The ruling party in Oyo state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) have continued to engage in battle of words ahead of the Supreme Court judgment which will determine the winner of the March 9 governorship election between Governor Seyi Makinde and his major opponent, Adebayo Adelabu.
The ruling of the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan on November 11 on the Election Petitions Tribunal judgment had attracted various interpretations, with both parties claiming victory at the court. The appellate court had ordered a status quo of the verdict of the Oyo State Governorship Election Tribunal, which returned Governor Seyi Makinde of the PDP as the winner of the March 9, 2019 election. Also, the court said it would have ordered a retrial of the findings of the tribunal in some areas of the state, which were challenged by the APC candidate, Adebayo Adelabu.
However, a dissenting judgement by one out of the four judges on the appellate court’s panel held that the panel could not nullify Makinde’s election. This has prompted Adelabu to head to the Supreme Court for a final determination of the case.
In a statement Oyo state chapter of APC, in a statement in Ibadan by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Ayobami Adejumo, said, “In demonstration of their desperation to hold on to a stolen mandate, Governor Makinde and his lackeys have concluded plans to devote enormous resources of the state to certain activities aimed at misleading the Supreme Court over the all-important case before it. In fact, the arrowhead of the plot is a turncoat currently serving in the PDP government who is popular for constituting a nuisance in the mass media at any given opportunity.
“Feelers from the Agodi Government House have it that different groups of unscrupulous elements in the society are already lined up for sponsored protests to be carried out consistently in Abuja and Ibadan any moment from now until the day of the judgment, which they know would not be in their favour on account of the reality of the electoral fraud that earned them the fake mandate they currently enjoy.
“Also, we are aware of a secret meeting held recently at a private location in the state capital in which some media practitioners in Lagos and Ibadan were contracted, with heavy sums, to influence media content of their respective print and broadcast organisations with a view to setting a satanic agenda for the general public and possibly mislead the judiciary again,” the statement read in part.
However, The PDP, in a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Akeem Olatunji, said the petition filed against the victory of Makinde at the March 9, 2019 governorship election was doomed to fail.
“Let us put it on record that the truth cannot be coloured no matter how hard you try and so Governor Seyi Makinde needs not engineer street protests to justify his acceptance by the people of Oyo State. He has, rather than encourage street protests, been calming down the people all these days so as to ensure peace continues to reign in the state.”
Also, a former senate leader, Teslim Folarin, has assured members of the Oyo State chapter of the APC that the PDP and Makindev cannot escape one of the two traps his party has set for them.
Folarin, who is a third term member of the Nigerian Senate, disclosed this while receiving defectors into the party in Lagelu local government area of his Oyo Central senatorial district.
In a short video, trending on social media, Folarin said that “When they asked me to join those who went to Kogi for the governorship election, they said I have to join because Governor Seyi Makinde has said he would use the tactics he used to defeat us here to win Kogi for PDP. I told him it wasn’t Makinde who defeated us, God only answered his prayer.”
”We cannot allow to be governed by any other party than the APC. Ibadan is the capital of Yorubaland…”
Assuring APC members to be calm, he went further to say “We are fasting, just like the Christians and Muslims, it will soon be over. God has answered our prayers in Kogi and Bayelsa and that tells us APC is the party to beat. We cannot afford to allow Oyo to be governed by any other party than the APC,” he submitted.
However, in its response to Folarin’s claim, an Oyo State-based socio-political group, Oyo Kajola Group (OKG), in a statement by its Media Coordinator, Mr. Adebayo Ayandele, said that the statement credited to the Senator has exposed the evil intention of the APC, its members and that of the Senator in question.
“By that statement, we are left in no doubt that the APC has the sinister motive of seizing power at all cost through the Court, an intention which has no basis and will fail woefully,” the OKG said.
The group maintained that whatever trap has been set to derail good governance, which the Makinde administration has been delivering in the state, would hit the rocks because the Governor was massively elected by Oyo State people and has continued to endear himself to them through policies and programmes that are already yielding fruits.
The statement noted that Folarin’s assertion, contained in a video clip, was a timely revelation that forces of darkness in the APC were hellbent on destabilizing the government of Makinde.
It warned that any plan to entrap the people Oyo State with fraudulent Court judgment and foist on the people an already rejected candidate would contend with stiff opposition and the wrath of the people.
The group warned the APC leaders, especially Folarin, to perish the thoughts of stealing the popular mandate given to Makinde, because according to the OKG, it will remain a pipedream that can never materialize.
“Before such APC leaders go about deceiving innocent persons, they, including Folarin would need to explain their roles in the failed Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road contract on which N2billion of Oyo State tax payers’ money was wasted without a tangible result,” the group said.
According to the Oyo Kajola Group, Folarin’s statement was unguarded and irresponsible, adding that the Senator’s insistence that “they could not allow another party except the APC to govern Oyo State,” came a few weeks after the trio of former Governors Adebayo Alao-Akala, Abiola Ajimobi and Folarin had a meeting in Abuja.
“We in the Oyo Kajola Group and by extension the people of Oyo state were not surprised by Senator Folarin’s statement. Indeed, no resident of Oyo State expects decorum or finesse from Folarin, because of his known political history. What no one expected was that he would, like a palm wine drinker, openly seek to truncate the wishes generally expressed by the people of Oyo State durin the March 9, election.
“We believe that Folarin’s unguarded moment was God’s way of exposing APC’s plan to derail the government of Oyo State and deny the people of the good governance they are already enjoying under Governor Makinde.”
The group queried the real reason behind Folarin’s outburst, wondering if he was reacting to Makinde’s actions in exposing the rot left behind by his cousin, Senator Ajimobi or protecting his own interest, saying: “But before Folarin and his evil traps setters in the APC continue in their doomed voyage, which will ultimately consume them and be the beginning of the end for them politically, we would like the Senator to explain what he knows about the Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road contract awarded to Oladiran Trades and paid N2 billion mobilization funds.
“It would interest the public to know that Governor Seyi Makinde had, after revoking the contract from the incompetent contractor supported by the APC leaders, seized the contractor’s Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) and recovered N1billion to the coffers of the state.
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