Dr Morounkola Thomas, a three-time commissioner and Executive Assistant on Political Matters to the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has said a huge number of the masses in Oyo State are still supporting Governor Seyi Makinde despite the ugly incident in Ibarapa.
It is thought that Makinde’s popularity has been affected in the wake of the crisis leading to the forceful eviction and torching of the residence of the Seriki Fulani in Ibarapa, who is said to be a part of the criminal syndicate kidnapping and killing the Yorubas, while destroying their farmlands.
But Dr Morounkola, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, while speaking on an interview on Saturday, 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.
When he was quizzed for his earlier comment where he illustrated Makinde as a better philanthropist than a politician, he said “Makinde, is like the late Chief MKO Abiola who used philanthropy as a strategy to gain people’s sympathy and thereafter won 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 an election, the same thing Seyi Makinde has done and he got the sympathy of the people,” he said.
Then added the reason 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 terrible result 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.