The crisis in Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) escalated on Friday, following the setting up of a parallel zonal reconciliation committee by the former Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose faction.
The party now has two reconciliation panels that are not on the same page. Two days ago, a zonal faction, led by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State set up the reconciliation committee headed by former Osun State Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Rising from a factional zonal meeting in Lagos, the aggrieved chieftains also charged the new committee to pursue reconciliation with vigour and sincerity.
The six-member reconciliation panel, headed by Femi Babalola, an engineer, was mandated to unite party chieftains in the zone within a reasonable time.
Other members of the committee are Chief Kolapo Ogunjobi, Ahmed Okandeji Mustapha, a lawyer, Chief Idowu Odeyemi and Chief Tunde Akindehin.
Also, a separate committee, headed by Chief Bola Olu-Ojo, was set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the woeful performance of the PDP in Ondo State during the recent governorship election. It has one month to carry out its assignment.
Other members of the second panel are Mike Ogunlade, Dr. Lere Oyewunmi, Otunba Femi Carena and Mrs. Mujidat Balogun.
According to the communique issued at the end of the factional meeting, “this panel must examine all issues relating to election planning, management and prosecution; identify all lapses and make useful recommendations to prevent such shoddy performances in the future.:
It added:” The Panel’s report will be submitted to the National Working Committee (NWC) for further actions.
Signatories to the committee are Bisi Kolawole (Chairman, Ekiti State), Sikirulai Ogundele (Chairman, Ogun State), Deji Doberty (Chairman, Lagos State) and Elder Sunday Akanfe (Deputy State Chairman, Osun State), and zonal caretaker committee members-Dayo Akintan, Mustapha Sikiru Banana, Martins Abiloye, Prince Nekan Olagbegi, Mrs. Funmi Ogun, and Wahab Owokoniran, Mrs. Fadeyi Ayo Awolowo.
“The communique reads: “We take due notice of the efforts of the National Working Committee geared towards sustaining our great party and extending its frontiers across the nation and commend it for its dedication and commitment to the party.
“We particularly congratulate them for the victory of the Party in the last gubernatorial election in Edo State.
“We also commend and congratulate Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who was the Chairman of 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.
“That we note very sadly the abysmally woeful performance of the Party in the last gubernatorial 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.
“This loss runs contrary to the trend of recent success attained in such elections in (a) Oyo which we successfully won in 2019 (b) Osun which we won outstandingly but was irresponsibly hijacked by the APC-controlled Federal Government through criminal abuse of privileges and (c) Ekiti that was hijacked.
“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.
“We also note that a group of people are beginning to introduce intra-party violence within the zone. This ugly development which poses the capability to destroy amity, unity and comradeship within the party must be checked at once.
“In view of this, the National Working Committee 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.
“We are aware of the fact that the Zonal Congress will hold in due course, thus the report of the Committee on Zoning of Executive positions was received and deliberated upon; therefore positions are zoned as follows; (a) Ondo– National Vice Chairman and Zonal Publicity Secretary;
(b) Osun– Zonal Secretary and Zonal Legal Adviser; (c) Ogun– Zonal Organising Secretary and Zonal Woman Leader; (d) Oyo– Zonal Auditor and Zonal Youth Leader; (e) Ekiti– Zonal Treasurer; (f) Lagos– Zonal Financial Secretary.
All the states will contribute additional Ex-Officio members to the Zonal Executive.
“We also wish to encourage the National Working Committee 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 Southwest; 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.”