The crisis rocking the South-West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party took a new twist on Friday as the faction led by a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, set up a parallel reconciliation committee.
The faction also set up a five-man panel to study, assess and identify factors responsible for the party’s loss of the Ondo State governorship election and submit its report within a month.
In a meeting on Thursday in Ibadan presided over by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, ex-Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, was chosen as chairman of a five-man reconciliation committee to reconcile the aggrieved PDP members in the zone.
The communique at the end of the Ibadan meeting was issued by the acting Vice-National PDP, South-West, Dayo Ogungbenro, according to a state by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa.
A communique issued at the Fayose faction’s meeting of party leaders in the zone held in Lagos resolved that the group
took due notice of the efforts of the National Working Committee geared towards sustaining the party.
It stated, “We particularly congratulate them for the victory of the party in the last governorship election in Edo State. We also commend and congratulate Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who was the Chairman of the Edo State Campaign Committee and his team for their competence, commitment, dexterity and successful management of the Edo State election.
“We also pointedly underscore the fact that the approach and attitude to the prosecution of their assignments was the required catalyst for the party’s success. We also congratulate the people of that state for voting the PDP.”
According to the communique, the Fayose faction inaugurated a six-member committee with a member from all the states in the zone.
The members are Femi Babalola (Chairman), Chief Kolapo Ogunjobi, Ahmed Mustapha,
Chief Idowu Odeyemi,
Chief Tunde Akindehin
and Prince Diran Odeyemi (Secretary).
The committee’s terms of references included reconciliation of “thorny issues within the party, crisis settlement and all other sundry issues that may arise.”
The communique was signed by Bisi Kolawole (State Chairman, Ekiti State), Sikirulai Ogundele (State Chairman, Ogun State),
Deji Doberty (State Chairman Lagos State) and Sunday Akanfe (Deputy State Chairman, Osun State).
The zonal caretaker committee members who were also signatories to the communique included Dayo Akitan, Mustapha Sikiru, Martins Abiloye, Nekan Olagbegi, Mrs Funmi Ogun, Wahab Owokoniran and Mrs Fadeyi Ayo Awolowo.
The communique added, “That we note very sadly the abysmally woeful performance of the party in the last governorship election in Ondo State. We declare that it is disappointing that we lost that election so colossally in a state where we won the presidential election, two senators and three House of Representative seats in 2019.
“Therefore, it is resolved that a five-man panel is hereby set up to study, assess and identify factors responsible for this unprecedented woeful performance in Ondo State and submit its report within a month.”
Members of the panel included Chief Bola Olu-Ojo (Chairman), Mike Ogunlade, Dr Lere Oyewunmi, Femi Carena and Mrs Mujidat Balogun.
It noted that the panel must examine all issues relating to election planning, management and prosecution, identify all lapses and make useful recommendations to prevent shoddy performances in future.
“The panel’s report will be submitted to the National Working Committee for further actions. We also note that a group of people are beginning to introduce intra-party violence within the zone. This ugly development which possess the capability to destroy amity, unity and comradeship within the party must be checked at once.
In view of this, the NWC is hereby encouraged to take stringent actions against identified sponsors of such actions. Therefore the panel report detailing all incidences of violence and their sponsors will be forwarded to the NWC for further action,” it indicated.
Noting that it was aware that zonal congress would hold in due course, it added that the report of the committee on zoning of executive positions was received and deliberated upon.
It thus therefore zoned positions as follows; (a) Ondo–National Vice Chairman and Zonal Publicity Secretary;
Osun–Zonal Secretary and Zonal Legal Adviser; Ogun– Zonal Organising Secretary and Zonal Woman Leader; Oyo– Zonal Auditor and Zonal Youth Leader; Ekiti– Zonal Treasurer; and Lagos– Zonal Financial Secretary.
The communique further stated, ” All the states will contribute additional ex-officio members to the zonal executive.
“We also wish to encourage the NWC to be ready to discipline errant member(s) of the party that deliberately take any action that may compromise the peace and interest of the party in the South West; irrespective of position, status and privileges.
“It is only when discipline is enforced that the party will continue to grow and attain success. As responsible party leaders, we recognise the fact that the National Working Committee remains the ultimate authority over the party and as such trust in its competence to address all issues and matters developing within the party, as such hold firmly and trust that it will not share its sacrosanct responsibilities with anybody or group. Therefore, we shall seek audience with it in respect of developments within the party.”