Oyo guber: SDP candidate steps down, backs Gov Makinde’s re-election
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The re-election bid of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) received a boost on Tuesday as the governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Michael Lana, stepped down for him, directing his supporters and the party to re-elect the governor.
He made his decision known at a press conference he addressed at Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan, which was atteded by the chairman of PDP in Oyo State, Mr. Dayo Ogungbenro, and some other chieftains of PDP and SDP.
Lana, a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, noted that during his recent radio interview in Ibadan, “I duly informed members of the public that whatever step I would take would be determined by the decision of all candidates, especially the House of Assembly candidates of the Social Democratic Party of which I am the Governorship flagbearer.
“We have also consulted widely. We have talked with some National Officers of the party and my supporters among the trade unions, traditional rulers, market associations and religious bodies.
“As you are aware, in almost all radio interviews I attended, I was asked whether, as it had become the habit of this party, I too would step down at the end of the day. Believing I was in the midst of ideologically sound members, and knowing myself as a principled person, I always answered in the negative. I believed fervently that my gospel of preaching issues and ideas would earn me the victory that the people of Oyo State deserves.
“However, events of the past few weeks proved me wrong. Some people believed only in money politics and victory by vote buying. In fact, I became persona non grata, the moment some people within the party realized that monies sourced solely for the purpose of electioneering would not be shared among them. I thank God that this attitude came to the fore now and not after we might have won the election as I wondered what they would have done to the Oyo State treasury. Their interest is not in winning the election and elevating our people from their suffering but in enriching themselves now.
“Those who contributed to my campaign did so selflessly out of conviction of my character and traits and my desire to serve the people. And even with what we got, we worked tirelessly to make the l
party very competitive and grew it to become the fastest growing party and major contender for all elective positions in the state. Now that some of those at the helm of affairs of the party within the State have sold us out for a pittance and declared for the opposition without our knowledge or consent, we had to sit down and rethink and take a decision that will be in the best interest of the neglected and aggrieved party members, the candidates and the generality of the people of Oyo State that we set out to serve.
After several consultations, we resolved that the best thing for Oyo State right now is to align ourselves with a really progressive candidate. We were in fact captured by an emotional statement by a 70 year old woman who saidGovernor Seyi Makinde not only paid her pensions promptly but also took care of the aged women and men during the Covid 19 Pandemic. This is the trait of a person that has set out to write his name in history and ensure an up liftment of the downtrodden in our State.
“After discussing with him, we decided that Governor Seyi Makinde needs help from all capable hands within and outside the state to achieve his dreams for our state and we have resolved to assist him in doing this. We have therefore resolved to inform all our teeming supporters to vote massively for Governor Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday 18th March 2023 and get him elected as Governor of Oyo State.”
The PDP chairman in the state, Mr. Dayo Ogungbenro, in his remarks, said: “That we are teeming up today is for the good of our people because we know there is overriding poverty in the society and whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
“Let me also sound a vote of warning that the PDP has gotten another garment. It is not for thuggery but good governance in the state. Some people are saying they will engage in thuggery and all of that in the election and we won’t take that.
“So, we want the votes of the people to count. We don’t want anyone to rig for us or any other person. Governor Seyi Makinde has performed and we know the people will vote massively for him.
“Our security agencies should buckle up and do the needful. We back on them and we know they will do the right thing to make the people enjoy dividends of democracy in the state.”