Seyi Makinde bows to pressure, asks Oyo residents to vote Atiku for president

Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde of Oyo who is a member of the aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors known as G5 has bowed to pressure as he asked voters in the state to “vote for PDP from top to bottom” in the upcoming polls.

Makinde gave the advice in a newsletter shared on Thursday, February 23, 2023, ahead of the presidential and National Assembly elections billed for February 25.

His call deviates from his previous stance not to support the election of PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar. The governor, alongside four other governors known as G5, has for months railed against Abubakar and the party leadership over differences in the composition of the party’s presidential ticket and the headship of the PDP, which are being held by the northerners.

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Makinde, who is also seeking a second term in office, has now apparently backtracked after he initially refused to support Atiku following his emergence as a candidate from the northern region at the party’s primary held in May.

In the newsletter, the Oyo governor asked his supporters to encourage undecided voters to strictly choose his party, the PDP on the ballot.

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“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,” the newsletter read in part.

Makinde has been battling to regain the support of some Oyo electorates, especially party faithful who had been against his initial refusal to support the PDP presidential candidate.

The Oyo governor, alongside Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Samuel Ortom of Benue, and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state had been demanding the resignation of the PDP’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, as a pre-condition to support Atiku’s presidential ambition.

On September 20, 2022, the aggrieved governors who later named themselves the ‘Integrity group’ met in Port Harcourt, Rivers capital, and announced their withdrawal from the presidential campaign council of Atiku.

Nicknamed ‘G5’, the governors were absent from the inauguration of Atiku’s campaign council on September 28.

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The governors had argued that a northerner cannot be the PDP’s presidential flag bearer and the national chairman also hails from the same region.

They claimed that Ayu had even before the primary promised to resign should a northerner from his region emerge as the presidential candidate of the PDP.

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