By DAPO FALADE
Seven out of the 12 members of the South-West Zonal Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have accused Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State of running the affairs of the party in the zone like a sole administrator.
The aggrieved zonal members, in a letter to the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said the governor was running a one-man show and alleged that he has excluded key stakeholders from the Ondo PDP Governorship Campaign Council.
Signatories to the letter, dated September 20, 2020, included the zonal secretary, Daisi Akintan, Funmilayo Ogun, Ayobola Fadeyi-Awolowo, Nekan Olateru-Olagbegi, Martins Oluabiloye, Wahab Owokoniran and Mustapha Sikiru.
The letter was coming on the heels of a statement issued on Thursday by Honourable Babs Oduyoye, the political adviser to Governor Makinde, to the effect that the governor would not be distracted from the task of forging unity in the party in Ekiti State and the South-West in general.
The statement by the governor’s aide was a response to the threat by Mr Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of Ekiti State, that he would not allow Governor Makinde to interfere in the affairs of the party in the state.
However, the aggrieved seven members of the South-West PDP zonal committee
raisiled concerns over the composition of Ondo State Governorship Campaign Council, alleging that some key leaders in the xone were deliberately excluded.
They alleged that Governor Makinde’s leadership style had caused clear division of the party in the zone and also passed a vote of no confidence on the chairman, Dayo Adegbenro and also called for his removal by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) for alleged incompetence.
“Also, Governor (Makinde) is not running an inclusive leadership government in the zone, failure which has affected the party negatively.
“Of particular concern is the unpatriotic composition of Ondo State governorship Campaign Council that has excluded deliberately the key leaders in the South-West. Thus, there is a clear division of the party in the zone, without doubt the party has divided into two in the South-West,” they said.
Calling for the removal of the zonal chairman, the seven members said: “He has failed thus far to summon any executive meeting of the caretaker committee and even the stakeholders’ meeting of the zone. At best he remains an unimaginative puppet that consistently reacts to the pull of the strings by the puppet master.
“That on account of the foregoing, the NWC of our party is hereby invited to remove him from office before he does incalculable damage to the party. Failure to so do within a short while will compel all caretaker committee members to resign enmass.”
They condemned the content and context of a press statement issued by the zonal chairman, saying he did not act on behalf of South-West Zonal Caretaker Committee.
“We take further exception to the insinuation contained in Ogungbenro’s statement to the effect that Governor Seyi Makinde is the sole administrator of the larty in the South-West. That, indeed, is an illiterate opinion as what is obtainable is a collegiate leadership that manages the party in the zone,” they said.
While acknowledging Governor Makinde as the only sitting governor in the zone and therefore the leader of the party in South-West, the seven members stated that “there are other leaders in the zone that are equally of essence in the management and sustainance of the party.
“In this regard, we reiterate that ex-Governor Ayo Fayose, Honourable Ladi Adebutu and Senator Ademola Adeleke remained credible leaders of the Party in our zone and we repose absolute confidence in them.
“We also publicly pledge our loyalty and total support to them as they continue to discharge responsibilities that extend the frontiers of the party in the zone.”