By Adeola Badru
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday, finally picked the Executive Chairman of Oyo State Housing Corporation and former Commissioner for Justice in the state, Barrister Bayo Lawal, as his running mate for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Announcing his running mate for the second term, Makinde, who addressed party leaders, local government party chairmen and local government chairmen from the 10 local governments of Oke Ogun Area in the state, held at the Presidential Lodge of the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, said that following consultations with party leaders, he has picked a running mate from Irepo/Olorunsogo/Oorelope Federal Constituency, where his incumbent deputy hails from, to ensure balance in the power configuration.
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state, Dayo Ogungbenro, who spoke at the behest of the governor, stated that Barr. Lawal has been chosen to run with Makinde.
He said: “You heard it that the deputy governor of the state has left for another party and the exigency of the period made it important for the governor to consult with our leaders from Oke-Ogun, which he did.”
“The outcome of that consultations is that Barrister Bayo Lawal from Irepo Local Government, will run with Governor Makinde as his Deputy Governor in the 2023 general elections. That is the interpretation.”
Also speaking at the end of the meeting, the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP, Barrister Bayo Lawal, appreciated Governor Makinde and all the leaders from Oke Ogun for choosing him as the governor’s running mate.
According to him: “this is a great privilege that I won’t take lightly or simply but with all seriousness. “Our leaders have spoken about the journey so far. A lot of consultations have gone into choosing me as the running mate of the governor come 2023.”
“Obviously, His Excellency’s considerations are many but he singled out a few of them – replacing his running mate from the same federal constituency where the current Deputy Governor came from.”
“So, it is really a great honour for all of us in the Oke-Ogun region, which the Deputy Governor has been zoned to.”
“I, therefore, wish to extend my appreciation to all my leaders from Oke- Ogun. To the glory of God, none of our leaders opposed my nomination as running mate, which clearly shows the acceptance is overwhelming.”
“However, this throws a lot of challenges to me as a person. First, I have pleaded with all my leaders to give maximum cooperation to this administration. We want to continue on that pace and tempo and even add more.”
“That is what I am supposed to do as the Deputy Governor and I pledge my loyalty to the governor, the party and the people of Oyo state.”
Elders and leaders of the party from the zone appreciated the governor through Pa Michael Adegbite, a foremost Oyo State PDP chairman, reiterating the readiness of the party and the people of the zone to support Governor Makinde to achieve success in the forthcoming elections.