From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Leaders of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West have demonstrated quality characters and competence needed for the party to retake the South West during the 2023 general elections.
The National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee of PDP made the assertion while commending the leadership of the party in Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Lagos, Osun and Ogun States for the successful conduct of the zonal congress of the party held in Osogbo this week Monday.
Secretary of the committee, Linus Okorie, in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday on behalf of the committee, said zonal officers of the party were elected in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
At the inception of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, the six governors in the South West were elected on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD). But the PDP made an incursion into the South West in 2003 and won the governorship polls in all the South West states, with exception of Lagos State. Currently, the only state in the zone, being controlled by the PDP governor is Oyo.
The reconciliation committee, however, noted that the South West PDP leaders disappointed people in the opposition, who have been fueling division in the party and thought that the zonal congress would end in chaos.
The committee stated that the maturity, peaceful disposition, unity, devotion, good spirit of brotherliness and sportsmanship displayed at the congress deserved emulation by PDP leaders in other zones within the party.
“With what happened in Osogbo, our leaders in the South West have demonstrated that the PDP can retake the South West in 2023 and that with the incompetence being displayed by the ruling party, a united and refocused PDP is a better option for the enlightened people of the South West”, Okorie stated.
He recalled how last month the Reconciliation Committee waded into what looked like an unresolvable stalemate in the Southwest when the group loyal to a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, insisted that there was a court case in which an order has been given for the congress not to hold.
He said the committee which at various times had to also appeal to Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, to concede the hosting of the congress outside Ibadan also ensured that the court case was not used to stall the congress.
“While we hail all the stakeholders who have yielded to the pleas of the Reconciliation Committee to shift from their original position and made way for peace, we also want to emphasise that the success of the PDP South West Zonal Congress is another achievement recorded by the National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee.
“It shows that the committee has continued to break new grounds and record more achievements. The members of the committee feel inspired by the positive turn of events in the South West PDP that we are now reassured that we will fully reunite every State chapter of the party by the end of the second quarter of this year,” Okorie stated.