BAYO AGBOOLA in Ibadan reports that the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) congresses in Oyo state resulted in the emergence of two chairmen for the two different factions, one controlled by Governor Seyi Makinde and the other by former Majority Leader the House of Representatives, Hon Mulikat Adeola .
To underscore that all is not well with the PDP, Governor Makinde last Saturday said, “Today, we don’t have much to say. The only thing I will say is that those who said they are aggrieved can see what has happened here today. PDP belongs to all of us. They must come back and get integrated into the fold and we will accommodate them.”
The prolonged factional crisis rocking the PDP in Oyo state reached its climax on Saturday, October 16, with the emergence of two sets of state executives for the party courtesy of parallel congresses by the party stakeholders.
The parallel state congresses were held separately at Jogor event centre along Liberty stadium road in Ibadan and the Lekan Salami stadium, Adamasingba, in Ibadan.
While the camp led by Governor Makinde conducted their congress at the Lekan Salami stadium and produced Hon. Dayo Ogungbenro as the PDP state Chairman, former Majority leader the House of Representatives, Hon Mulikat Adeola led the Jogor centre state congress, which produced a former member of the Oyo state House of Assembly, Hon Michael Okunlade as the Oyo state PDP Chairman.
The Jogor centre congress was conducted on basis of affirmation of the new executives, but their counterparts at the Lekan Salami stadium cast their votes for their respective candidates.
The two congresses were massively attended by PDP members and leaders from across the 33 local government areas of the state amidst heavy security despite alleged gunshots at the Jogor centre congress.
The gunmen were allegedly loyalists of the other faction of the party which left five persons injured with over 40 vehicles vandalised by the gunmen.
A source told the Blueprint that, “the hoodlums invaded the venue of the parallel congress with guns cutlasses, charms and other dangerous weapons before they were repelled by armed security agencies at the venue of the congress.”
But prominent among the PDP stakeholders at the Jogor centre congress included Hon Mulikat Adeola Akande former House of Representative Leader, Hon Ajibola Muraina, Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan, Alhaji Azeem Gbolarumi, Mr Femi Babalola, Asiwaju Yemi Aderibigbe, Alhaji Gani Dosu, Engineer Kayode Popoola, Hon Demola Omotosho, Princess Aderonke Adedoja Dr Aborode , Chief Nureni Akanbi ..
While the Jogor centre produced Hon Michael Okunlade as the Chairman together with Hon Matthew Abioye as the (deputy chairman), Mr Abiodun Oyesola became the (state secretary), Pa Olawuwo (vice chairman Oyo South), Akeem Ariola (financial secretary), Mogaji Bola Akinyemi (Publicity Secretary) and Asiwaju Adekola Adeoye re-elected (Youth leader). The aforementioned were all affirmed unopposed.
The Lekan Salami stadium congress have Hon Dayo Ogungbenro as chairman, Hon James Olukunle as Deputy Chairman, Hon Wasiu Adeleke State Secretary, Mufiu Ogunremi, Senatorial Chairman, Oyo Central, Hon Gbade Ojelabi, Senatorial Chairman, Oyo South, Hon Yusuf Adekunle, Senatorial Chairman, Oyo North, Hon Wulemot Ibitoye, Woman leader, Hon Michael Ogunsina, Youth leader, Taiwo Alagbe, state organising secretary, Engineer Akeem Olatunji, state publicity secretary.
Others elected were Hon Bankole Sunday, state treasurer, Barrister Waheed Gbadegbesin, state legal adviser, Opatokun Oludayo state financial secretary, Adelabu Aderemi Alaba, Auditor, Barrister Olabode Durodola, Assistant Legal Adviser, Tiamiyu Akeem, Assistant Publicity Secretary, Lawal Mohammed Assistant Auditor, Adekunle Olukayode, Assistant financial secretary Biodun Popoola, assistant organising secretary, Oyo South. Others are Agbebi Sola Peter, Assistant Organising Secretary, Oyo Central, Moshood Jimoh, Assistant Organising Secretary, Oyo North, Oladokun Saubana, Assistant Treasurer, Oyo South, Oladokun Mukaila, Assistant Treasurer, Tijani Bashir Assistant Treasurer Oyo North, Akinboro Akinsola assistant secretary, Oyo Central, Hon Funmilayo Orisadeyi, Assistant Secretary, Oyo South, Alhaji Oladele Samini, Assistant Secretary, Oyo North, Akomolafe Tinuade, Assistant Woman leader, Oyo South, among others
At the Lekan Salami Stadium PDP state congress monitored by the Chairman of the Oyo State PDP Congress Committee and Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, it was a carnival like outing as PDP leaders and members at the venue from all the nooks and crannies of the 33 local government areas of the state dressed in Ankara uniform with Governor Makinde photo and names boldly inscribed on it dancing and singing praises of Governor Seyi Makinde as well as publicly acknowledging his undisputed leadership of PDP in Oyo state.
Governor Makinde while addressing PDP delegates and leaders and at the congress minced no words in saying “PDP as a political party remains open to accommodating everyone aggrieved”.
He added, “Today is very symbolic. I congratulate the executives that we have just elected today. It is historical because this is the first time that we are coming for an elective Congress and the situation is carnival-like. Now, I am sensing the same thing for our National Convention. They should watch out, PDP will unite Nigeria.. “Today, we don’t have much to say. The only thing I will say is that those who said they are aggrieved can see what has happened here today. PDP belongs to all of us. They must come back and get integrated into the fold and we will accommodate them.”
PDP Southwest National Vice-Chairman, Ambassador Taofeek Oladejo Arapaja in a statement on the congress emphasized the need for the party members to be united for the challenges ahead, saying, ” it’s imperative for the new leadership of the party to work in order to unify the party across board and work in line with the promise of the Governor by integrating the genuine aggrieved members of the party.
“I appreciate the orderly and democratic manner in which the election was conducted. It’s important we all continue to work together for the success of the party in the forth coming election both at the state level and the national level, he added.
“While I would as well congratulate both the returning and new Executives it would be of great value that we all work hand in hand to achieve greatness and continue to support the current administration on delivering the dividend of democracy to all, he further emphasized. Let’s us eschew politics of hatred and continue to be accommodating of each other for our various development.”
Going by the atmosphere at the venues of the two state congresses and the unfolding events before, during and after the event, especially, the gunmen attack and the level of destruction at the venue of the Jogor centre parallel congress, it is clear that all is not well within the Oyo PDP.
This is in spite of the sweet words from the party leaders from the two warring factions including the leader of the party in the state, Governor Seyi Makinde, as the fact still remained that the two sides are not ready to sheathe their swords which may at the of it all cost the party more than quantifiable loss come 2023 general elections.