The protracted feud between former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose and Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has forced the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to shift its zonal congress earlier slated to hold in Ibadan on Saturday.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP after an extensive deliberation Thursday on the planned congress in the region decided that the congress should be postponed to Monday April 12, while the venue should also be moved to Oshogbo to satisfy all parties.
The Fayose led camp had complained about the venue of the congress, insisting that it must be moved.
In the last few months, Fayose and Makinde have been having a running party over the control of the party in the region. While Fayose had consistently claimed he is the leader of the party in the region based on his antecedent and work for the party.
Makinde has, however, said that as an incumbent Governor he should be the leader of the party in the region. On numerous occasions aides of the two leaders have engaged in a war of words on social media.
Ahead of the zonal congress, both leaders have also disagreed on who should emerged the PDP National Vice Chairman (SouthWest), while Fayose is rooting for immediate occupant of the position and ex-Ondo State Information Commissioner, Eddy Olafeso, Makinde is supporting a former deputy governor of his state, Taofeek Arapaja.
A sources who spoke to BusinessDay said that at the Thursday meeting that was held in Abuja and attended by the party’s national chairman, Uche Secondus, the national secretary, Ahmed Tsauri and Bukola Saraki led Reconciliation and Strategy Committee, Fayose and his loyalists rejected the choice for Ibadan venue.
However, after his narration, a Governor from one of the NorthEastern states pleaded with Governor Makinde to concede change of venue from Ibadan to another location other than Abeokuta and Oshogbo which was agreed by both parties.
Top leaders of the PDP are said to be intensifying efforts to settle two leaders before Monday’s planned zonal congress.
“In order to find common ground, a senior leader of the party proposed Osogbo, the capital of Osun state, where the chairman of southwest reconciliation committee and former governor of the state, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, hails from; this proposal was agreed by Governor Makinde, who further reiterated his resolve to see a united Southwest PDP as the leader of the zone.
“After the agreement was reached and to avoid any legal trap, the party decided to shift the date of the congress to Monday, April 12, 2021 in order to properly notify INEC as prescribed by the electoral act”, the sources said.
Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the party in a statement, Thursday, assured that the PDP national leadership was ready to work with all stakeholders to achieve a seamless and unifying congress of the party in the South-West zone.
“The PDP urges all leaders of our party, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party in the South-West and the nation at large to be accordingly guided,” it said.
“The party commended the spirit of understanding, unanimity and selflessness exhibited by our leaders and critical stakeholders in the SouthWest in the deliberation of issues related to the zone,” Ologbondiyan said.