his own base. Apart from featuring in virtually all the meetings, he was to be part of those who spoke with journalists at the last meeting of the camp in Port Harcourt.

The governor at the meeting, said : “We hope that the powers that be listen to the voice of reason and do the needful.”

Indeed, to show that he meant business in facing political business rather than governance, Governor Makinde, was to in early August took three-week leave and handing over to his new deputy, Barrister Bayo Lawal. And abandoning the state for political meetings to many analysts is an unwholesome development portraying him as one who is does not care about the people who elected him into office.

 It is also believed that Governor Makinde is wasting the state resources on most of the trips outside the state either within or outside the country with no benefit coming to the people of the state.

Worried by the development in the pace setter state, the main opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), derided the Governor Makinde-led administration, stating that it has failed woefully. Apparently miffed that the governor has turned himself to a visitor, it accused Makinde of blindly following Wike with nothing to show for it in the state.

The party in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, charged  prospective voters in the state to be wary of what it described as “fake and deceitful record of achievements which Governor Seyi Makinde and his team have packaged with a view to using it as campaign documents and thus mislead the public including the hapless electorate.”

He said the quest for another term by the governor is an affront targeted at the good people of the state who have gained little or nothing from his administration in the last 40 months.

His words, “The governor had left no one in doubt of what his priority would be when he abandoned preparation of governance blueprint for inauguration day rehearsal as well as euphoria of occupying the governor’s seat. He would later nail it with his uninspiring inaugural address which got many people disappointed as he failed to convince the world that he was prepared to raise the bar from the legacies of the Sage- Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Bola Ige, Lam Adesina, Abiola Ajimobi and others.

“Forty months after, the full reality has dawned on the people that the PDP administration of Governor Seyi Makinde has nothing to offer except window dressing, grandstanding and misappropriation of scarce resources. We now have an administration which has brought governance to a ridiculous level as against the traditional sterling performances which almost all the chief occupants of Agodi Government House have recorded in their respective times.

“Today, we have a government which prefers empowerment of miscreants to creation of enabling environment for investors to engage our teeming unemployed youths. We have a government which does not only celebrate cosmetic projects done at inflated cost but also mobilizes hirelings and praise-singers for orchestration. As a matter of fact, Governor Makinde’s administration would occupy a good space in the history of bad governance and clueless government in the whole world.

“States such as Ebonyi, Borno, Osun, Gombe and Kaduna earn far less in terms of federal allocations and internally generated revenue but the value which their respective governors have added in the last three years is a pointer to the fact that Oyo state has been on a downward slope since June 2019. For the avoidance of doubt, we challenge Governor Makinde to name any of the key sectors of the economy where he has performed exceptionally since he came into office.

“Interestingly, the song on the lips of conscious and discerning indigenes and residents of Oyo state is that Governor Makinde should endeavour to stop further desecration of the Pacesetter status of the state. Even if he cannot pick any good thing from Governor Wike who is obviously his Godfather, he should desist from acting like an aide to his Rivers state colleague henceforth. We would also like to put it on record that Governor Makinde’s quest to be relevant at the level of national politics is ill-advised and a clear indication that he does not have any serious thing to do with governance again in the state.

“The good people of Oyo state are tired of deceit, cronyism and noise making in exchange for creativity, responsibility and responsiveness. It is on this note that we are calling on voters in the state not to be swayed by the packaged media noise and fake record of achievements expected from the camp of Oyo PDP and Governor Makinde in the coming days as we go into electioneering campaigns ahead of the next general election because once bitten, twice shy.”

A former member of the House of Representatives, representing Ibadan South West/Ibadan North West, Hon. Saheed Akinjabi, speaking in the same vein, said it is obvious the governor is confused and has left even members of his party more confused because they do not know who to follow, accusing him of following Wike up and down as he does not have a mind of his own.

With time as the arbiter of where the crisis in the PDP would end, analysts believed that the fate of Governor Makinde is in the hands of the people of Oyo State as they go out to vote in the next six months during the gubernatorial election in the pace setter state.

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