Engr. Seyi Makinde, the PDP Governor of Oyo State, has provided the clearest indication yet that he will not be backing his own party’s presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, over claims that the latter is instituting a hegemony that offends the nation’s balance in his management of the party’s affairs.
This was as Atiku disregarded the agitation of the southern extraction of the party led by Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike over the continued stay of Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, a northerner, as the Chairman of the party, despite promising to leave the position if Atiku, another northerner, emerged as the candidate.
The pair of Atiku and Ayu at the zenith of the party’s leadership is broadly viewed as uninclusive, sectional, and an indication of Atiku’s inordinate desire for absolute control, the governors contend.
Governor Seyi Makinde expressed the same and publicly delivered his criticism this weekend during the commissioning of a road in Abia State. Denying that he had accepted to chair the party’s forum of governors, he accused Atiku of paying lip service to restructure the country for balance and equity when he failed to do same within the party.
He said: “We are not fighting to have the chairmanship of the PDP’s governors’ forum. We are saying that if PDP has promised to restructure Nigeria, and we cannot restructure PDP then we are not restructuring Nigeria. That is the fact.”
“There have been issues that are foundational. If you read the proceedings of the constitutional conferences that led to Nigeria’s independence, you know that there were issues then. And if since 1960, we have not been able to get things right, yes of course they may cite the military interruptions because of their unitary command structure.
“But we’ve been practising democracy since 1999 and if we are not able to create a path that can lead to sustainable development, we should try something else,” Mr Makinde added.