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How Governor Makinde Withdrew Support For Tinubu Last Minute After Alleged Payment For Mobilisation For Presidential Election, Asked Oyo Residents To Vote Atiku

Makinde gave the advice in a newsletter obtained by SaharaReporters which was shared on Thursday, two days to the poll.

Contrary to the beliefs of many people, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo urged his supporters to vote and support all candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from “top to bottom” in last’s Saturday general elections.


Makinde gave the advice in a newsletter obtained by SaharaReporters which was shared on Thursday, two days to the poll.

“Contrary to widespread insinuations that the victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Oyo State, a state under the control of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was facilitated by the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, available evidence seem to have trashed such thoughts,” a source said.


“Recall that Asiwaju Tinubu, from results announced by Prof. Olusola Babatunde, the State Collation Officer for Presidential Election (SCOPE), on Monday, 27 February, polled 449,884 to defeat PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, who polled 182,977, and Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP), who polled 99,110, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), polled 4,095 to come fourth. Prof. Babatunde had also added that a total of 851,956 were cast, with 809,485 valid and 42,471 rejected.”


The action of the governor however deviated from his previous stance not to support the election of Atiku.


Makinde, alongside four other governors in the PDP (popularly known as the G-5) has for months campaigned against the party’s presidential candidate.


The newsletter by the governor to the PDP supporters read, “So, if you still have any undecided voters on your list, this is the time to call them up and help them decide to vote for the PDP from top to bottom in Oyo state.


“By next time I write you, we will, barring any electoral reruns, have a new President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Vote wisely, this Saturday, so we do not have a repeat of the pains and suffering we have experience in the last eight years.”


Makinde had all along given the impression that due to his membership of the G5, he would be working for Tinubu’s emergence, by either failing to mobilise substantially for Atiku, or mobilizing discreetly for Tinubu.


The governor failed to attend the PDP presidential rally held in Ibadan on Thursday, 19 January, 2023 but was on hand to receive the APC candidate (now president-elect) with his team on Thursday, 16 February, 2023, where he informed his guests that Oyo people will vote without sentiments in the elections.


He added famously that the country must exist first before politics.


On Tinubu’s entourage were former Governors of Osun State (Bisi Akande and Gboyega Oyetola), Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare; House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; former Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankoke, Dr. Betta Edu and others.


Makinde had said: “Players will come and go, but our country will remain. So, we, the G5 and Integrity Group, are saying that if we have to choose between the unity of this country and our political aspirations, we will choose the unity of this country.


“So, I alluded to the sacrifices made by our colleagues, the governors of the APC from the Northern part of the country, because we also monitored your emergence and they sacrificed some certain things for the unity of the country. We have to move on as a people.”


However, despite all of these posturing, SaharaReporters learnt that the governor withdrew his support for Tinubu in the dying minutes.


“Owing to serious pressure from candidates within his party, and some of his loyalists, Makinde was forced to write in his newsletter, personally signed by him, and which has since gone viral, which read: ‘So, if you still have undecided voters on your list, this is the time to call them up and help them decide to vote for the PDP from top to bottom in Oyo State’.


“Similarly, we learnt he collected money from Asiwaju for mobilisation, this made all the National Assembly candidates to be angry, seeing the danger that they may work against his re-election on March 11 governorship poll, he immediately sent words to his loyalists across the state in the dying hours to switch base and support Atiku.


“This was in deference to the heavy pressure being mounted on him by National Assembly candidates on his party’s platform, who feared his open and unguarded support for Tinubu was likely going to negatively affect them. Unfortunately for Makinde, due to a combination of ill-luck, nature and poor communication, most of his men on the field, expected to receive the last-minute memo did not, and most of them had already mobilised as were instructed earlier.


“As things stand, there is fire on the mountain, as Oyo PDP NASS candidates are spoil for war, over what they termed the governor’s indiscretion, and perceived selfishness. They believe, that his last-minute change of heart was rather too late, and that his non-mobilisation of party men and women, despite the humongous receipt from Asiwaju Tinubu, hurt them in many ways more than one.


“As you can see the results, PDP lost the three senatorial districts. APC also won almost all the House of Representatives seat,” the source added.


When contacted, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa confirmed he asked his supporters to vote for Atiku and PDP National Assembly candidates.


“Yes, it (newsletter) was from him, released last Thursday,” Adisa told SaharaReporters.


Speaking further, he said, “It’s not true that the National Assembly candidates are not supporting the governor, they have been coming out one after the other to announce their support for him.


“The National Assembly candidates have been making statements one after the other to pledge loyalty and support to the governor.”


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