The claim by Sen.Teslim Folarin, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Oyo State in the March 18 poll, that this electoral loss was caused by intrigues and political alignment to ensure President Bola Tinubu’s victory has elicited anger within the party.
Tinubu, who was the APC candidate in the February 25 presidential election, polled 449,884 votes to beat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 182,977 votes in Oyo State. But in the governorship election, the incumbent, Seyi Makinde of the PDP polled 563,756 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Folarin, who garnered 256,685 votes.
Folarin, who broke his silence over the outcome of the election at the weekend, posited that he was sacrificed for Tinubu’s victory, pointing out that the political arrangement for Tinubu’s victory caused his electoral loss. He, however, expressed his preference for the APC to be win the presidency and lose the governorship election in the state rather than the opposite.
The claim by Folarin has, however, caused a deep outburst within the circle of core progressives in the state with a group, the Oyo Progressive Front (OPF) countering him.
The group, in a statement on Sunday, insisted that Folarin lost squarely in the election because of his refusal to reconcile with aggrieved old members after hijacking the party structure as well as what it described as his ‘unsellable’ name.
The statement, which was signed by the state coordinator, Mr Tunde Lawal, urged Folarin to stop lamenting his electoral loss, adding that he was the architect of his own misfortune and that of the APC in Oyo State.
“He should keep quiet and stop his tale of woe that he brought on the progressives family in the state.
“Folarin should tender an unreserved apology to members and leaders of APC in the state and at the national level.
“Due to his inordinate ambition and his ‘grab-all’ politics, he caused a major upheaval in the party. After grabbing the party structure, he followed up with the governorship ticket of the party after which he started rolling out party tickets to his acolytes and sold the remaining tickets to ready-made buyers. While no one begrudged his ambition, he forgot that a tree does not make a forest. He neglected and ignored all other stakeholders in order to satisfy his ambition, that is what led to his misfortune. A majority of the APC members in the state had migrated to other parties due to the injustice. So how did he think he could win the governorship election? In any case, there was an interval between the presidential election and the governorship election, so his loss had nothing to do with the presidential election,” the statement read in part.
The group recalled that Tinubu had advised Folarin to move round and reconcile with aggrieved members, but he ignored the advice.
“Folarin’s past record was another reason he lost the election. It was clear to everyone in Oyo State that his personality was unsellabl,” the statement added.