Oyo Labour Party splits over Makinde’s endorsement
Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Ibadan North Federal Constituency in the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, Femi Dexter Akin-Alamu, has said the party decided to support the re-election bid of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for the March 11 governorship election.
He said that the leadership of the party are of the view that the governor has shown capacity to lead Oyo State to greater heights.
Akin-Alamu, in a statement said that the governor has shown vision and the desire to engineer a modern Oyo State, adding that leaders of the Labour Party, have seen that the governor’s vision tallies with their aspirations for the state.
He said: “After much thought, prayers and consultation with the leadership of the Labour Party in the state, I, together with other leaders of the Labour Party in Oyo State, have decided to give our full and unreserved support to the person that we believe stands way above others in our assessment.
“We cannot preach a different gospel when it seems not to favour the candidate of our party. Party loyalty cannot be put above public good.”
He said that the leadership of LP had met with the party’s gubernatorial candidate for a review after the presidential election and arrived at the realisation that it was better to support the re-election bid of Governor Makinde.
He added: “I saw the need to meet with the governorship candidate of the Labour Party so as to understand his plans, vision and strategy in order to arm my convictions about his candidature so that we can go to work.
“Before I could make this happen, I was invited to a meeting of all candidates and state executive on Wednesday and was told by the chairman that the meeting was put together to review the February 25 Elections and hear from the governorship candidate about his plans for the March 11 elections.
“At the meeting, it was acknowledged that the Labour Party indeed has great opportunities, but those opportunities must be maximized.
“Since a lot of people have accused our gubernatorial candidate of doing almost nothing to win his election, he was requested to tell the assembly his plans, vision, strategy and budget for the election. He was also requested to tell how much he had to spend for the elections and if there was any shortfall between his budget and how much he had.
“The assembly wanted to know his strategy to raise the shortfall. Unfortunately, the gubernatorial candidate was upset about the questions, and he thought the best thing to do was walk out on everyone.
“When he left, the state executive reached a unanimous decision that the gubernatorial candidate lacked the seriousness, commitment, and capacity required to win the election and the party should therefore find another gubernatorial candidate from another party to support.
“Personally, I have since then, been assessing all the main gubernatorial candidates of the other parties, assessing them in terms of the 7Cs required in a leader I would support, I assessed them in terms of character, competence commitment, capacity, credibility, compassion, and creative solutions to the problems of our state.
“Our full and unreserved support will, therefore, be going to his Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde in his re-election bid as the governor of our dear state.
“Difficult as it may be, there is no way I can personally justify campaigning for our governorship candidate in good conscience when a candidate such as Engineer Seyi Makinde is in the race, and this is not based on any personal sentiments, but solely on the earlier mentioned seven leadership assessment criteria.”
MEANWHILE, the Obi-dient Movement, and Labour Party candidates for the governorship and Assembly elections in Oyo State, have distanced themselves from Makinde’s endorsement.
Addressing the media yesterday, the movement and candidates distanced themselves from the alliance with the ruling PDP and major opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo.
In a communique read by one of the House of Assembly candidates, Ayodeji Babalola, representing Ibadan South East Constituency 2 and signed by all the candidates, said they were not part of any endorsement.
The communique reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a news item making the rounds in both the traditional and social media, on the declaration of support for PDP and APC by some minority factions of the leadership of Labour Party towards the forthcoming gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections in the State, an action that was taken unilaterally and in pursuit of personal agenda and aggrandisement.
“The movement and all candidates hereby totally dissociate itself from the selfish stand of those negligible and greedy elements. The entire public is hereby put on notice to beware of this desperate move.
“We like to put on record that, the Obi-dient Movement is an Assemblage of over 120 Support Groups, who are attracted to politics (as it were) by their interest in the aspiration of Mr. Peter Obi to become the president of this great country, hence the acronym: Obi-dient.
“Therefore, the majority of us are card carrying members of Labour Party (LP) and at the same time very staunch members of the Obi-dient Movement. This same support for our master is unequivocally extended to all candidates of the party nationwide and in Oyo state particularly.
“In the light of the declaration, it therefore becomes incumbent on us to come out clearly to declare our stand on the declaration of these factions of leaders within the Labour Party in Oyo State. .
“All Obi-dient members are hereby urged to remain calm, maintain status quo ante bellum, while we go out enmasse on Saturday to massively vote for all our state assembly candidates and our gubernatorial candidate, Taofiq Tayo Akinwale.”