LEADERS of the Labour Party (LP) in Oyo State have endorsed Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the March 11 governorship election in the state.
The LP leaders abandoned their party’s candidate, Tawfiq Akinwale, even after he refuted reports that he had stepped down for Makinde.
The LP chairperson in the state, Atayase Sadiq, announced the decision to endorse Makinde at a press briefing in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Sunday, February 5.
According to Sadiq, the decision to support Makinde was taken after consultations with party members across the state’s 33 local government areas.
He stated that the LP leaders considered Makinde’s character, competence, capacity to lead and concern for citizens’ wellbeing, especially regarding security, agricultural development and financial stability.
Sadiq further explained that the LP leaders had to consider the party’s future in the state, given the keenly contested presidential election, in which the LP emerged as a third force party.
He added that the LP’s strength as a party had grown due to the quality of its candidate, and it was essential to support a candidate that best served the citizens’ interest.
Urging the people of the state to vote massively for the PDP governorship candidate, he said Makinde’s administration had addressed issues that were crucial to the state’s development.
Noting that no party could win the gubernatorial election alone, Sadiq said the citizens’ priority should be the emergence of a candidate who best serves their interest.
He added that the LP leaders had decided to work with the PDP, whose policies aligns with theirs regarding security, agricultural development, and financial well-being.
Sadiq’s announcement has triggered mixed reactions among party members and political analysts in the state. Some have commended the LP leaders for their decision, stating that it is a wise move that would benefit the party in the long run.
However, others have criticized the LP leaders for abandoning their candidate and wondered if their decision would affect the party’s reputation and future in the state.
The development has added more intrigues to the governorship election in the state, which is expected to be keenly contested among the major political parties.
Governor Makinde of the PDP is seeking reelection, while other parties, such as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), also parade strong candidates.