Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State said on Thursday that the South-West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will continue with efforts aimed at uniting its members to ensure a stronger party in the zone.
Governor Makinde, who addressed newsmen after a meeting with members of the Zonal Working Committee of the party, said that leaders of the party would continue to support reconciliatory efforts of the former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led Reconciliation Committee.
He added that the Oyinlola team will work with the committee set up by the national leadership of the PDP to unite the party in the South-West geopolitical zone.
He maintained that leaders of the party in the geopolitical zone will not be deterred or discouraged in their efforts to reconcile all parties in the South-West PDP, as he called on certain individuals behind the crisis rocking the zonal chapter to have a change of heart and do what is right for the party.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde as declaring that the alleged suspension of the zonal chairman of the party, Mr. Dayo Ogungbenro, as null and void.
He maintained that members of the zonal executive who announced the suspension of the chairman lacked the power to do so since they did not constitute two-thirds of the executive committee as guaranteed by the party’s constitution.
He said: “They don’t have the power to suspend the chairman. Even if you go constitutional, you know, 5 out of 12 is more than 45 per cent. So, let’s even say they want to go constitutional, you will need at least two-thirds by the constitution of the party. And two-thirds of 12 is 8.
“So, they don’t have that power and I am speaking now as the only governor of PDP in the South-West, the national leadership will respect my position on such matters,” Makinde said.
Speaking further after the meeting held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, Governor Makinde declared that the leaders of the PDP in the South-West have identified the troublemakers in their midst.
He said: “The leadership of PDP in the South-West came to see me to discuss the situation with PDP in the South-West zone and you can see the chairman and then out of the 12 members, 5 of them came in from Lagos, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti. We didn’t see anyone from Ondo and Ogun.
“So, we discussed. The Governor Oyinlola-led reconciliation committee will continue to do its work and it will also work together with the reconciliation committee set up by the National Working Committee of the party.”
Speaking on the causes of the crisis within the party in the South-West zone, the governor said: “They told me that one of our leaders has been the major individual causing trouble in the South-West and we deliberated to ask why that is so; and we said maybe because of the EFCC case or something like that.
“I said that shouldn’t be, because it is better to stay with your own party. Even if you have the EFCC case, the people that went and joined them [ruling party]; there is Joshua Dariye from Plateau and Reverend Jolly Nyame from Taraba, they ended up in jail. Even Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, it was only God that brought him out.
“So, that leader should forget about the EFCC case and do what is right for the party. Because I will just say it, for 2023, even God has rejected APC; the people of Nigeria have rejected them. They can be jumping around saying this one or that one wants to be president in 2023, if we (PDP) get in, there will be double jeopardy for him because he will have to run back from APC to PDP.
“But apart from that, I think we will continue the efforts to unite the party in the South-West geopolitical zone”, he concluded.