PDP Zonal Congress: Makinde, Oyinlola, Oni, Others Meet In Ibadan


PDP Zonal Congress: Makinde, Oyinlola, Oni, Others Meet In Ibadan

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South-West Zone, held a caucus meeting in Ibadan, on Tuesday, where they stressed the need for a united front ahead of the zonal congress of the party, slated for March 6.

The leaders present at the meeting, included Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State, former Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State, Senator Olu Alabi, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin and former deputy governor of Oyo State, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, among others.

Also in attendance were former deputy governors of Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor Akerele, Erelu Olusola Obada, Ambassador Arapaja, Dr. Sikiru Tae Lawal, Professor Olusola Eleka and Ambassador Omolade Oluwateru; BOT members, including Senator Alabi, Dr. Saka Balogun and Chief Segun Adegoke.

Present also were serving and former National Assembly members, including Senators Olujinmi, Kola Balogun, Duro Faseyi, Kamorudeen Adedibu, Hosea Agboola, Honourable Stanley Olajide, Honoirable Tajudeen Obasa, Hon. Yemi Taiwo, Honourable Abass Adigun, Honourable Tunji Shoyinka and Honourable Rita Orji.

Others present were members of the PDP Board of Trustees and National Executive Committee, members of the national and state working committees of the PDP in the zone and three physically challenged persons, in line with the stipulation of the PDP Constitution, 2017, as amended.

The various PDP zonal leaders who spoke at the meeting harped on the need for conciliation and unity of purpose ahead of the party’s zonal congress, just as some modalities for the congress were also discussed.

In his speech, Governor Makinde said the party must be united and reconciled, adding that the Prince Oyinlola-led reconciliation committee had been going about its responsibilities, though overtures from it were being rebuffed by some individuals.

He stated that the zonal caucus meeting, held at the Presidential Lodge of the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, was history in the making, saying that the redemption of the country politically could not take place without the contributions of the South-West zone.

Makinde said the meeting heralded a zonal congress that would help put in place a new PDP zonal executive in the South-West region, which, according to him, will help to install a new government at the federal and state levels in 2023.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the reconciliation committee we set up, ably led by former Governor Oyinlola. He made sure that the necessary things were done to bring everyone together. At the end of the day, I believe we will have a reconciled and united party in South-West PDP.

“We are on the verge of history. A lot of people may not know but I can give you the assurance that our coming together to put in our executives that will lead our party in the South-West zone is history in the making.

“This is because there cannot be redemption for our country without the participation of the South-West. And our party will provide right leadership for the country in 2023.

“The journey to install PDP in 2023 is starting now with this zonal congress. So, I can only pity those who are staying outside and throwing stones inside. I want to also state that history will record their position accurately.

“I will encourage us to urge them to come in. We have the reconciliation committee already. This committee has been trying to reach out to them and they have said they are not ready to participate.

“We will continue to reach out to them because if we are all united, we have the chance to redeem Nigeria,” the governor said, adding that the zone had, during the last meeting, zoned out executive positions to the six states.

The governor equally used the occasion of the meeting to unveil a former Deputy Governor of Oyo State and Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Lebanon, Chief Arapaja, as Oyo State’s sole nominee for the chairmanship post in the zone, which he said had earlier been zoned to the state.

He noted that the name of Arapaja was arrived at after thorough consultations across the state, adding that he was also chosen as the state’s nominee because whoever would be zonal chairman should have depth and experience.

Speaking earlier, the PDP zonal caretaker chairman, Honourable Dayo Ogungbenro, stressed that the zonal caucus was taking place in line with the stipulation of the party’s constitution, adding that the zone had earlier on November 12, 2020, zoned posts to each of the six states.

While also speaking on behalf of the PDP BOT members in the zone, Senator Olu Alabi said the PDP is governed by a constitution and a tradition, stating that one of the traditions is that governors in the zone are the leaders of the party and that, since Governor Makinde is the only PDP governor in the zone, he is the leader of the party.

Alabi, however, urged the governor and other leaders to stomach insults and reach out to all sides in order to forge a formidable and united PDP, adding that the governor should institute and strengthen the Elders’ Committee in each state.

Similarly, Senator Olujinmi, said the National Asemmbly members recognised that the PDP is one under the leadership of Governor Makinde, and urged the reconciliation committee to continue its works.

In his speech, Oyinlola, the former Osun State governor, who spoke on behalf of former PDP governors, said only a united front could bring positive results to the party, adding that there would always be disagreements but all sides must bury the hatchet and move forward in the interest of the party.

Other speakers, including the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Ogundoyin; Honourable Dayo Ogunniyi from Ondo and Colonel Roland Omowa (rtd), stressed the need for the South-West PDP to reconcile and speak with one voice.

In his submission, Ogundoyin equally admonished that the party must bring more youths on board so that they could be trained and prepared for the future.

The meeting later went into a closed session and speaking shortly thereafter, the caretaker zonal chairman, Ogungbenro, maintained that the meeting discussed modalities for the coming congress.

He added that each state was asked to discuss its challenges on the posts earlier zoned to it and that all states agreed to submit the names of their nominees for onward transmission to the party.