The second term bid of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, received a boost as the state chapter of the Labour Party (LP), dumped its gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Tawfiq Akinwale, and declared support for the governor who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party made the announcement at a press conference held at its state headquarters in Ibadan, on Sunday, ahead of the March 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
The state Chairman of LP, Atayase Sadiq, who addressed journalists, said the decision was made following extensive consultation with members of the party across the state’s 33 local government areas, stating that the endorsement came after the party considered the achievements of Makinde, in the last few years of his administration.
He added that the party decided to support the PDP candidate because Makinde’s ideology aligned with its own in the aspects of security, infrastructural development, agriculture and industry, health, financial independence and economic wellbeing of the people.
He maintained that the party did a thorough assessment and evaluation of the various governorship candidates and discovered that Makinde stood out above others in terms of character, competence, capacity and compassion for the people.
Sadiq said the party also opined that it was logical for Makinde to be allowed to “continue the good work he has started to engender another four years of giant development in Oyo State.”
According to him, “We think the right thing for us to do is to come together and form an alliance with a candidate whose ideology and manifesto is similar to ours, Makinde remains the only candidate that will serve our interest.
“We as LP have decided to support Makinde with our structure across the 33 local government of the state, we assure him of our support because he has distinguished himself as an outstanding governor.”
On the fact that the party has a governorship candidate in Akinwale, Sadiq said though Akinwale was its candidate, the party took the decision to support Makinde in the best interest of the party and the citizens of the state.
The Labour party chairman further held that it took the decision to support Makinde because its unbiased assessment of Akinwale revealed that he cannot win the election.
While supporting Makinde, Sadiq said the party did not collapse its structure into the PDP, saying its structure is still in place to support its other candidates for House of Assembly.
He said, “On our thorough assessment of the various governorship candidates for the March 11, 2023 election in terms of character, competence, capacity, and compassion for people, His Excellency, Engineer Oluseyi Makinde excels above the others.
“Therefore, we, at the Labour party Oyo State, have decided to use the entire structure of our party throughout the 33 local governments to support his re-election for another four years of giant development in Oyo state. And we call on all citizens of Oyo State to vote massively for him. He deserves it.
“He is a candidate that will serve the best interest of the masses the most. It is not that we are collapsing the party structure. The party structure remains, and will use it for other activities. Our candidates for the House of Assembly remain and we will follow it through.
“Tawfiq Akinwale remains the governorship candidate. There is a process for which a candidate is thrown up. You do primary and once the person is selected or elected, the person becomes the candidate of the party.
“Tawfiq Akinwale is the candidate of the party but the party structure did an unbiased and dispassionate assessment of our gber candidate and found out that, on a normal day, there is no way he will win that election. It will be unhealthy for us to know what will become of our aspiration and still go ahead.
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan