Posted By: Our Reporter
The fight for the control of the Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is deepening.
Loyalists to Senator Buruji Kashamu yesterday declared Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose persona non grata and others who attended the zonal leadership meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, as impostors.
Those at the meeting include Kashamu, PDP Southwest Zonal Secretary Chief Gboyega Otemolu; Zonal Auditor Mr. Adekola Razak as well as Chief Kola Ogunjobi; Wale Adeyanju and former Ekiti State Deputy Governor Abiodun Aluko.
In a communique issued by the PDP Southwest zonal executive loyal to Kashamu, the group said: “We unequivocally condemned the hostile, authoritarian and destabilising activities of Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose and demand that he should be called to order before he sounds the death knell on the party in the Southwest.”
The communique, which was read by the Zonal Chairman, Chief Makonjuola Ogundipe, claimed his executive is authentic because it was validly elected and approved by the court.
Ogundipe said: “We observe with great concern the activities of some impostors and errand boys parading themselves as members of the Southwest Zonal Executive of the PDP. These people – Eddy Olafeso, Bunmi Jenyo and others – are products of a contraption, which has since been nullified by the Federal High Court in Lagos.”
According to him, the court judgment of May 17, last year, nullified the convention in Akure, Ondo State capital, co-hosted by former Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko and Fayose, on the grounds that the authentic and statutory delegates from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun states were excluded.
He recalled that in a final judgment of June 24, last year, the court ruled that “our tenure ends in October 2018, having been elected at a special zonal congress held on October 11, 2014 in Ibadan.’’
Ogundipe added: “Therefore, the Southwest Zonal Executive of the PDP, under the able leadership of Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, who was Fayose’s nominee at the Southwest Zonal Congress, held on October 11, 2014 remained the only validly elected and judicially sanctioned leadership of the party in the zone.”
The PDP zonal chairman said his zonal executive have resolved that henceforth the national leadership of PDP should desist from relating with Fayose as regards the Southwest zone just as the authentic leadership of the party in the zone and Ekiti State have been directed to desist from dealing with the governor in any capacity until further notice.
Responding to reporters’ questions, Ogundipe said the relationship between his executive and the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee “is very cordial”.
He said: “We have been communicating with one another. We are law abiding members of the PDP. We have no alternative than to abide with the Supreme Court ruling. The task before us now is to mobilise people into the PDP so that we can win election for the party in the Southwest and at the national level…”
“There is no faction in the PDP. We will go to the convention with full force as a body. PDP house is intact. The gathering in Ibadan on Monday was a charade; that is why we are putting the records straight in order not to mislead the public.”
He hailed Makarfi for his maturity and candour in the handling the party since the July 12 judgment of the Supreme Court, especially his “no victor, no vanquished” mantra.
The former PDP National Secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo, pledged that the Kashamu group will support Makarfi to succeed in his assignment.
•Fayose’s aide replies Kashamu’s group
The Special Assistant (SA) to Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, yesterday, dismissed comments by loyalists to Senator Buruji Kashamu on his alleged expulsion from the party.
The senator’s supporters said the purported expulsion of the Ijebu-Igbo politician was inconsequential and that calling him a persona non grata was out of place.
They, in turn, declared Fayose persona non grata, saying the party would be rebuilt.
Reacting to the development, Olayinka insisted that “the PDP house will not be rebuilt with termite-infested woods”.
Olayinka was reacting to the call by the Kashamu group that the National Caretaker Committee, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, desist from relating with Fayose.
He said: “Governor Fayose will not waste his time on people whose faces are abhorred in the gathering of people of good conscience.
“Fayose is more concerned with rebuilding the PDP, and it is sure that the PDP house will not be reconstructed with termite-infested woods.”
The governor’s spokesperson described Kashamu’s loyalists, who met yesterday in his hotel in Lagos, as pseudo-PDP members.
He said: “Methinks Senator Kashamu and his men should rather face their Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN).
“As at today, Senator Buruji’s Omo Ilu Foundation’s office in Ado-Ekiti is the state secretariat of MPN and all his men have openly declared for the party. Or, is MPN no longer mega again?”