Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has officially announced the current Chairman of Oyo State Housing Corporation, Barrister Bayo Lawal as his running mate for the 2023 governorship poll.
Makinde disclosed this on Tuesday, during a stakeholders meeting with Oke Ogun leaders at the Presidential Lodge, Government House, in Ibadan, the state capital.
Bayo Lawal, who was the Attorney General of the state hails from Kisi in Irepo local government area of Oyo state.
The announcement was made barely 48 hours after the current deputy governor of the state, Rauf Olaniyan, dumped the ruling PDP in the state for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The decision for Lawal as new running mate was taken during a crucial meeting held by Governor Makinde and leaders of PDP from Oke Ogun zone on Tuesday.
Apart from Governor Makinde, PDP leaders from Oke-Ogun that were in attendance during the meeting, included state chairman of the party, Dayo Ogungbenro; former state PDP chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha; Chairman, State Advisory Council, Senator Hosea Agboola, and as well as party elders and leaders from the Oke-Ogun region.
The closed-door meeting of the strategic stakeholders was held at the Presidential Lodge, Government House, Oke-Oyinbo, Agodi, Ibadan.
The meeting was a follow-up to the one, which the Governor held earlier with the Oke-Ogun PDP leaders and elders last week Friday to decide, who would be his running mate for 2023 election.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting on Tuesday, the new running mate to Makinde, Chief Bayo Lawal, who was supported by leaders, including Michael Adegbite, and Senator Gbenga Babalola, promised his loyalty to the Governor, the PDP and the people of Oyo State,
“I received this honour and privilege to run with His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Oluwaseyi Makinde. It is a great honour and privilege. I am not taking it lightly. I am taking it with all seriousness”, he said.
He appealed to political leaders and entire people of the state to give maximum cooperation to the administration of Makinde, adding that the governor has really transformed the state through massive infrastructural and human capital development.
On his part, Chairman of PDP, in the State, Dayo Ogungbenro, said: “You heard that the deputy governor of the state has left for another party, and the exigency of the period dictated that the governor should consult with our leaders from Oke-Ogun, which he did. The outcome of that consultations, he gave us today (Tuesday), and that is Barrister Bayo Lawal from Irepo Local Government to replace the deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan, and they (Makinde and Lawal) have to run on the same ticket.”
When asked if Lawal is to replace Olaniyan as deputy governor immediately, Ogungbenro said: “Don’t misquote me, I said they will run on the same ticket for 2023 election. Engineer Rauf Olaniyan still remains the deputy governor today.”
Meanwhile, indications have emerged that the stage is set for the deputy governor of the state, Rauf Olanjyan, to have his official office moved from the Governor’s Office to the Ministry of Environment, over the recent political developments.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY recalls that the office of a former deputy governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, was also moved to the same ministry between 2006 and 2007, after the Supreme Court reinstated Senator Rashidi Ladoja, following his impeachment for 11 months in the state. Alao-Akala later became governor in 2007.
It was gathered that Olaniyan had been using his private office since April following a midnight rainstorm that affected the roof and some parts of his official office.
Sources alleged that lawmakers in the state “are moving to a location to collect signatures, ahead of the impeachment process for the deputy governor.
The PDP had told the deputy governor, to either resign immediately or be impeached.