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Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, emerged the standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Makinde emerged winner at the governorship primary election of the party, held at the Lekan Salami Sport Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
Governor Makinde, after the the voting exercise scored a total of 1,040 votes out of the accredited votes of 1,048, to beat his co aspirant, Barr. Hazeem Gbolarumi, who polled 2 votes.
The congress was monitored by security agents, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State, Barr. Mutu Agboke and other INEC officials.
The returning officer and chairman of the Oyo State PDP Governorship Congress Panel, Senator Ben Obi, who was represented by the Panel’s Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi Mai Basira, said that the total votes cast were 1,048, with six of the votes voided.
The governor, in his acceptance speech, maintained that he would continue to fulfil all the promises he made to the people of the state, adding that he will do all within his power to continue to move the people from poverty to prosperity as he had been doing in the last three years.
Makinde, who rallied party members to work together for the party’s progress, noted that the PDP remained the best option for the people of Oyo State and Nigerians.
According to him, the party has, in three years of its leadership in Oyo, brought tremendous economic prosperity and massive infrastructure development to the State.
He added that it was time to rescue Nigeria and that the PDP remained the best path towards realising that goal.
Makinde, who noted that he would reach out to Barr. Gbolarumi with a view to working together, said it was time for a new beginning for the party.
He said: “Few weeks back, I announced that I would run for a second term and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received from everyone, especially you, our delegates.
“Coming here today to witness your endorsement and my election as your standard-bearer in the 2023 election, what can I just say? I can only say thank you.
“I am not the most brilliant or the most upright but you gave me your mandate today and I appreciate it. I thank you for believing in me and in our party, PDP. Thank you for trusting in me. You see, trust is like a building and, for every building to stand, it must have a solid foundation. The foundation for trust is truth.
“I told you in 2018 that I may not be right all the time but we would be honest with you all the time, because I have the control over whether I want to be truthful or not. And because I have been truthful to you, we now have the bond and trust between us. I say it to you once again that I will keep to all the promises made to you.
“Since we took office in 2019, we have kept our promises. We promised to scrap the N3,000 school fees for parents, and did we scrap it or not? We did. We promised the sole ownership of LAUTECH. Today, do we have it or not?
We do. We promised standard PHCs in each ward, are you seeing them come up or not? We promised to prioritise security, did we not give you Amotekun or not? We promised a robust economy, have we not been paying civil servants consistently?
“Today is 25th and I am sure civil servants and pensioners must have received alerts. We promised to build Akesan and Sasa markets, which got burnt and we have done that. We promised bus terminals at Ojoo, Challenge and we have executed that.
The terminal at Iwo Road is also coming.
“We promised to build roads because our infrastructure will target our economy. Moniya-Iseyin road is completed. Oyo-Iseyin road is ongoing. We flagged off the Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin road recently.
The Airport road is there. Awotan-Apete-Akufo road is also there. We built Challenge, Odo-Ona Elewe road to decongest Ring road. Even the stadium we are in used to be a den of armed robbers, but is now a sight to behold.
“This is your government and have we not made you proud? All we have been able to do is because you gave us a chance, and you are trusting us today to even do more. And I want to promise you that we will do more than your expectation.”
Governor Makinde declared that as long as he remained the governor of Oyo State, he would continue with his resolve to move people from poverty to prosperity.
“As long as I remain the governor of Oyo State, God be with us, I will continue to do all within my power to move the people from poverty to prosperity.
“I will continue to work for you. You are our Bosses. You sent us on this assignment. So, I want to urge all our members to work towards the progress of our party.
“I promise you that this night, I will call Barrister Hazeem Gbolarumi, as it is a new beginning for the PDP in Oyo State. 2023 is our time to rescue Nigeria.
“When they say to you that we are all the same, ask them to compare eight years of APC to three years of PDP in Oyo State.
Ask them to compare the economic prosperity of 16 years of PDP to what we have now. They promised to take us from ‘top to bottom’ and, indeed, we are even inside the hole. Tell them PDP is coming at the federal level. We are coming,” Makinde added.
The governor equally lauded his co-contestant for the PDP governorship ticket, Barr. Gbolarumi, for participating in the process to deepen democracy.
Earlier, Gbolarumi, had while addressing delegates, described Governor Makinde as the father of the party, saying that his involvement in the primary was to show that there is democracy in Oyo State PDP.
He explained that whatever happened at the congress ground was politics, urging all members of the party to avoid tendencies that could divide the party.
He said: “We are in the same party but I don’t want us to be divided. What we are doing is just formality. There is no reason for us to sit here and be contesting for the same post. We already have a leader in the state. No matter how small he is, Governor Makinde is our leader in the state. I pray that this party won’t be divided.
“I have always been a member of PDP and I have no intention of leaving the party. As an elder, I can only guide the party so it doesn’t go the wrong way.
“What is happening here today is what we call politics. It shows that the tenets of democracy stand in Oyo PDP. I urge our members to deviate from anything that will paint the party in a bad light.
“Governor Seyi Makinde is our father. As a human, he is not perfect but let us be bold enough to say the truth to power no matter what the circumstances may be.”
Afterwards, Gbolarumi raised Makinde’s hands as he noted that Makinde is truly the leader and the party’s choice for the 2023 elections.