The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, on Thursday boycotted the People’s Democratic Party presidential campaign rally held by Atiku Abubakar in Ibadan, the state capital.
Makinde is one of the five dissident governors of the PDP who have been staying away from Atiku’s campaigns.
The governors are demanding the resignation of the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, as a condition to support Atiku’s presidential ambition.
The rally held at Mapo Hall in Ibadan started around noon and ended around 4 p.m.
The presidential candidate, Atiku, and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, were accompanied to the rally by five state governors.
They were Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
National leaders of the party that attended the rally included former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, the wife of the presidential candidate, Titi Abubakar, and a former senator from Kogi State, Dino Melaye.
Governor Adeleke, while addressing the rally, expressed optimism that the PDP presidential candidate will be victorious in all the six South West states in the election.
The party currently has only two governors in the region, including Adeleke who was elected in July 2022 after defeating the incumbent governor of the All Progressives Congress, Adegboyega Oyetola.
“I have seen the high level of turnout and goodwill the PDP enjoys across Yorubaland. This was demonstrated in Osun State when I was massively voted into office. The light of grace started in Osun and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is spreading it to all parts of South West and Nigeria.
“Yorubas will support Atiku/Okowa candidacy because he is the most experienced, most tested, and the most stable to protect the interests of all Nigerians. Yorubas want an all-inclusive Nigeria and only Atiku can deliver on that.
“Osun State will vote PDP, same for Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, and Lagos States. Atiku’s blueprint is the only one that can take Nigeria out of the woods,” Governor Adeleke declared.
Governor Adeleke urged Nigerians to vote massively for the PDP presidential candidate in the February presidential election.
Indications have emerged on Wednesday that Makinde will not attend the presidential rally on Thursday.
It was gathered that National Assembly candidates of the party in the state were confused on whether to attend the campaign or not.
It was further learnt that Makinde had not gotten signal from the leader of the aggrieved party’s governors known as G-5 led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to attend the event.
Unlike when the G-5 Governors visited Ibadan a few days ago, there was nothing welcoming Atiku and the PDP leaders to Ibadan.
Also, the decoration of Mapo Hall, venue of the event, and other logistics were not handled by the Makinde administration.
It would be recalled that former governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and some of his loyalists, especially those contesting senatorial and House of Representatives seats on the platform of the party shunned the rally in Ekiti.
Makinde and four other governors of Rivers, Benue, Abia and Enugu were not disposed to the campaign of the former vice-president following his insistence that the party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu would not vacate his seat as national chairman of the PDP.