Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, has urged former Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to sheathe his sword against Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to strengthen the party in the South West.
Makinde and Fayose have been embroiled in controversy over the leadership of the South West chapter of the main opposition party in Nigeria.
Pearse, a University of Lagos lecturer, made this appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said: “The party at the South West level is having problems mainly because of Fayose.
“We are not saying Fayose has no right to aspire to have officers in the South West that will support him, but it should be done fairly, respectfully and we should work within the democratic process.
“Setting people up against Makinde and calling him names is not good for the party that want to win election.
“We should not act like children at this time.
“My advice is for him to sheathe his sword and let us sue for peace, be cordial in the way we deal with our leader, who is Makinde now, in the South West.”
Pearse said the lingering crisis would send many away from the party and further dim its fortune in future elections.
According to him: “Unnecessary crisis among leaders of the party will further send many away to the ruling party.
“It is obvious that by conventions and common sense and in fairness to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo, being the only PDP governor in the zone, he is its leader in the zone.
“This is what happened when Fayose himself was the only PDP governor in the zone before former Ondo Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, joined him.”
Pearse urged Fayose to douse the tension in the interest of the party.
He said: “Many of our members who are moving to APC (All Progressives Congress) are moving because they feel that there is no future in PDP.
“The main problem they see in PDP is the division in the party, which exists mainly at the top leadership of the party.
“At the grassroots, the ward and LGA levels, the PDP is as strong as ever and our members are as faithful as ever.”