Home politics Makinde Vs Fayose: Fear Of Factonalisation Increases In Southwest PDP

Makinde Vs Fayose: Fear Of Factonalisation Increases In Southwest PDP

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With plans underway for the conduct of a zonal congress that will produce zonal executive committee members for the Peoples Democratic Party in Southwest, the internal crisis ripping apart the party in the region has taken another dimension as party leaders have begun to trade words in public.

In this report OYOINSIGHT’s Adebayo Abdulrahman takes a look of the timeline of the public utterances that has escalated the fear of factionalisation in the zonal chapter of the party.

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The crisis in the Southwest chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party is a fierce fight to control the structure of the party in the region ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The tense atmosphere within the warring factions of the party which has made party leaders, including serving and former governors, past and current National Assembly members, as well as other prominent chieftains, divide into groups based on their personal interest became more visible as the zonal leader of the party, Governor Seyi Makinde and former Governor Ayodele Fayose resorted to the media to take slight digs at each other.

Giving credence to the fact that the fierce war between Governor Makinde and Fayose is the bane of the party’s crisis, a former Deputy National Chairman of the party from the Southwest told the Nation that the fresh crises rocking the PDP in the zone, including the re-emergence of factions in Ogun and Ekiti states, is the result of a fierce power struggle between ex-governor Fayose and those opposed to his alleged plot to pocket the PDP in the Southwest ahead of the 2023 presidential election. The elderly politician also accused Fayose of playing the script of a former presidential candidate of the party, in conjunction with Secondus and some other party leaders.

Another party source accused both Makinde and Fayose of creating confusion within the party because of their vice presidential ambitions. “Both Makinde and Fayose are positioning themselves as possible running mates to a northern presidential candidate of the PDP come 2023. That is why they are battling for the control of the zonal structures while also plotting to plant their men as state chairman and zonal executives. Unless the party finds a way of urgently halting these two ambitious young men, PDP will soon be engulfed in a very serious intra-party crisis, and it will start from the Southwest,” our source claimed.

In The Beginning…

Knowing fully well that it is important for the party to have a united home in the southwest, the National leadership of the party had given Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde an ‘assignment’ to unite the party in the region and in the process named him the leader of the party in the region.

However, this did not sit well with various groups within the party including Governor Fayose who enjoys the support of not less than four states chairmen of PDP in Southwest, which include Mr. Deji Doherty (Lagos); Sikirullahi Ogundele (Ogun); Sunday Olatunde Akanfe (Osun); and Bisi Kolawole (Ekiti).
His faction is also believed to have the ears of Hon. Ladi Adebutu, Chief Eddy Olafeso, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Mr. Uche Secondus and many other party leaders.

Makinde, on the other hand, enjoys the support of the state chairmen of Oyo and Ondo states, the southwest National Assembly caucus, the zonal caretaker committee and many other chieftains of the party across the zone.

Makinde should stay in Oyo’

However, in an unexpected twist of event, the first sign that the internal crisis is now fierce came when former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose warned Makinde against interfering in the local politics of other south west states, particularly Ekiti.

Fayose, who spoke when he led some National delegates of the party to Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, stated that even though Makinde is the leader of the party in the region, he has no right to tamper with the local leadership of any state.

“There has been a reasonable cold war of who and who becomes the executive of the zone. Governor Makinde has demanded that the zonal executive be sacked and a caretaker be fostered on the zone which the party did.

“But, since the caretaker committee came into being, he has not allowed them to function because he produced the chairman.

“Beyond that, the fact that there is a sitting governor does not say I should go to another man’s state. Nobody should come to my state; if you come to my state, I will face you squarely.

“I will continue to respect him because he is my brother, I love him so much and I was part of his emergence,” Fayose said.

He added that he is ready to fight anyone who plans or attempts to take over the control of the party’s leadership structure in Ekiti from him.

