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G5 govs tell Makinde to announce preferred presidential candidate

Supporters of the Group of Five (G-5) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors are to wait a little longer to know who to vote as president on February 25.

They were kept guessing yesterday at Governor Seyi Makinde’s re-election campaign kicked off In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

G-5 leader and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who urged PDP members to vote Makinde at the governorship and others candidates at the National and State Assembly polls, said the Oyo governor will announce who they should vote for at the presidential election.

Wike and the G-5 governors – Makinde (Oyo); Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuayi, have vowed not to support PDP presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, because of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as the party’s National Chairman.

The campaign, which held at the historic Mapo Hall, attracted huge crowds of PDP members and supporters from across the state.

There were heightened expectations from those sympathetic to the G-5 governors’ cause that a candidate of choice for the presidential poll would be unveiled at the Ibadan rally.

Appealing to the members and supporters to vote for all the candidates of the party for the National and State Assembly elections, Wike excluded the party’s presidential candidate.

The Rivers helmsman assured that Makinde, whom he described as the G-5 Youth Leader, would announce their preferred presidential candidate to them later.

Some pro-Atiku supporters, led by one-time Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, chanted ‘Atiku, Atiku’ to protest the exclusion of the presidential standard bearer in the list of candidates reeled out by the governors, who took turns to address the crowd.

Wike, who also vigorously explained why Makinde should be allowed a second term in the state, advised all other parties’ candidates for the election to step down for Makinde.

He said: “There is no other party in Oyo State. People of Oyo State, let me thank you for making your son valuable; a young man who is dependable; a young man who you can trust; a young man who can make you go home and sleep with your two eyes closed; a young man whose yes is yes, and whose no is no. And that is why he follows those who believe in fairness, in equity and in justice.

“Seyi Makinde is a good product and has done well since he was given mandate in 2019 and therefore, the only way we can appreciate more is for him to go back and complete the good work he has started because that is the only way you will get the best out of him.

“Let me use this opportunity and tell everyone, if there’s anyone from another party planning to vote now, withdraw now for Seyi Makinde. There is no need to worry yourselves; the people of Oyo have spoken that they are voting for Makinde.

“Vote for Seyi; vote for the senators; vote for the House of Representatives; vote for the House of Assembly. The other one, Seyi will talk to you. The other one, Seyi will talk to you. The other one, Seyi will talk to you. When it is time, Seyi will talk to you.”

Ortom said: “We are here today to seek Oyo people’s mandate for Makinde to go back to government house. We believe in fairness, equity and justice. We are committed to PDP in our various states. We are united; we are working for all our candidates in our various states.”

Ugwuanyi said Makinde has performed well and deserve to be re-elected.

Ikpeazu lauded members of the party for reposing confidence in its candidates in Oyo, describing Makinde as the youth leader among the G-5 governors.

He said: “Makinde represented their vision for better Nigeria where everybody is important. What people of the state would see in the first year of the second term of the governor would be better than what they have seen in the last four years of his administration in the state.”

Thanking the Oyo electorate, Makinde noted that he had delivered on his promises to the state in the last four years of his administration.

He said: “Under Omituntun 1.0 (Fresh Water), I promised you education sector, we collected LAUTECH back. Now, we have Emmanuel Alayande University of Education.

“Under Omituntun 1.0, I promised Oyo State economic prosperity. I said we will take our people from poverty to prosperity under accelerated development. We took our IGR from N1.8 billion in a month to N3.8 billion as at November 2021 under our administration.

“I assured the people that our infrastructure will integrate all the zones in our state – Ogbomoso to Iseyin; Akobo, Airport Road. I said our education levy will be scraped, has it been scraped or not?

“I promised to pay salary of workers and pensioners every month. I promised the people a safe and secured environment. I invented Amotekun Corps. Didn’t I do well.

“Under Omituntun 1.0, I promised a government that will put the people of Oyo state first and I have always made that decision. Now it is time to upgrade; it is time for Omituntun 2.0.”

Some of the dignitaries at the event include: former Governors Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti); Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Oyo Deputy Governor Bayo Lawal; Makinde’s wife Tamunominini Makinde; PDP National Vice Chairman (South) Taofek Arapaja; Chief of Staff to Oyo Governor, Segun Ogunwuyi; Oyo PDP Chairman Dayo Ogungbenro; Oyo PDP Secetrary Wasiu Adeleke; Senator Hosea Agboola and members of the PDP State Working Committee as well as the PDP Women and Youth leaders in the Pacesetter State.

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