Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were last week polarised over a proposal to share the 26 state executive offices of the party 14 and 12 between two groups in the party, despite the approval of the Congress that ushered the National Executive Committee, NEC.
Briefing newsmen after the party’s State Working Committee, SWC, meeting in Ibadan yesterday, the state chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha, said the decision became necessary because Olafeso had colluded with others to rock the boat of the party and frustrate former governor Rashidi Ladoja out of the party.
Mustapha said the zonal chairman, who could have intervened by finding out what was happening in the party, took the matter to Abuja to use a platform that looked as if though he and others invited for last week’s meeting were discussing with the National Working Committee (NWC).
He disclosed that the proposal to share the 26 state offices neither got to the NWC nor the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party, but was a secret agenda between Olafeso and others, prompting that the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to warn against tampering with Oyo PDP executive as currently constituted, at last Thursday’s NEC.
Nigerian Tribune quoted Mustapha as admitting that the personal interest of some people in clinching PDP tickets for 2019 elections sparked the current crisis, urging such individuals to put the interest of the suffering people of the state who desired a change above their personal interest.
He stated that the party would not accept any plan to frustrate Ladoja out of the party because he remains the leader who still enjoys the massive support that could lead PDP to victory in 2019 election.
“The day we shared the offices, we did not do so on the basis of factions but among the five political parties that came together to form the new PDP, namely the old PDP, Accord, SDP, Labour Party and AD.
“While PDP got 13 offices, Accord got only six, SDP three, Labour Party 3, and AD, one. Seyi Makinde can’t say he has not got any slots. He has three of the SWC members given to SDP.
“But has Secondus told us he would not be a party to anything that is illegal. We received a call from Abuja that I should see that I bring five people each from Ladoja’s faction and five from Seyi Makinde’s faction. To me personally, I see that as an insult.
“We did the ward and local government congresses successfully and there were neither factions nor rancour. We did not have any problem because the arrowheads of the five parties were appointed coordinators to handle the congresses in the wards and councils.
“We formed a committee of 33 people. But Eddy Olafeso unilaterally increased the number to 47, until he was vetoed by the Senator Ahmed Markafi-led National Caretaker Committee (NWC).
“Makinde himself conducted the congresses in Ibadan North East Local Government Area. Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola did the congresses in Ogbomosho North and South councils. Senator Hosea Agboola conducted those of Itesiwaju Local Government Area, while Chief Sharafadeen Alli handled Ibadan North Local Government Area.
“People are yearning for a change in Oyo State and we feel our coming together will bring about the change. If all of us can’t come together, if Ladoja joins us we will win the election. But these people don’t want Ladoja from the onset and they are still on it.
“All that is happening now is just to frustrate Ladoja out of the PDP. But they will not succeed by the grace of God.
“We have told the national headquarters to leave us alone. We will deliver the state. I am exonerating the national chairman, Secondus. But it is the legacy of Markafi that others are trying to destroy.
“We worked hard to bring Ladoja to PDP unsuccessfully. But it was during Markafi that this was achieved. We know Ladoja has the masses on Oyo State behind him and politics is a game of number. They don’t want Ladoja, but we want him to be the rallying point for Oyo PDP.
“If there are people I can beg, I will beg them to make a sacrifice on behalf of the suffering people of the state,” he said.