Makinde Hosts Tinubu, Wike Rejects Peace Move with Atiku
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has declared that the people of the state will vote for a presidential candidate whose election will promote equity, justice, and unity in Nigeria.
Makinde made the statement on Thursday during a courtesy call by the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, on the sidelines of the party’s campaign rally in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Makinde is one of the five governors on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are aggrieved with the presidential candidate of their party, Atiku Abubakar. The governors, operating under the name PDP G-5 governors or Integrity Group, include Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu State, and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
On Wednesday, Wike hosted Tinubu, the rival party’s presidential candidate, while the PDP had to cancel Atiku’s scheduled campaign rally in Rivers State, citing fear of attack or violence.
Makinde urged Tinubu to feel free to campaign in the state and assured him that everything had been done to ensure the event was peaceful and hitch-free. He added that his administration believed in putting people first, stating that “political players will come and go, but the country will remain.”
Speaking on the position of the G-5 and the challenges facing the PDP leadership, Makinde said, “If they (G-5) have to choose between their individual aspiration and the unity of the country, they will choose Nigeria’s unity.”
He stated that the Integrity Group monitored the APC presidential primary that produced Tinubu as a candidate and commended the position taken by the northern governors. He said, “There has to be inclusiveness by all sections of the country in power-sharing if the country must progress. If the country does not survive, how can anyone aspire to be anything in that country?”
Meanwhile, Wike, in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said the G-5 governors had crossed the rubicon and were no longer disposed to brokering peace with the PDP national leadership. Wike explained that contrary to insinuations that the G-5 governors were working at cross-purposes, the group had remained intact, and their impact would be felt in the aftermath of the February 25 presidential election.
The governor noted that none of the G-5 governors attended Atiku’s rally in their states. He said, “Forget about what people are saying, the 25th is here. Everybody will see it. We can’t do that again. It’s over. We have said it, and there is nothing anybody can do about it now.”
Wike, who hosted Tinubu and other APC leaders in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, declined to mention his preferred presidential candidate.
The upcoming Nigerian presidential election has become a battleground between the APC and the PDP, with various candidates and alliances vying for the top office. The election is slated for February 25, and tensions are high as the country’s future hangs in the balance.