From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State on Saturday produced two state chairmen and two sets of executives for the party, following parallel congresses held in the state.
The congresses were held at Lekan Salami Sports Complex in Adamasingba, and Jogor Event Centre, both in Adamasingb. The breakaway faction, known as PDP Stakeholders, produced former Majority Leader of Oyo State House of Assembly Michael Okunlade as chairman at Jogor Event Centre, while the section of the party loyal to State Governor Seyi Makinde produced Dayo Ogungbenro as the chairman.
The state congress held at Adamasingba was chaired by the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and had Governor Seyi Makinde in attendance as well as ranking members of the party.
The parallel congress held at Jogor Centre also had in attendance, former Leader, House of Representative, Mulikat Adeola-Akande; a serving federal lawmaker, Muraina Ajibola; as well as Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan, and so on.
In a keynote address at Adamasingba, Governor Makinde asserted that PDP has the capacity to unite Nigeria, urging Nigerians to support the party. He also appealed to the breakaway faction of PDP in the state to come back to the main fold, saying they would be accommodated in the best interest of the party.
Meanwhile, no fewer than five people were injured, while about 50 vehicles parked outside Jogor Centre, were damaged by hoodlums that launched a violent attack against the parallel congress. Shop operators and those preparing for a wedding reception at the centre scampered for safety when staccato of gunfire rented the atmosphere.
The factional chairman, Michael Okunlade, in his acceptance speech, promised to pacify all members and work towards the development of the party, urging all party faithful to support the new executive towards taking over the state’s administration in 2023.
In the same vein, Dayo Ogungbenro, who emerged at Adamasingba, also promised to ensure unity within the party towards approaching the 2023 general elections with a united front, saying the party would work to ensure that Governor Seyi Makinde is re-elected for a second term in office.
Reacting to the violent attack against the parallel congress held at Jogor Centre, the Publicity Secretary of PDP that emerged at Adamasingba, Akeem Olatunji, stated that argued that the violent attack was organised by the organisers of the parallel congress in order to attract people’s attention to their programme. He added that the loyalists of Governor Makinde would not stoop so low to the extent of attacking members of the party under whatever guise.