In preparation for the South-West Zonal Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled to hold on Saturday, March 6, the factions loyal to the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, have picked their candidates for zonal executives.
Fayose faction picked Dr Eddy Olafeso as consensus National Vice Chairman; while Makinde faction picked the former deputy governor of Oyo State, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.
The two factions made their announcement of zonal caucus executives on Tuesday.
While the Makinde faction holding meeting at the Agodi Government House in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Fayose faction holding a parallel zonal meeting at a hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.
Newsflash gathered that the two factions, which have refused to shift grounds on their positions concerning the running of the party in the zone.
In the meeting, the group loyal to Fayose is backing the return Eddy Olafeso, who resigned to contest the party’s governorship election primaries in Ondo State, but lost the ticket to Eyitayo Jegede SAN, as the new zonal chairman of the party.
Rising from its meeting in Lagos today, the Caucus, in a Communique signed by the Zonal Secretary, Hon. Daisi Akintan, Chairmen of Lagos, Osun, Ogun and Ekiti States, Engr Adedeji Doherty, Hon Sunday Bisi, Dr Sikirulai Ogundele and Otunba Bisi Kolawole respectively, called on the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi 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 sequel to the above, we are committed to respecting the Zoning agreement, as conclusively agreed to at the meeting and furthermore endorsing the candidature of Dr Eddy Olafeso and all other members of his Executive or new additions injected into the list by leaders of the respective States.
“That we hereby direct/appeal to our Delegates to vote accordingly for all our aspirants as we are confident in their ability to steer the ship of the Party successfully.
“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.
“Zonal Ex-officio are,Yeye Agnes Shobajo (Lagos), Fagbayigbo Adeola (Ondo), Adesina Adeboye Semiu (Ogun), Mrs Taiwo Abiola Mubo (Oyo) and Mr Akinade Jimoh (Osun).
“National Ex-officio members are; Mr Michael Okunlade (Oyo), Arowolo Oluwole Johnson (Ondo), Captain Tunji Shelle (Rtd) (Lagos), Hon Abayomi Nureni Tella (Ogun), Alabi George Ibitayo (Osun) and Mrs Monisola Omotosho (Ekiti).”
In the meeting, the group loyal to Makinde endorsed a former Deputy-Governor of Oyo State, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, for the position of zonal chairman of the PDP.
Arapaja, a former House of Representatives member and Nigeria’s ambassador to Jordan, joined PDP four months ago from the African Democratic Congress, ADC, where he was governorship aspirant in the 2019 election.
Speaking at the zonal caucus meeting of the party held at the Oyo State Government, Agodi, Ibadan on Tuesday, Governor Makinde said the party leaders across the six states of the zone have agreed to present Arapaja as the candidate for the Zonal Congress.
Speaking further, Governor Makinde noted that the journey for PDP to reclaim power at the centre has started with the zonal Congress.
He promised to continue to reach out to those who are aggrieved to embrace unity and form a formidable force to redeem Nigeria in 2023.
In his address of welcome, the caretaker zonal chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Dayo Ogungbenro said the party leaders met last year and deliberated on the way forward for the party.
Ogungbenro added that various positions were shared in a fair manner that. He noted that names and other positions will be made public tomorrow.
In attendance includes: Former deputy governor of Oyo State, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja; former deputy governor of Osun State, Erelu Olusola Obada; former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Debo Ogundoyin, Senator Biodun Olujimi, former deputy governors of Ekiti; Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka and Alhaji Tai Lawal.