We reject any leadership against ‘democratic norms’ – PDP Chairmen

Similarly, after the threat by Fayose, the chairmen of the PDP in four southwest states explained that that even though “the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde is not in question” they “reject any style of leadership that does not respect democratic norms.”

The chairmen announced this after a zonal meeting held at the Secretariat of the party in Ogun State.

“It must be noted that each state has its own leaders as politics is local and its leadership structure must be respected, but, no state is ruled or governed by another.

“It has been established and a decision is taken that the existing zoning formula in the zone for the zonal executives of the party should not be tampered with.

“Our position is that any other formulae for the zone in the South West will not be acceptable to us.

“We seize this opportunity to let the National Working Committee know that it is nothing but free, fair, transparent and no violent congress is what is acceptable to us and we are ready to comply with all legitimate processes to determine the outcome of the zonal congress,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting read in parts.

The four chairmen present were: Engr Deji Doherty, Lagos; Sikirullahi Ogundele, Ogun; Sunday Olatunde, Akanfe, Osun and Bisi Kolawole, Ekiti.

Fayose is a ‘political jobber’ – Olujimi

However, Senator Biodun Olujimi of Ekiti South senatorial district, who is in a running battle with Fayose in Ekiti State, urged Governor Makinde to disregard the threat by Fayose, describing the latter and his collaborators as “political jobbers”.

Senator Olujimi, who spoke at a factional meeting of the PDP in Ado Ekiti, described Makinde as the “symbol of the party in the South West” adding that he should continue “to reposition, galvanise and salvage the party from the brinks of collapse.”

“Makinde is the symbol of the party in the South West. So, anything that must come from the zone must come through him. Fayose and his conspirators’ visit to Uche Secondus was nothing but recreational. I can take anybody to the national secretariat of the party and we take pictures.

“What is important is what was said. While they were there nothing could have been said. We stand by Makinde because nobody can rubbish him and wish him away. This is the best time South West zone needs the governor most when ‘hijackers’ are trying to undermine the party’s structure through egregious conspiracy,” she added.

Makinde will remain focused – Aide

Meanwhile, the following day after Fayose issued his treat, the Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Matters to Governor Makinde, Hon. Babatunde Oduyoye, said the Governor would remain focused on his mission to ensure the party is united in the zone.

Oduyoye, who stated this in a press statement in Ibadan, explained that “that the governor has been doing his best both as elected governor of Oyo State and as a leader of note within the PDP structure.”

“The governor will not back down from any effort that will bring about genuine reconciliation and strengthen the PDP in Ekiti State or any other state of the South-West for that matter, because he is of a strong conviction that it is by repositioning the party that all stakeholders can enjoy a win-win situation.

“We must also make something clear, the attempt to energise the opposition by insinuating that Governor Makinde has left the task of developing Oyo State for meddling in party affairs in other states leaves a bad taste in the mouth. For Governor Makinde, developing Oyo State is non-negotiable. He will continue to remain ever committed to rebuilding Oyo State as can be seen in the various efforts to fix the infrastructure deficit, revitalise the health sector and put in place solid policies for the turnaround of the education system.

“But as it is presently the case, the governor was found worthy of leading the PDP National Campaign Council for the Ondo election, having handled different responsibilities for the party in Kogi and Edo states. He is working hard and providing leadership for the council towards ensuring the victory of the party.

“All loyal party members including those who lost out at the recently concluded primaries should cooperate with the campaign council to ensure the party wins the election instead of allowing rancour and disunity in the ranks.

“We will strongly advise that stakeholders in the PDP whether in Ondo or Ekiti states should not allow themselves to be used by the opposition to distract Governor Makinde and derail the PDP,” Oduyoye wrote.

He added that it is advisable “that all stakeholders and lovers of the PDP should come to terms with the reconciliatory approach of Governor Makinde, which is aimed at bringing unity and more successes to the party that has suffered needlessly in the last few years.”

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