Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, yesterday gave reasons why Senator Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the state in the presidential election that was held on February 25 and expressed happiness for being part of the process that “redrew the electoral map of Nigeria.”
Makinde, who spoke when he was featured on Splash FM’s State Affairs with Desmond Obilo, said he stood for equity and fairness.
Tinubu polled 449,884 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 182,977 votes in Oyo State.
“I supported fairness, justice, and equity. I supported a united Nigeria, a Nigeria that gives opportunity to every part of this country,” Makinde said.
When he was told that he had delivered his ward to Tinubu, Makinde said, “He (Tinubu) defeated me out there. How do you deliver your ward?”
He said democracy was about people expressing themselves through the ballot, saying many people in Oyo voted who they wanted. “That is what they decide to do.”
“You know, you allow people to express themselves. A lot of our people – that is what they decided to do. They decided that look, we want after eight years of presidency in the North, they want it to come to the South and this place being South-West, one of theirs was a candidate; so they supported one of their own.”
The governor added that when one goes into a contest, they have to situate things appropriately, adding, “We had a survey before that election; we knew that many of our people are agitating for a country where there is fairness, equity, and justice. I pointed it out to our party.”
“I am glad that I am a part of a process that redrew the electoral map of Nigeria. I believe that arrogance, with the result of last Saturday’s election, is behind us. Now we know that people will have to seek alignment. If you want to rule this country, you are not just going to say oh, because I am from a certain part of this country, then that is the only qualification I require to rule this country. Now, you have to build bridges and reach out to others.”
Five of the PDP governors, including Makinde, Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and their leader, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, did not campaign for the candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, before the presidential election.
In Rivers State, where Wike is the governor, Tinubu also swept the votes, defeating Atiku of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
However, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi, and Ortom lost their senatorial bids in their states.
When Makinde was asked if he would also “pay the price” with his re-election bid, Makinde said he would do what was right over his political interest, saying that was however left to the people of the state.
“If I have to choose between my political survival and doing what is right and just within the political space in Nigeria, I will choose to forgo my political career,” he added.