The governor also stated that the achievements of his administration were being used by the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to secure the state in the next month’s election.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has praised the northern governors under the platform of All Progressive Congress for allowing power rotation in the party.
Makinde, who spoke on Channels Television on Friday, commended his counterparts of northern extraction in the opposition who expressed support for a southern candidate, Bola Tinubu’s emergence as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate.
He said, “I must give kudos to the governors on the platform of APC – governors like Governor Nasir El-Rufai [of Kaduna], Governor [Mohammed Abubakar] of Jigawa, Mai Bala Buni [of Yobe], Governor [Yahaya Bello] of Kogi.
“They came together within their party and they said, ‘For the unity of this country, let us sacrifice our ambition. Let the presidency rotate to the South.’ So, we must give kudos to them.
“But what happened in our own party? We were fighting ourselves and saying, ‘Our constitution can go to blazes.’ I don’t think that is right,” he said.
The governor also stated that the achievements of his administration were being used by the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to secure the state in the next month’s election.
“If our candidate (Atiku) will need to win in Oyo State, I will have to campaign for him because PDP in Oyo State is riding on the achievements that we’ve been able to make these three plus years,” the governor added.
While responding to Wole Oyelese, a former Minister of Power and Steel, who criticised him (Makinde) for not supporting Atiku, the governor said, “So, if he’s looking for a ministerial position – I don’t think anyone will give him a ministerial position anyway because the last time he had the opportunity, he didn’t do well at all.”
He went on to urge the former minister to be objective, saying, “So, you have all of these so-called expired politicians and then they go out there and say, ‘We’ve done this. We can do this.’
“I respect the opponents; I respect some of the challenges that we have to face for this election. But we are realists. We are driven by data and logic. We demonstrated it before.”
The Oyo governor said beyond personal ambitions, the demands of the five aggrieved PDP governors who were rallying against the “unjust” party leadership were about national interests.
“If I will tell you precisely what is going on, the unity of this country is at stake. When they said, ‘Rotate. Let there be inclusivity. Get zone party positions – rotate it,’ it’s because we know that our federalism has not taken serious root.
“So, to compensate for some of the things that we don’t have constitutionally right now, we said, ‘Rotate the positions, do zoning.’ Now, we’ve disregarded that,” he said.
According to Makinde, party members cannot keep picking and choosing what parts of the constitution they are going to obey and disregard.
“The National Chairman himself was the one that made that comment that peradventure somebody from the northern part of the country emerges as the presidential candidate, he will resign.
“But now you are saying the constitution must be followed. This is the constitution we’ve flagrantly disregarded in the first instance.”