Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday, lamented that out of the three major candidates who contested the 2023 presidential election, only the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has not called or sent a message to him to commiserate with the people of the state over the recent explosion in Ibadan, the state capital.

Five people were confirmed dead while 77 sustained varying degrees of injuries and 58 houses were damaged during the explosion that rocked Adeji, Old Bodija in Ibadan.

Makinde made his position known in Ibadan while receiving the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, during his visit to the Governor’s Office, to commiserate with the government and the good people of the state.

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He further noted that Atiku’s silence sent a troubling message about his character and judgment.

The governor said, “Let me use this opportunity to thank the former Governor of Anambra and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi for the visit.

“I thank him because politics didn’t seep into this. You came here to commiserate with us over the explosion. Investigation is going on. It was simply illegal miners storing explosives in an environment where they shouldn’t be.

“It is a place where it’s meant for people to live in. It’s not a mining site. So, all the lapses that allowed such to happen have been looked into.

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“I am particularly grateful because the musketeers that went for the presidential election have reached out to me. The president has called me, you have reached out to me, but my own party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has not called or even sent a text message.

“And I am saying it openly, so that our leaders will know that there is time for politics, you have a time for governance and you have a time for humanity. So, we want to say thank you so much, sir. We appreciate this visit.”

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Earlier, Obi said his visit was to pay condolence to the governor and the people of the state over the recent explosion.

He said, “Through the governor, we want to extend our condolences to the bereaved families and to all those who lost their valuable property in the incident and to assure them of our prayers that God will grant those who lost their lives eternal rest. And we want to thank the government for its prompt response and that is what governance has to be.”

Speaking on the economic situation of the country and its effect on the masses, Obi called for a cut in the cost of governance at the Federal level as a necessary sacrifice to move the country forward.

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“All of us are now involved, and all of us should work hard and make the necessary sacrifices to see that we turn around the situation. That is why it is necessary when things happen here, and the government responds in a manner government should respond and everybody comes to participate and commend them for doing the right thing.

“It’s a matter of sacrifice, today, elections are over, governance is the key thing and what is required for me is to cut down on the cost of governance, especially at the Federal level, it is unacceptable the way it is going, we need to prioritize critical areas such as education, health and pulling people out of poverty,” he stressed.