BAYO AGBOOLA from Ibadan writes that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken to criticisms of Governor Seyi Makinde – led administration in Oyo state for shifting attention from governance in the state and concentrating on the Ayu – must – go agitation in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
The main opposition political party in Oyo state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in recent times has left no stone unturned in beaming its searchlight on the governor of the state, Engineer Seyi Makinde.
To APC, as Makinde’s administration is winding down, he has abandoned the act of statecraft and his strength as the 2023 general elections is fast approaching is exerted more on partisanship and less on governance in the state.
Their grouse this time is that Makinde has abdicated the business of administering the state and busied himself moving across states of Nigeria and even abroad with Governor Wike and others demanding that Dr Ayu should, among other things, step down as the only condition to resolve the internal crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ensure that the South gets its rightful share in PDP ahead the 2023 general elections
APC minced no words in frowning at what it termed too much attention concentration by Makinde on the prolonged crisis rocking his party since the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the presidential flag bearer, thus pitching the Nyesom Wike group, Makinde inclusive, against the party.
As justifiable as their demand has been – that the party’s National Chairman, Dr Iyorcha Ayu should step down for a Southerner since Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is from the North.
Just last Wednesday, the Wike’s group withdrew from Atiku Abubakar Campaign Council in furtherance of their grievances.
To the APC, Governor Makinde is devoting more than the necessary attention and time to the issues bothering on the PDP’s internal wranglings with Governor Wike as the principal aggressor.
The APC argued that Governor Makinde, in some instances, is acting as his mouth piece, blowing the group’s trumpet at the expense of governance in Oyo state.
For instance, at the South West PDP leaders and stakeholders parley with the presidential flag bearer Alhaji Atiku Abubakar last week’s Wednesday, in Ibadan, Makinde had asked Atiku to look inwards by first supporting the restructuring of the party and uniting its members before the elections.
He stressed that the insistence of Governors Nyesom Wike, Samuel Ortom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and himself among others, that the PDP must play a politics of inclusion by allowing the National Chairmanship position to move South.
According to Makinde, the demand should not be seen as having a problem with the party or the presidential candidate, because, according to him, the governors have left the issue of presidential primaries behind them.
He emphasised that the message of the South-West PDP to Alhaji Atiku is that the National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, must step down and the Working Committee of the party should be restructured to reflect national unity.
“I want to thank everyone for coming for this meeting and I think, at this point, we have to tell ourselves nothing but the truth. What we will do here is to speak the truth to ourselves. Yes, others have spoken here about the positive side of things but we do have challenges and issues to address in our party.
“But one good thing is, we have the capacity to address those issues. Of course, I have seen people abuse me on social media, saying this issue is about Wike, Makinde, Ortom and Ugwuanyi, but the truth is we don’t have any issue either with our party or our presidential candidate.
“If there are challenges, we must bring them on the table so that we can address them to ensure that our journey is smooth and we can get to our destination. So, this is not about individuals. I see some people talk about what cropped up during and after the presidential convention when somebody was selected as Vice- Presidential candidate.
“Truth is, those are issues that are behind us. They have happened and they have happened but this is where we are. Are there issues coming out of those that we really need to address so we can be successful at the end of the day? The answer is yes and we will address them. Integrity and honour must be a part of our national psyche.”
Gov Makinde stressed, “We have spoken about the movement; the youth and we have spoken about what they are looking for. Our people are in a state of hopelessness, which the APC brought upon us and it is the reality but we are supposed to give hope to our people.
“We want them to listen to us, to hear our message to them. For us to be able to do that, we must lay a good example.We say we want to rescue Nigeria. Our candidate is a unifier and he will unify Nigeria. We want to restructure Nigeria. I have listened to our candidate both publicly and privately and we have had several interactions. Our party is talking about a government of national unity because close to eight years of APC has left us badly divided.
“Well, the issue is, we must practise what we preach. If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify the PDP first. If we want a government of national unity, the faces in the PDP must reflect national unity. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must have the willingness to do what is right to bring inclusivity into PDP. Do we have the capacity? Do we have a candidate with the capacity? The answer is a resounding yes.”
Apparently disturbed by Governor Makinde’s deep involvement in the PDP wranglings, the Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) issued a statement and advised Makinde to stop acting like an aide to Governor Nyeson Wike of Rivers state with his pronouncements on the crisis and face governance in Oyo state as there are so many issues on ground at home to address .
According to the APC’s statement by its Oyo state Publicity Secretary Comrade Olawale Sadare, Governor Makinde by allegedly acting as an aide to Wike is no doubt desecrating the Pacesetter status of the state.
He added that interestingly, the song on the lips of conscious and discerning indigenes and residents of Oyo state is that Governor. Makinde should endeavour to stop further desecration of the Pacesetter status of the state”.
“Even if he cannot pick any good thing from Gov. Wike who is obviously his Godfather, he should desist from acting like an aide to his Rivers state colleague henceforth. We would also like to put it on record that Governor.
“Makinde’s quest to be relevant at the level of national politics is ill-advised and a clear indication that he does not have any serious thing to do with governance again in the state”.
“Forty months after, the full reality has dawned on the people that the PDP administration of Gov. Seyi Makinde has nothing to offer except window dressing, grandstanding and misappropriation of scarce resources.
“We now have an administration which has brought governance to a ridiculous level as against the traditional sterling performances which almost all the chief occupants of Agodi Government House have recorded in their respective times.
“Today, we have a government which prefers empowerment of miscreants to creation of enabling environment for investors to engage our teeming unemployed youths. We have a government which does not only celebrate cosmetic projects done at inflated cost but also mobilises hirelings and praise – singers for orchestration.
States such as Ebonyi, Borno, Osun, Gombe and Kaduna earn far less in terms of federal allocations and internally generated revenue but the value which their respective governors have added in the last three years is a pointer to the fact that Oyo state has been on a downward slope since June 2019.
Oyo APC stressed, “For the avoidance of doubt, we challenge Gov. Makinde to name any of the key sectors of the economy where he has performed exceptionally since he came into office.The good people of Oyo state are tired of deceit, cronyism and noise making in exchange for creativity, responsibility and responsiveness.
“It is on this note that we are calling on voters in the state not to be swayed by the packaged media noise and fake record of achievements expected from the camp of Oyo PDP and Governor Makinde in the coming days as we go into electioneering campaigns ahead of the next general election because once bitten, twice shy.”
The authorities of PDP could not respond to the APC’s observations and criticisms as effort by our correspondent to reach out to the publicity secretary for reaction was rebuffed for two days.
Though, criticism, especially, the constructive aspect stands as a major ingredient of democracy, the fear of it in Nigeria political parlance could be an opportunity for mischievous purpose and not for the interest of the masses.