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Politics of Sunday, 4 June 2023


Makinde expresses readiness to end rift with PDP, Atiku, others

Governor Seyi Makinde Governor Seyi Makinde

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has expressed commitment to settle the rift between himself, the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Mr Makinde made this known in his opening remarks at the retreat organised for elected PDP officials which held in Bauchi State on Saturday.

The governor did not mention names, though he assured that reconciliation process will start immediately.

Mr Makinde was one of the five governors of the PDP who demanded the resignation of the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, as a condition for supporting the presidential ambition of Atiku in the last election.

The G-5 governors was headed by former governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

Other members were former Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and Samuel Ortom of Benue.

They argued that since Atiku is a northerner, as Mr Ayu, the latter should resign, to allow a southerner assume the position of national chairman.

Analysts, as well as some members of the PDP, believe Mr Ayu’s refusal to step aside as demanded by the governors, contributed largely to the party’s failure at the presidential poll.

Drilling election

In his opening remarks at PDP retreat, Mr Makinde, who, alongside Mr Wike and former Delta governor, James Ibori, visited President Bola Tinubu on Friday at the State House, admitted that the crisis among them made the party go through a drilling election.

“I would like to point something out. First we went through a drilling election and whether we want to admit or not, we have issues among ourselves during the elections but you know what, … and the healing process would start now,” he said.

The governors urged leaders and governors of the party to focus on whatever will assist them to reunite.

“We must focus on things that will unite us. We must as a matter of urgency be forward looking. We have to tell ourselves the whole truth.

“One thing I can say is that for the governors of PDP that are present here, I will say that the governors are willing. They are ready; they are able to play a stabilising role in this party.

“And let me end by saying that the government will come and go but our country will remain and as a responsible opposition, we must, where it is required, do this in the interest of this country.

“If there is no Nigeria, there is no us. So it is safer to accept a chance that offers itself and extemporize it as a procedure to fit it rather than making plans mature and then we’re waiting for an opportunity to use that plan.”

It is not clear if Mr Makinde’s position is shared by the other members of the G-5.


Responding to the governorship candidate of the PDP in Kogi State, Dino Melaye, challenged Mr Makinde to appear at the Presidential Election Tribunal in Abuja as evidence that he is ready for reconciliation.

“I just want to start appreciating the comment of Governor Seyi Makinde this morning, particularly when he said healing starts now and the way to start that healing is….I will be glad if between now and next week and two weeks that we’ll be at the tribunal to see Governor Seyi Makinde walk into the tribunal venue and down to support the party, our candidate and to demonstrate to Nigerians that the healing has started, to demonstrate to the world that PDP is united. That will show that the healing has truly started.

“And not just Governor Seyi, any of our governors, it is time for us to take the tribunal seriously. We should not just allow only our lawyers to attend this tribunal. Please, if you find yourself you can stroll in and spend 30 minutes, one hour and let the world know that there is a new PDP that is big, that is strong and reliable and we are one indivisible party and we are supporting this tribunal to take over power,” Mr Melaye said.