The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; and the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party, Taofik Arapaja, on Thursday, mobilised their loyalists and the party’s candidates in the state for the party’s presidential rally held in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Makinde and Arapaja were, however, conspicuously absent at the rally addressed by the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The PUNCH reports that Makinde is one of the five PDP governors who have so far distanced themselves from Atiku’s campaign while calling for the resignation of Ayu as the party’s chairman.
At the rally held at ancient Mapo hall in Ibadan, however, Ayu said the leadership of the PDP under his watch has returned the party to ordinary Nigerians, adding that no single person or a group of people can control the party anymore.
While commending Makinde for mobilising the people for the rally, Ayu said, “Seyi Makinde is a strong PDP member. He is a member of the family and in the family, sometimes you have a disagreement, and sometimes you will have people who are not happy. As a father of all PDP in Nigeria, I am calling on all our aggrieved members to come back home.”
In his speech, Atiku also thanked Makinde, party candidates and loyalists in the state for ensuring that the rally was well organised.
He promised to restructure Nigeria and give autonomy to both states and local governments if elected.
Atiku said the All Progressives Congress had failed in all ramifications hence the need to vote the party out on February 25, adding that no single promise was fulfilled since APC assumed office about eight years ago.
Meanwhile, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has advised Atiku and other party leaders to do everything within their power to reconcile with Makinde before the elections.
Speaking through the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Tajudeen Ajibola, Olubadan, who played host to Atiku and members of his delegation at his Alarere residence, told him to bring about genuine reconciliation between him and all the aggrieved members of the party before the elections.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State hinted at the fears of the reconciliation process between the G-5 governors and the party failing, saying that the national leadership of the party should be blamed because no measures were put in place to placate them.
Ortom also said that arrogance, impunity, and mischief engendered matters in the reconciliation process, and the governors would have expected humility.
The governor disclosed this in an interview with journalists on Thursday on issues relating to the rift in the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“No efforts by the leadership of our party have been able to address the issues that we are raising. They have not been able to adopt methods that will placate the G5, you know. This is not right. So, on the G5, that is where we are,” he said.