The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has slammed the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, over his failure to commiserate with him following the recent explosion in Ibadan.
The explosion which happened on January 16, 2024 claimed the lives of at least five people, left 77 with varying degrees of injuries, and damaged 58 houses.
Makinde criticised Atiku when he received the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on Monday.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank the former Governor of Anambra and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi for the visit.
“I thank him because politics didn’t seep into this. You came here to commiserate with us over the explosion. Investigation is going on. It was simply illegal miners storing explosives in an environment where they shouldn’t be.
“It is a place where it’s meant for people to live in. It’s not a mining site. So, all the lapses that allowed such to happen have been looked into.
“I am particularly grateful because the musketeers that went for the presidential election have reached out to me. The president has called me, you have reached out to me, but my own party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has not called or even sent a text message.
“And I am saying it openly, so that our leaders will know that there is time for politics, you have a time for governance and you have a time for humanity. So, we want to say thank you so much, sir. We appreciate this visit,” said Makinde.
Recall that Makinde was a member of the ‘Integrity Group’ otherwise known as G5 governors who fell out with Atiku and opposed his candidature ahead of the February 25 presidential poll.
Other in the group were former governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers; Samuel Ortom of Benue; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu; and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia.
The group refused to support Atiku’s presidential bid, arguing that it was against the agreement to zone the presidency to the south.
Meanwhile, Makinde had during his meeting with Obi noted that investigations into the explosion are ongoing.
“Investigations are still going on, it was an issue of illegal miners storing explosive devices in an environment where they should not be kept,” he added.
The governor however urged political leaders to prioritize both politics and humanity in times of crisis. Obi earlier said that his visit aimed to offer condolences to the governor and the state’s residents following the recent explosion.
He said, “Through the governor, we want to extend our condolences to the bereaved families and to all those who lost their valuable property in the incident and to assure them of our prayers that God will grant those who lost their lives eternal rest. And we want to thank the government for its prompt response and that is what governance has to be.”
Addressing the nation’s economic challenges and their impact on the public, Obi advocated for reduction in federal governance costs, considering it a crucial sacrifice for advancing the country.
“All of us are now involved, and all of us should work hard and make the necessary sacrifices to see that we turn around the situation. That is why it is necessary when things happen here, and the government responds in a manner the government should respond and everybody comes to participate and commend them for doing the right thing.
“It’s a matter of sacrifice, today, elections are over, governance is the key thing and what is required for me is to cut down on the cost of governance, especially at the Federal level, it is unacceptable the way it is going, we need to prioritize critical areas such as education, health and pulling people out of poverty,” he added .