S/West PDP Zonal Caucuses Hold Parallel Meeting

..Makinde Nominates Arapaja As Chair , Fayose’s Loyalists Back Olafeso

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West Zone held a zonal 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.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State, Senator Olu Alabi, Senator Abiodun Olujinmi, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin, and former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, who spoke at the meeting emphasized the need for unity of purpose ahead of the party’s zonal congress.

Makinde stressed that the party must be united and reconciled and that the Prince Oyinlola 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, which was held at the premises of 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.

He stated that 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, National Assembly and state levels in 2023.

“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.

He added 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.

While Makinde led former governors, deputies and members of the National Assembly to a meeting in Ibadan, other prominent PDP leaders held another PDP South-West Caucus meeting in Lagos.

Rising from the Lagos meeting, the caucus , in a communique  signed by the Zonal Secretary,    Daisi Akintan, Chairmen of Lagos, Osun, Ogun and Ekiti States,  Adedeji Doherty, Sunday Bisi, Dr Sikirulai Ogundele and  Bisi Kolawole respectively, called on  Makinde to desist from causing division in the party by creating parallel excos in some states.

The communique read;  “We members of the Zonal Caucus of the Party in the South-West, pursuant to Section 27(5) as amended in 2017, here gathered  deliberated on the fortunes of the Party and particularly with emphasis to place it on sound footing in our zone and resolves as follows-

“That we stand firmly by the resolutions of the Ibadan meeting of 12th March 2020, affirming the return of Dr Eddy Olafeso as Zonal Chairman, Rev Bunmi Jenyo as Zonal Secretary, among others,  believing that as matured and sincere Party members, resolutions and agreements are sacrosanct and must always be respected.

“That we call on the Oyo State Governor,  Engr Seyi Makinde to stop acting like Governor-General of the South-West Zone and desist from causing division in the party by setting up parallel State Excos in some States.

“That our vision and desire is to see the PDP thrive in the South West Zone and win elections.That sequel to the above, the under listed people have been approved as candidates for election at the Zonal Congress.

“Dr Eddy Olafeso, National Vice Chairman; Rev. Bunmi Jenyo, Zonal Secretary; Hon Bakene Fasiu Adewale, Zonal Organising Secretary; Mr Femi Adetola, Youth Leader; Mrs Abimbola Lanre Balogun, Woman Leader; Mr Oke Ojo Micheal, Treasurer; Engr Balogun Kolawole Ayuba, Auditor; Mr Dosu Babatunde, Legal Adviser; Mr Ayo Fadaka; Zonal Publicity Secretary and Hon. Philip Olabode Aivoji, Financial Secretary.