The rift between Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan, has deepened, less than two years after the two engineers paired for the 2019 poll.
The bone of contention, said a source, is the 2023 poll. While the governor is working hard to deliver on his promises to earn a second term, the source said his deputy also harbours a governorship ambition.
The gulf between the duo widened, following silent complaints by the deputy governor’s camp that he was not being carried along by his boss.
But the deputy governor on Wednesday emphasized that the mandate given to him was to work with the governor.
However, the governor, according to the source, has dismissed the allegation, saying that Olaniyan has specific roles allotted to him by the governor.
When the governor was in isolation centre, associates of the deputy governor complained that his boss never handed over to him.
The deputy governor is responsible for the supervision of many boards and parastatals, and other special duties, it was learnt.
On some occasions, the deputy governor had stormed the State House only to discover that his boss had gone for official assignment, which was unknown to him.
However, the source said Makinde believed that his deputy has much to do in government, adding that “the onus is on him to generate robust ideas which can add value, owing implementation”.
Party chieftains also said the deputy governor, who may defect from the ruling party, is eyeing the seat occupied by his boss when the coast is not clear.
But, the deputy governor denied any between him and his boss.
He also denied a report that he will never end his rift with his boss, adding that, if there is a rift, as a true Muslim, he would seek for its resolution.
Olaniyan described an online report titled: “Governor Makinde’s Deputy, Olaniyan Has Vowed Never To End Rift With His Boss” as not only baseless, but a figment of the magination.
He said in a statement by his media aide, Omolere Omoetan, that he has a mandate to work with the governor to serve the people of Oyo State.
Olaniyan said he would not be distracted by reports emanating from shady sources and mischief makers.
He urged the people to disregard the statement attributed to him by the phantom source quoted in the malicious report.
Olaniyan berated those behind the fake news, saying that their plot to sow a seed of discord will collapse.
He promised to work assiduously with Makinde, to provide good governance to the people in line with the governor’s vision.