Paul Ibe, media aide to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has responded to comments made by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, regarding Atiku’s alleged silence on the January 16 explosion in Ibadan. Contrary to the governor’s statement, Ibe asserted that Atiku did express his condolences and empathy for the victims and the people of Oyo State shortly after the incident.
During a visit by Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State and Labour Party presidential candidate, to Governor Makinde, the latter remarked on Atiku’s lack of outreach over the tragic event. Makinde thanked Obi for his visit and empathy, noting the absence of any communication from Atiku, his party’s presidential candidate in the last elections.
However, Ibe clarified that Atiku had indeed issued a condolence message about the explosion less than 24 hours after it occurred. He suggested that Governor Makinde might not have been aware of this due to his busy schedule but emphasized that Atiku’s message was publicly available on January 17.
This clarification comes amidst strained relations within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as Atiku has blamed his defeat in the 2023 presidential election partly on the lack of support from Makinde and other PDP governors who formed the G-5 group. The G-5 governors had shown support for President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress in the presidential election.
In his visit to Ibadan, Peter Obi also extended his condolences to the families affected by the explosion and commended the government’s prompt response. He spoke on the need to reduce the cost of governance at the federal level, prioritizing critical areas like education, health, and poverty alleviation to improve the country’s situation.