Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, on Thursday, commended the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, for his courageous leadership in the state, stressing that despite being the only PDP governor in the South-West, Makinde has performed appreciably well.
Wike, who lauded the Oyo State Governor for embarking on “priority, proactive signature projects,” said from the ongoing projects he inspected, it was clear that Makinde “means well for the people of Oyo State.”
A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, indicated that the Rivers State Governor, who was in Ibadan for a South-West Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unity meeting, equally said that the geopolitical zone remains crucial to the political development of Nigeria.
He stressed that all hands must be on the deck to preserve the region, saying that there is the need for all leaders and members of the PDP in the zone to exercise patience and demonstrate tolerance, while also ensuring that unity of purpose prevails in the party.
He also commended some leaders of the party in the region for their reconciliation effort, promising that the party would emerge stronger and better.
The statement noted that Wike added that he had also come to Oyo State to inspect some of Governor Makinde’s projects in the state.
Wike said: “Well, let me say clearly, there was no stakeholders’ meeting that was held here today. Yes, there ought to have been a stakeholders’ meeting but there are two things that made me come today; Governor Makinde is not only a good friend but also an in-law and I told him I would come to Oyo State.
“Yesterday night, we realized that because of some specific reasons, some persons were not around and we didn’t want to have a half meeting whereby we would need to reconvene. But we had the understanding that it would be necessary to also say hello to those who would come here. It is our culture to respect leaders and that is why we have come to greet them and move on to inspect some of the projects.
“As per the meeting, we had already decided that it would not hold today. We should not be in a hurry. Peace needs a lot of talking to people and you know in politics, you need to talk to people for people to understand. It is not something you think that because you met today and you are meeting tomorrow, everything must be resolved that particular day.
“Politics is about interest and you need to make sure everybody is fully involved. So, let us not be in a hurry. What is important is that South-West PDP, it is our belief and hope that the way they have been is how they will continue to be. The other time, we met with Imo stakeholders and, today, they are almost concluding. So, there is nothing like giving you an ultimatum. No. What is important is that, whether it is one week or one month, it is the peace that is important.”
Governor Wike added that the South-West PDP remains very important and key for the PDP and that anyone who has the interest of the PDP at heart would make sure that South-West is intact as far as PDP is concerned.
While inspecting some projects in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, including the Iwo Road Bus Terminal, Governor Wike, who is renowned as Mr. Projects, lauded Makinde for creating a healthy environment in the state.
He said: “On the performance of Makinde as the only PDP governor in the South-West, you may say I am biased but I can tell you I am not. Coming from the airport, I can see the cleanliness of the environment. For somebody like him who came when things were down in terms of security and other things that are being grappled with, he is up to the task. As a private businessman who is in politics, it may take time. And people should be patient, because it is just one and a half years.
“I can say he is doing well. Look at the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you like it or not, if you remove the whole of last year, how many months will you say he has used in the office? But that is not really an excuse. If the Federal Government is saying that is a problem to them, it should not be a problem for the state government?
“He means well for the people of Oyo State; they should just try and be patient with him and give him more time. You know in Nigeria, everything is politics. The opposition will always want to find something to say even when you mean well for the security of the people. If somebody dies on the road, they will raise the alarm. There is nowhere in the world where you will say insecurity has been totally been subdued.
“They say we governors are the chief security officers but I may not agree and I say I am chief logistics officer, because I don’t have control of the Police or anybody. I only have control over logistics.
In his response, Governor Makinde pledged to continue to pursue peace in the South-West PDP, saying “I only have one thing to say. We will continue to pursue peace in PDP South-West, because we believe that South-West is pivotal to where Nigeria is going to move to.”