New Telegraph

Atiku, Makinde Trade Words Over Ibadan Explosion

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde have squabbled over alleged insensitivity of the former to the explosion that rocked the state some weeks ago.

New Telegraph recalls that on Tuesday, January 16 a bomb explosion occurred at Dejo Oyelese Street, near Old Adeyi Avenue, Old Bodija Estate, Ibadan, leaving more than five persons dead, 77 injured, and scores of houses partially or completely damaged.

Following the explosion, eminent Nigerians and political gladiators have sympathised with the state government and family of the victims.

Correspondingly, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi on Monday paid a condolence visit to the state over the explosion alongside two chieftains of the party to commiserate with Makinde and the people of Oyo State.

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The governor, while receiving Obi in Ibadan, came down hard on Atiku for failing to reach out and offer condolences to the government, victims, and people of the state following the explosion.

He, however, thanked Obi for visiting the state and prioritising the well-being of the citizens over political gain.

He said Obi was unlike his party presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Atiku, who had yet to visit the state.

Makinde stated that there were three major presidential candidates in the 2023 elections. He said President Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Obi of LP had reached out to commiserate with him and the people of Oyo State, while Atiku of PDP was yet to extend such sympathy.

The governor said, “I should use this opportunity on behalf of the good people of Oyo State to thank His Excellency, Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State and also the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the last election.

“I thank you because politics didn’t sip into this; you came to commiserate with us over the explosion. Actually, the investigation is still ongoing, it was simply illegal miners storing explosives in an environment where they shouldn’t be, a place meant for people to live, it’s not a mining site.

“So, all the lapses that allowed such to happen are being looked into. I’m particularly grateful because the president called me, we have three musketeers that went for that election.

“The president has reached out to me, you have reached out to me, but my own party candidate, not even a call or text message.

“I’m saying this openly so that our leaders would know that, yeah, you have time for politics, you have time for governance, and you have time for humanity. So, we want to say thank you so much. We appreciate this visit.”

Reacting in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said, “With due respect to Governor Seyi Makinde, we wish to correct his expression about the response of His Excellency Atiku Abubakar to the recent explosion in the city of Ibadan.

“Atiku Abubakar made a condolence message about the Ibadan explosion, less than 24 hours after its occurrence, where he shared his commiseration and empathy with the good people and government of Oyo State over the incident.

“Perhaps, the governor has been too busy to take track of media reports on the incident. But we wish to put on record that on the 17th of January, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar did make a widely available message on the Ibadan incident, which reads as follows:

‘I wish to express my condolences to the good people and government of Oyo State over the explosion that rocked the capital city of Ibadan late on Monday night.

‘While the government continues to provide humanitarian support to victims of the explosion, I commiserate with the families of those who might have lost their lives and property to the explosion.’”

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