The five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), otherwise known as the Integrity Group, failed to name their preferred presidential candidate in Oyo State on Thursday.
They were in Ibadan, the state capital, for the campaign flag-off of Governor Seyi Makinde.
The campaign, which held at historic Mapo Hall, attracted a huge crowd of PDP members and supporters from across the state.
The governors again did not announce their preferred presidential candidate despite the heightened expectations of the members.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike appealed to the members and supporters to vote for all the candidates of the party for the National and State Assembly elections but did not give the same directive on the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
However, Wike assured the party faithful that Makinde, whom he described as the G5 Youth Leader, would announce their preferred presidential candidate to them later.
But as the governors took time to talk and failed to declare their support for the party’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, a section of supporters were shouting ‘Atiku’, ‘Atiku,’ voicing their protest against the governors.
Wike, who also vigorously explained why Makinde should be allowed a second, advised all other candidates for the election to step down for him.
He said: “There is no other party in Oyo state. People of Oyo State let me thank you for making your son valuable, a young man who is dependable, a young man who you can trust, a young man who can make you go home and sleep with your two eyes closed. A young man whose yes is yes, whose no is no. And that is why he follows those who say we believes in fairness, we believe in equity, we believe in justice.
“Seyi Makinde is a good product and has done well since he was given mandate in 2019 and therefore the only way we can appreciate him more is for him to go back and complete the good work he has started because that is the only way you will get the best out of him.
“Let me use the opportunity and tell anyone of you, if there’s anyone from another party planning to vote now, withdraw now for Seyi Makinde. There is no need to worry yourself, the people of Oyo have spoken that they are voting for Makinde.
“Vote for Seyi, vote for the Senators, vote for the House of Representatives, vote for the House of Assembly.
“The other one, Seyi will talk to you. The other one, Seyi will talk to you. The other one, Seyi will talk to you. When it is time, Seyi will talk to you.”
The G5 governors – Wike, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Makinde – are demanding the resignation of PDP National Chairman Senator Iyiorcha Ayu.
They said it was unfair to the South for Ayu and Atiku to come from the same region.
They insisted that Ayu promised but failed to step aside if a northerner is elected the PDP presidential candidate.