The National Mandate Group (NMG), Oyo State chapter, says the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state is fully behind Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the party for the 2023 presidential election.
The NMG, a support group of Atiku, said it does not align with any suggestion that Oyo PDP will work against Atiku.
Seyi Makinde, Oyo state governor, is one of the five governors demanding the resignation of Iyiochia Ayu, PDP national chairman, on the grounds that the party’s leader and presidential candidate cannot be from the same region.
Makinde and Samuel Ortom (Benue), Nyesom Wike, (Rivers), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, (Enugu), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) have so far stayed away from the campaign rallies of the PDP.
Adebayo Lawal, deputy governor of Oyo, recently said Makinde supports Afenifere leaders on their choice of presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
The deputy governor made the comment at a meeting between Afenifere leaders and Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the APC, in Akure, capital of Ondo state.
Jumoke Akinjide, a former FCT minister and leader of NMG, said the state will support all candidates of the PDP in the 2023 elections.
Akinjide said the PDP leaders “vehemently disown” any counter-narrative.
“We give our wholehearted and unshakeable resolve and commitment to support the presidential candidate of our party, Atiku Abubakar, and indeed, all other PDP candidates during the upcoming 2023 general elections. We are confident that Atiku is the best-qualified leader to rescue, reform and restore Nigeria to greatness,” he said.
“The NMG (Oyo state chapter) as PDP leaders and members hereby vehemently refute, disown and deny any suggestion that the Oyo state PDP will support any candidate other than Atiku Abubakar for the presidency of Nigeria.”
Also speaking after a meeting of PDP leaders in the 33 council areas of the state, Wole Oyelese, a former minister of mines and steel development, said Makinde is speaking for himself.
He said: “For Makinde to say he would not work for Atiku doesn’t mean anything. He is on his own. It is an empty threat. If he said we should not vote for Atiku, who are we voting for?
“We are too sophisticated for that in Oyo state. Makinde is a newcomer in Oyo state politics but we shall continue to work for our party. However, we are working for Atiku in a special way.”
Oyelese added that the Yoruba are also not under any obligation to follow the positions of Reuben Fasoranti and Ayo Adebanjo, the two leaders of Afenifere, who have pitched their tents with different candidates.
While Fasoranti has declared support for the APC standard bearer, Adebanjo is on the side of Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party (LP).
“What is the position of Yoruba on this matter that Makinde is talking about? We don’t have a position,” Oyelese added.
“Fasoranti is saying something and Adebanjo is saying another thing. We are not having a position in Yoruba land. Our members remain steadfast and committed. This is our party and we cannot allow it to break down.”