The crack within the Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party keeps widening with every passing day, the starting point being the harmonisation of factional executives in the state.
On Tuesday, a faction of the party loyal to former governorship aspirant, Seyi Makinde faulted a vote of no confidence passed by the Senator Rashidi Ladoja faction in the chairman of the party in the South-West, Eddy Oyefeso, due to his role in the harmonisation.
The Makinde faction on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence on Oyefeso.
The harmonised list ceded 14 executive slots to the Ladoja faction, and 12 to theMakinde faction. The positions of State Chairman, Women Leader, Publicity Secretary, Legal Adviser, Vice Chairmen 1&2 went to Ladoja while the position of State Secretary and many other positions went to Makinde.
Reports say the national leadership of the party took the decision in order to give all members a sense of belonging, especially after the two factions had parallel congresses late last year when they could not agree on a sharing formula for leadership positions.
Newspeakonline also gathered that the harmonisation was done in order to accommodate the groups that came together to resuscitate the party following the August 2017 visit of former Caretaker Committee chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi to the state.
The Ladoja group have rejected the harmonisation, arguing that it was the handiwork of Oyefeso who took the decision without the blessing of the party at the national level.
State chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha, who belongs to the Ladoja faction, on Monday said that the vote of no confidence was passed by the State Working Committee of the party after reportedly reviewing Oyefeso’s role in the harmonisation of the party executives.
Mustapha alleged that Olafeso connived with others to create rancour and frustrate Ladoja out of the party.
But the spokesperson of the other faction, Senator Hosea Agboola, who addressed a press conference in Ibadan on Tuesday, said Makarfi, was aware of the move and had assented to it.
He said in a statement that “it is therefore a big shock and very embarrassing to watch as the Kunmi Mustapha group continues to engage the media in order to reverse a decision taken in his presence and with the knowledge of the National Chairman of our great party and other members of his executive.
“Accusing the Zonal Chairman, South West, Chief Eddy Olafeso, of connivance and passing a vote of no confidence on him is as strange as it is unfair. It would appear that they are merely looking for a scapegoat.
“With all the emphasis at our disposal and the unity of purpose as exhibited by the Abuja declaration, we hereby pass a vote of confidence on the Zonal Chairman and admonish him to continue with his good work, knowing fully well that he equally enjoys the backing of the national leadership. We also rebuke the Kunmi Mustapha faction for openly criticising the national body for performing its legitimate function.
“The truth of the matter is that majority of party members are satisfied with the decision to fairly harmonise the state exco and give kudos for the painstaking manner it has resolved the issue so that the party can move forward and face the challenges of the coming elections in Oyo state.
“The issue of harmonised state Exco was inherited from The National Executive Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, which is in public domain. This press conference is addressed to put the record straight and to emphasis the need to embrace peaceful resolution that will bring about all-inclusive and vibrant party that will change the political landscape of Oyo state in 2019 with our victory at the polls.”
Ladoja is my leader in PDP, Makinde says
With many maintaining that the Makinde faction was trying to frustrate Ladoja out of the party, some reports say the former Accord Party leader was already considering quitting the party he rejoined about six months ago.
But Makinde, in a statement said Ladoja remains the leader of the party in the state.
He said, “For the avoidance of doubt and before mischief makers continue to gloat in the little skirmish within our political family, which will be amicably resolved soonest, let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that Ladoja is not only my leader but the leader of our party, the PDP in Oyo State.
“This reiteration is incumbent in the light of the convenient heresy being peddled by those who wish our party to repeat the same horror mistake that was made in 2015 that gave birth to a second round of anguish for our people in the hands of the current administration in the state.
“It will be foolhardy on my part to contest the leadership of the party with someone of Ladoja’s calibre when I do not even belong to the third string in the pecking order of our great party. I came from a very humble background. What type of home did I come from if I disrespect someone who is my late father’s contemporary and who had begun his exploits while I was still in the primary school carrying the bag of my dad to school?”