The rift between the former Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose and the Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde, might have been settled during the zonal congress of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Osogbo, Osun state, Monday.
The process that was initially appeared tensed with the arrays of thugs mobilized into the state for the congress, turned peaceful with the appearance of Fayose at the Wocdif center, venue of the congress in Osogbo.
When Fayose entered the hall, he went straight to where Makinde sat and greeted him, hugging each other.
Addressing the delegates thereafter, Fayose said “Governor Seyi Makinde is our leader. Our supporters and lovers should not continue to put wedge between us. Either ways this election goes, I will accept. Even though Arapaja has abused me so much, I will be the first person to visit him in Ibadan. Nobody has offended me and if I have offended anybody, I sincerely apologise. Seyi Makinde remains our father come what may.”
Earlier, Governor Seyi Makinde had described the congress as a family affair, put forward to reposition the PDP in the Southwest.
He said, “this is a family affair. It is an attempt to reposition our party in the Southwest. It has ramifications for our party nationally. Whatever the outcome is, we will take it in the spirit of a family contest. We don’t want to defeat ourselves, we want to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“At the end of this exercise, there will be no victor, no vanquish. As the only Governor of the party in the zone, whoever emerges, I will work with them to reposition the party. I thank you for the peaceful conduct.”
One of the chairmanship candidates, Eddy Olafeso, also described the process as a family affairs.
He said, “we started from a storm yesterday when the city was invaded by thugs but along the line, the seurity operatives have done their bit to keep this place calm. The most significant thing we recognise is that this is a family affair.
“This is PDP and one of the cornerstones of democracy. It shouldn’t be an issue for us to vote for and for others to participate. I am excited that this is happening and I pray God that as it is happening very well, it will end well too.
“Most of the delegates so far have been scrutinised and accredited and from there on, we are going to move into the Hall where we are going to prevent agents for the ballot. Our constitution stipulates open secret ballot and that is exactly what we are going to emphasize here. Our thinking is that our constitution does not recognize people snapping their ballot papers, democracy is a free choice and nobody should be induced in making a choice.
“I am happy that this is happening because I have track records of performance,I have done this in the last four years and I have many things to sow for it across the zone and so if I am given the opportunity again, I will do better in the next four years. So, it’s something I am looking forward to. I am totally confident of victory.
“I am a democrat, I have track records of performance from my days of the Students Union in Ife (OAU), I participated and competed. If I will, I will celebrate and if I lose, I congratulate the winner and work on with my life because all power belongs to God. I am excited that I am participating and I know I am going to win.”
Also, his co-contestant, Amb Taofeek Arapaja, expressed confidence that he would win the election.
He said, “I am confident of victory and we will win. I am confident because we have our people and democracy is a game of number. The process so far is okay. It is straight-forward and there will not be any “mago mago.
On the allegation that his camp mobilised thugs to the venue on Sunday, he said “I read it and those who were arrested were linked to one of them (other camp). It was on the internet yesterday (Sunday) and you can see it. You know the people I am talking about and I don’t want to mention names because we appear to bring people together and not to be part of the dispute.
“If elected, my first priority will be that all that chapters of PDP in the Southwest are sharply divided, we have to bring ourselves together. We have to be one big family because if we don’t work together, we can’t see anything. If you look at it, before 2003 and thereabout, we were controlling give states out of six, today, we have only one state.
“So, something must be wrong, there are so many factions in PDP which we need to bring together. So,we must speak with one voice; not the matter of being the chairman of the party, no. It’s about what you are able to achieve. Now, you are bale to score one over six, what percentage is that? That’s 16.7 percent. Is that a pass mark?
On whether he would accept the result of the election if it turns the other way round, he said, “if it turns the other way round, I am telling you, one with God will never fail. I am positive we are going to win. Period.”
Voting started around 4:45pm with Ekiti delegates.