Three persons have emerged top on the list from which Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state is expected to choose a running mate.
According to the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper, this is ahead of Governor Seyi Makinde commencing electioneering campaign for a second term in office.
The search for a new running mate which commenced months ago is set to hit a finality with the option of Makinde having his present deputy, Rauf Olaniyan, as running mate for the 2023 electioneering campaign, said to have become a foregone conclusion.
Top members of the government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asserted that the governor will not announce Olaniyan as running mate for the forthcoming electioneering campaign, but noted that the choice of a running mate will remain in Oke-Ogun zone, where the present deputy governor hails from.
The top three choices from Oke-Ogun zone as Makinde’s running mate are the chairman, Oyo State Housing Corporation, Mr Bayo Lawal; chairman, Oyo State House of Assembly Service Commission, Honourable Abdulwasi Musah and the state Commissioner for Establishment and Training, Mr Ayansiju Lawal.
All from Oke-Ogun zone, Lawal is from Kishi in Irepo local government, Musah hails from Saki West local government while Ayansiju is from Sepeteri, Saki East local government.
Aside from the three persons being from the Oke-Ogun zone, they also meet the usual quest for religious balance as they are all Muslims.
Among a series of ongoing discussions, a discussion was held recently with Bayo Lawal, the only one among the top three, in attendance.
This was why rumour emerged that he has been picked as running mate.
But, some stakeholders maintained that more meetings are to be held before a final decision is reached and announced by the governor himself.
Insideoyo.com gathered that Governor Seyi Makinde will meet Oke Ogun leaders next week to finalize the running mate as deadline moves near.
Recall that the deputy governor, in a recent interview said though the governor had not spoken to him about being his running mate for the second term campaign, he argued there was still time for the choice to be made.
He added that the choice of deputy governor remained the exclusive prerogative of the governor, not the party.
Asked if the governor had spoken to him about being his running mate for the 2023 campaign, Olaniyan said: “He does not have to. The time is still very much there. It does not matter. When you put everything to God, he does everything for you. I have committed everything to God. God will direct the next move. God is to direct the decision to take. God is telling me to keep my calm.”
On whether he will accept to be running mate, if asked, Olaniyan said: “Let me be asked first. There is some power that is attached to some issues which that individual has prerogative over.
“The party has no prerogative over the choice of deputy governor. The party has the prerogative over the choice of the governor but not the deputy. The governor can decide to pick his deputy at the last minute.”