From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Aggrieved leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Oyo State, under the aegis of PDP Stakeholders, have passed a vote of no confidence on the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde in the state ahead of the congress of the party that is slated to begin this Saturday, September 25.
They reached the conclusion at a meeting held at Jogor Event Centre, Ibadan, the state capital, Monday, which was attended by a deputy governor of the state, Hazeem Gbolarumi; former Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola-Akande; as well as elders of the party, including Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan, Femi Babalola, Nureni Akanbi, Asiwaju Adekola Adeoye, Alhaji Sarafa Olaoniye, Alhaji Ahmed Aranse, Alhaji Ajinawo, Baba Elisa, Chief Odeyemi, Alhaji Somope, Alhaji Bola Akinyemi, and members drawn from all the local government areas of the state.
But the vote of no confidence was quickly punctured by the Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Akeem Olatunji, who described the exercise as a mere comedy and a joke of the century, adding that more than 95 per cent of the PDP members are solidly behind Governor Makinde. The group that passed a vote of no confidence in the governor, according to him, is one among more than 1,000 groups within the party in the state.
The PDP stakeholders at the meeting vowed to ensure they do everything to prevent the emergence of Makinde from getting the party’s ticket for the second term. Various speakers at the meeting, in spite of the fact that they worked for the emergence of Governor Makinde in 2019 they have been neglected, while those who were not around during the election are the ones benefiting from the government.
‘Go to your wards, mobilise your people. Don’t fight anybody. Record whatever happens and leave us to do the remaining in Abuja,’ Adeola-Akande assured.
A six-point communique, read by a former Majority Leader of Oyo State House of Assembly, Michael Okunlade, after the stakeholders’ meeting, read in part: “Members are urged to go to the congress venue on Saturday and conduct themselves in a most peaceful manner. The venues remain the ward meeting venues in each of the 351 wards in the state.
‘If the other member of the PDP turns up at the venue, they should jointly hold the congress together. But nobody should engage in any form of hooliganism and brigandage. As members of the same party, we must relate as such. Members are assured that efforts are being made at the state and national levels to ensure that the ownership of PDP reverts back to the members of the party.
‘The meeting prays for the peaceful conduct of the PDP congress, which begins on Saturday, 25th September through October 16, 2021. The meeting rose with the passing of a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Engr Seyi Makinde on the Oyo State PDP.’
In a telephone chat with Daily Sun, the spokesperson of PDP in the state, Akeem Olatunji, stated:
‘The meeting is not qualified to be regarded as a stakeholders’ meeting because the critical stakeholders are first and foremost those elected on the platform of the party. There was no single member of the National Assembly, Oyo State House of Assembly, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state was at the meeting. Also, no party executive was at the meeting, except for two or three out of 26.
‘When you are talking about groups, we have over 1,000 groups in Oyo State PDP. So, one out of the groups decided to come together for some obvious reasons, because they are doing the biddings of the opposition and they want to destroy the party before they leave. What the party has agreed on is to conduct a free and fair congress.
‘We have about 95 per cent of members of the party solidly behind Governor Seyi Makinde and leadership of the party. Then, what else again? As far as we are concerned, what happened today (Monday) was just a mere comedy and nothing else; it was a joke of the century.’