OYO101: The Secret Dilemma Of G-5 Governors | Muftau Gbadegesin

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    There exists a silent dilemma rocking the camp of the aggrieved PDP governors. After several trips abroad, it seems the choice of who to bring back for the presidency is becoming increasingly complicated. The complication is partly the result of party members growing restless about their leader’s position with respect to the February election.

    Most party members are already aware that the impasse between their leaders and the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will prevent them from supporting the serial presidential candidate. Most are confused even when they have yet to receive directives. And convincing them to vote for a different party for the presidency and another for the national assembly is going to be nauseatingly embarrassing.

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    Of course, in Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde is being careful, mindful, and conscious with his utterances and actions. Instead of following Wike’s hard-line stance on Atiku, he has maintained restraint, granting candidates the freedom and liberty to act in ways that may guarantee electoral victory.

    For instance, unlike Governor Wike, Governor Makinde hasn’t ordered the closure of Atiku’s campaign office in Ibadan nor prohibited candidates from displaying Atiku’s picture on their campaign banners and billboards. That’s why you could see Atiku Abubakar’s smiling face splashed on Chief Bisi Ilaka’s billboard—strategically placed within Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho, and other places!

    Unlike in Rivers, most PDP members and perhaps candidates in Oyo are still sympathetic to Atiku’s course. Having tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to be President since 1993, the majority feels this is his last time to take a shot at the highest office in the land. Additionally, most members believe the PDP and Northerners have a fair case as far as the presidency is concerned. That since the short-lived tenure of Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua, it is only justice that another northerner from the PDP be allowed to take over from President Buhari after his eight-year government.

    Unsurprisingly, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar made that contentious point during his declaration speech for the PDP presidential ticket. He was certain party members would reason along that line and queue behind him. Incidentally, the combined efforts of Sokoto state Governor Aminu Tambuwal (who stepped down for Atiku) and Dr. Iyorchia Ayu (the PDP National Chairman, who was supposed to be impartial) gave Atiku the needed impetus to edge over others, especially his closest challenger, Governor Nyesom Wike.

    But for those who believe in the principles of equity, fairness, and justice, Atiku’s exposition falls short of critical thinking. After eight years of northern leadership at the center, allowing another northerner to rule for another eight years will clearly pit the rest of the country against one another. On that premise, five governors in the party rebelled against the eventual emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar during the May 29 party convention in Abuja. The battle has taken on a new, more dangerous dimension since then.Unfortunately, only one governor out of five is seeking re-election!

    Many are still wondering why a first-time governor like Seyi Makinde would put himself in such a difficult situation alongside other second-term governor. Well, the answer is not that simple. First off, the governor’s business conglomerate is located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It is only logical and common sense for the governor to first promote his business interests before anything else. When Governor Makinde declared $48 billion as his assets, it caught many people unaware. While the net worth of the governor is debatable, one thing that is clear is that he made his money from oil and gas. His company, Makon Group, is headquartered in Port Harcourt. So, first things first, the relationship between Governors Wike and Makinde transcends politics. I think it started in business before morphing into politics and other sundry matters.

    In addition to having his business situated in Port Harcourt, Governor Makinde also has his wife, Oyo State First Lady, Mrs. Tamunominini, who hails from Rivers. That’s why the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, could jokingly say Governor Makinde is running after Governor Wike because his wife is from River State. With this analysis, it’s evident that the umbilical cord that ties both governors together go beyond politics: it is mutual, consensual, and transcendental. They are in it for better or for worse. Should G-5 declare their support for Peter Obi, candidate of the Labor Party, it would only be an exercise in futility. Similarly, should they endorse Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it means PDP candidates for the National Assembly in Oyo State, for instance, may end up becoming sacrificial lambs.

    For Oyo PDP and Governor Makinde, the events of the next 55 days will decide what becomes of their political future. In either case, the choice is akin to being stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s going to be excruciatingly hard.
    OYO101 is Muftau Gbadegesin’s opinion about Issues affecting Oyo state, published on Saturdays. He can be reached via @TheGMAKing on Twitter, muftaugbadegesin@gmail.com and 09065176850

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