On February 25, 2023, the people of Oyo State, Nigeria, exercised their democratic right to vote for their preferred presidential candidate. The outcome of the election saw the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, emerge as the winner in Oyo State with a total of 449,884 votes, while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) received 182,977 votes.
In the aftermath of the election, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State gave his thoughts on the reasons for Tinubu’s victory in the state. Speaking on Splash FM’s State Affairs with Desmond Obilo, Makinde expressed his happiness at being part of a process that “redrew the electoral map of Nigeria.” He also stated that he stood for equity and fairness in the electoral process.
Makinde emphasized the need for fairness, justice, and equity in Nigeria’s electoral process. He stated that he supported a united Nigeria that provides equal opportunities for every part of the country. The governor added that when he was informed that he delivered his ward to Tinubu, he said, “He (Tinubu) defeated me out there. How do you deliver your ward?”
He noted that democracy is about people expressing themselves through the ballot, and many people in Oyo voted for who they wanted. He added that people should be allowed to express themselves, and politicians should not impose their will on the people.
Makinde said, “You know, you allow people to express themselves. A lot of our people, that is what they decided to do. They decided that look, we want after eight years of presidency in the North, they want it to come to the South, and this place being South-West, one of theirs was a candidate, so they supported one of their own.”
Makinde emphasized the need for politicians to build bridges and reach out to others to seek alignment, as the result of the election demonstrated that people would no longer vote for someone just because of their region. He added that the arrogance that characterized Nigerian politics in the past is gradually becoming a thing of the past.
Governor Makinde also highlighted the importance of conducting surveys before elections to understand the people’s sentiments and respond appropriately. He noted that before the election, they conducted a survey that revealed that many people in Oyo were agitating for a country where there is fairness, equity, and justice. He pointed out that he communicated these findings to his party, emphasizing that they needed to align with the people’s demands.
Governor Makinde’s statements on the reasons for Tinubu’s victory in Oyo State highlighted the importance of fairness, equity, and justice in Nigeria’s electoral process. He also emphasized the need for politicians to listen to the people and build bridges to seek alignment, rather than imposing their will on the people.