Forget elites conspiracy and grandstanding by some politicians in Oyo State, the masses of the State are still with Governor Seyi Makinde, notwithstanding the recent security breach in Ibarapaland, an erstwhile chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Moronkola Thomas said on Saturday.
Thomas, a three-time commissioner and Senior Special Executive Assistant on Political Matters to the late Governor Abiola said the vast majority of common people are still backing the Governor irrespective of the reported ugly incident in Ibarapa and occasional security breaches in some parts of the State capital.
Makinde’s popularity was deemed to have been affected following the Governor’s alleged indifference to the plight of Ibarapa people in the face of ceaseless attacks by suspected herders in the area, until a Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Sunday Igboho stormed Igangan and flushed out the Sarkin Fulani in the area, Alhaji Abdulkadir and his supporters for their alleged complicity in the kidnapping activities in the environ.
Speaking in an interview on Fresh FM, a privately owned radio station in Ibadan, on Saturday, Thomas said “regardless of whatever is happening in the state now, the masses are still with Governor Makinde.”
“That is the truth of the matter and you have to come to terms with that reality. It does not have to be the elite. But the masses, I can tell you, are still with Makinde. I relate with the masses. I live among them and I know what they are saying.
“Anyone who wants to beat Makinde in 2023 must come up with a strategy that is superior to Makinde’s. It is not for me to assess him. But what I am hearing from teachers, civil servants, traders and others is what I have just told you,” he said.
Pressed for his earlier comment where he described Makinde as a better philanthropist than a politician, he said Makinde, like the late Chief MKO Abiola used philanthropy as a strategy to gain people’s sympathy and consequently win elections.
“Power flows from God only who is the real custodian of power. Everyone who is exercising power is doing so because God wants him to do so.
“Everybody has his own strategy of winning political power. Just like MKO Abiola who started as a philanthropist and used that to move into politics and contest and win election, same thing Seyi Makinde has done and he got the sympathy of the people,” he said.
Giving insight into why APC lost the governorship election in the state, he said the result of a study commissioned by the Ajimobi had shown that APC was going to have a bad outing in the election.
“After the emergence of Bayo Adelabu as the governorship candidate, there was no genuine reconciliation, particularly with the aggrieved governorship aspirants.
“They were resolving some of the issues on the campaign ground. Some people did not openly complain, but fought against the party and its candidate underground.
“Adelabu himself was constrained. They were telling him who to relate with and who not to relate with. I pity him for all the money and the energy he spent. I remember he was going to visit a prominent traditional ruler in the state and was almost at the palace before he was called and asked to abort the trip. APC lost the election right from within the APC,” he said.