The second term bid of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is being threatened by the continued insistence of the G-5 governor to work against former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Makinde is the only first-term governor among the quintet – Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Samuel Ortom (Benue).
Although Ortom, Ugwuanyi and Ikpeazu are seeking senatorial seats, Makinde’s ambition is the most threatened considering the dynamics of Oyo politics.
The state is controlled by many political gladiators that it is difficult for a single politician to be the major determinant in an election.
Makinde won the 2019 election on the strength of a coalition of gladiators who wanted to oust the then-ruling APC and stop late Abiola Ajimobi from installing a successor.
Despite Makinde’s insistence on not supporting Atiku, some leaders of the PDP in the state, including a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Wole Oyelese, and a former Minister of State for FCT, Chief Olajumoke Akinjide, have all declared support for Atiku.
An Ibadan-based political affairs commentator, Rasheed Olanrewaju, said if not well-managed, the opposition might take advantage of the crisis in the PDP to take over the state.
“Seyi and his advisers need to think through their actions. It is a dicey situation. If Tinubu wins the presidential election, the momentum might favour APC in the state, especially those PDP leaders working for Atiku who might work against the governor to pay him back.
“If Atiku wins without Seyi’s support, it is also dicey because the APC candidate, Teslim Folarin still enjoys a good relationship with some leaders in the PDP, where he was until 2017. So they can decide to work for him and negotiate his return to the party after the poll, ensuring PDP still controls the state. Some PDP stalwarts are already campaigning for him,” he said.