Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde has stated that he will devote time to visit all zones of the state to appreciate residents for the confidence reposed in him as reflected in his unprecedented victory in 31 of the 33 local governments of the state.
The governor said this on Thursday, when he hosted the Oyo North Senatorial Candidate of the Accord Party, Hon. Shina Peller, who led members of the party to the Agodi Government House, Ibadan, to congratulate him on his re-election.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor appreciated the members of the Accord Party and all residents of the state for their support in Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly election, assuring that efforts put into re-electing him would not be in vain.
The governor equally charged Peller and other National Assembly candidates who lost in the election not to lose hope and that those who won should not rest on their oars, as the validity of their victories will be tested before the National Assembly Election Tribunal.
He said: “I greet everyone seated here. I want to assure us that the efforts and support we have all put into the re-election victory won’t go in vain.
“When Hon. Shina Peller told me that you said you wanted to come and pay a thank-you and congratulatory visit to me, I told him that I should be the one to do that first. Be that as it may, I still have it in plan, and I have discussed it with the leaders of our party.
“In April, I will devote one week to tour all our zones to thank our people for their show of support, and I will use the same opportunity to visit you too.
“After the presidential election, some of us realigned forces because we knew we needed to do that to complete our ongoing projects, which are at 60, 70 per cent level.
“We know that if there is no continuity in government, you cannot guarantee the fact that they will not abandon all these projects, because we have discovered that change of government is the principal cause of abandoned projects.
“So, I want to thank you for listening to us and your leader, and to add, at this point, that all of those who have worked tirelessly for this victory will be rewarded. I don’t want to say much now until I visit our different localities to address you one after the other.
“Finally, don’t let us relax and be downcast because of what occurred during the presidential/NASS election – How we lost the three seats to APC candidates. It happened like that because the elections held the same day. So, the candidates rode on the popularity of the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu.
“But some of the people that thought they emerged have not, most especially the Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates.
“So, be patient as we look unto God, who we know will perfect everything for us.”
Earlier, Hon. Shina Peller, had told the governor that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate him on his victory, reiterating that the governor has done very well for the people of Oke Ogun zone.
He added that their choice to support Makinde was because he and his people “are not blinded by political party affiliation or religion” and that they were driven by the interest to see the governor complete the good works he has been doing in the state.
He said: “Concerning the past election, the will of the people has been done. The people must understand the fact that God created our land with so many resources, which are not yielding any good result because of bad leadership.
“We only have a time to address that leadership failure, which is election period and the 2023 general election was critical to us as Nigerians, to elect credible leaders, not just by political parties.
“You will agree with me that the political atmosphere has changed. People now follow personalities and not political parties, and that is the foundation of why we are here today.
“We have been able to see beyond political lines. We can see what the governor is doing, yet we don’t want to be blinded by political party or religious interest but the interest of the people, which we feel is the most important thing in politics.”
Speaking on whether or not he has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the House of Representatives member said he remained in Accord Party, but could say that Governor Makinde is his leader.
“Concerning defection, I came in purposely to protect the interest of my people. I am a member of the Accord Party today, but nobody knows what tomorrow holds. What I can say is that Governor Makinde is my leader.
“I left the APC purposely because the people of Oke-Ogun were short-changed and my people said to me that we needed to fight it out by aligning with a political party.
“That was how we found ourselves in Accord. By and large, we decided to follow Governor Makinde because of what he has done in Oke-Ogun, which no governor has ever done in the past.
“An example is the LAUTECH Campus in Iseyin. We have clamoured for a higher institution for years and many politicians have promised us and failed. But Governor Makinde has done that for us.
“So, if such a personality is going for second term, I believe I should support him despite being a member of another political party.
“We need to be able to rise above these biases, and that is why I will continue to be there for my people. I have a leader in Governor Makinde and what I have done within the last two weeks is because I believe in him and we share the same core ideology. I can assure you that I will always queue behind him,” Peller added.