Presidential poll: Melaye challenges Gov Makinde to attend Tribunal, support Atiku after ‘healing starts now’ comment

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kogi State, Dino Melaye, has challenged the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, to a show of support for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

The governor, a PDP member, is widely believed to have supported the campaign bid of President Bola Tinubu who sought election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Aggrieved by Atiku’s emergence in the party’s primaries as opposed to a southerner, Makinde had joined a group of five PDP governors known as the G5 in the lead-up to the February 25 presidential election.

With the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring Tinubu as the winner, Atiku and others have filed petitions at the tribunal to challenge the victory.

Speaking on Saturday at a retreat for PDP elected officials held in Bauchi State, the Oyo governor said, “We were through a gruelling election, and whether we want to admit it or not, we had issues amongst ourselves during the election, but you know what?

“The healing process will have to start, and the healing process will start now. We must focus on things that will unite us. We must, as a matter of urgency, be forward-looking.”

During the question-and-answer portion of the event, Melaye redirected the governor’s words to him.

Asking Makinde to support Atiku’s claim that the election process was compromised, Melaye argued that the gesture “will show that the healing has truly started.”

“I just want to start by appreciating the comment of Governor Seyi Makinde this morning, particularly where he said, ‘Healing starts now,’” he said.

“And the way to start that healing is, I would be glad if between now, next week, and two weeks that we’ll be at the tribunal, to see Governor Seyi Makinde walk into the tribunal venue and sit down, to support the party, our candidate.”

According to the Kogi PDP candidate, it would demonstrate to Nigerians that the healing has started and show the world the PDP is united.