By James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
Former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has warned the Oyo State governor, Engr Seyi Makinde to steer clear of party structures in all the states in the Southwest region of the country.
Fayose, who gave the warning in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the Southwest stakeholders meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), ahead of the party’s zonal convention, said that Makinde has no right to interfere in the local politics of any state despite his position as leader of the party in the zone.
He equally told old politicians in the country to leave political space for younger generations during the forthcoming general elections in 2023, stressing that “this is the only way the country would witness desires development it has been yearning for”.
The meeting was attended by National delegates of the party including chairmen of the party in Osun, Ekiti, Lagos to Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
Fayose noted that “Makinde, though the only PDP governor in the region should allow every state to be governed by its local leaders.”
He said, “he is ready to fight anyone that wants to take over the structure of the party in Ekiti from him.
He said, “There has been a reasonable cold war of who and who becomes the executive of the zone. Governor Makinde has demanded that the zonal executive be sacked and a caretaker be fostered on the zone which the party did”
“But, since the caretaker committee came into being, he has not allowed them to function because he produced the chairman.
“The fact that Makinde is the only sitting governor in the zone does not say he should go to another man’s state and interfere in the local politics there. Nobody should come to my state; if you come to my state, I will face you squarely.
“I (Fayose) will continue to respect him (Makinde) because he is my brother, I love him so much and I was part of his emergence.”
“Leaders does not give you the power to go and manage another state. Every state has its own leaders, but by recognition and respect, whosoever is the governor is a leader.
“When I was the governor, I was the leader, but nobody can come out to say I was ruling their state or I was picking people from their states. You can’t pick people in my state, the moment you support any faction in my state, we have to face you.
“There is a level of respect a leader must have to continue to be a leader, so, the moment you cross that line, we are going to look into your eyes.
” We are professional when it comes to that, I am not somebody that will hide to fight, I fight you publicly”
In his reaction, a chieftain of the party in the Ogun State, Hon. Ladi Adebutu pledged that 85 per cent of the party structure in the state will support Eddy Olafeso’s candidacy.
Adebutu noted that his structure which he claimed had the majority in Ogun state will ensure Olafeso that emerge as the Southwest Chairman of PDP.
Similarly, in their separate responses, the chairmen of PDP in Southwest which include Engr Deji Doherty (Lagos); Sikirullahi Ogundele (Ogun); Sunday Olatunde Akanfe (Osun) and Bisi Kolawole (Ekiti) endorsed the candidature of Olafeso.
In a communique issued and signed by the four-state chairmen noted that no state is ruled or governed by another.
The party chairmen emphasised that there is need for the party to allow local politics in respective at states.
The chairmen in the communique resolved, “it must also be noted that the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde is not in question.
”It must be noted that each state has its own leaders as politics is local and its leadership structure must be respected, but no state is ruled or governed by another.
“It has been established and a decision is taken that the existing zoning formula in the zone for the zonal executives of the party should not be tampered with. Our position is that any other formulae for the zone in the South West will not be acceptable to us.
“We seize this opportunity to let the National Working Committee know that it is nothing but free, fair, transparent and no violence congress is what is acceptable to us and we are ready to comply with all legitimate processes to determine the outcome of the
“The Eddy Olafeso led zonal executive only spent two years from November 2017 till date, should be allowed to complete the very credible job they’ve commenced in the South West. The team must be allowed to complete their tenure.
”We reject any style of leadership that does not respect democratic norms. Everybody must be carried along for the same of equity and fairness.
”All we are saying is that we must give peace a chance and allow the South West to take its rightful position in the PDP and Nigeria.”