The National Vice Chairman (South West) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, has declared that Governor Ayo Fayose is not bigger than the party and must therefore submit himself to the rules and regulations of the party at all times.
Ogundipe said the various interest groups in the party must obey the order of a Lagos Federal High Court which stopped the party from going ahead with the Southwest Congress earlier scheduled to hold on Saturday in Akure and Ijebu Igbo, by the two factions in the party.
Fayose, while speaking with reporters in Abuja on Friday, maintained that the South West Zonal Congress of the PDP must go ahead. He said no order of the court can stop the delegates from proceeding with the process.
The South West PDP is polarized into two groups with one faction loyal to the Senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu while the other faction is loyal to Fayose and his Ondo State counterpart, Olusegun Mimiko.
The two factions are presenting parallel candidates for the positions of National Vice Chairman (South West), National Secretary, National Publicity Secretary and National Auditor, ahead of the May 21 National Convention slated for Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Speaking on the latest development in the party on Saturday, Ogundipe said the National Secretariat of the PDP had received the court order and was ready to abide by it.
When reminded of the insistence of Fayose that the Akure zonal congress would go ahead, Ogundipe said the era of “one-man show and unilateral decisions” is dead and buried in the party.
The zonal PDP boss advised all party leaders and members to obey the court order and not resort to self-help. He insisted that nobody in the party, no matter how highly-placed, should hold the court in contempt.
He warned that if Fayose and his group go ahead with their congress in Akure as earlier planned, it would be an effort in futility as the court order is clear and unambiguous.
Ogundipe said: “He (Fayose) is not the party and he is not bigger than the party, he takes orders from the party as a member and it is the party as a body that takes the decision of where to go and we all take orders from the National Secretariat.
“The court has said nobody should go ahead with the zonal congress and the party has decided to obey the court order and I am here in Ijesa Isu, my hometown. Until the court says otherwise, we won’t go ahead with the conduct.
“I am a law-abiding person and PDP is a law-abiding party. I have told my ogas at the top in the National Secretariat who are the custodians of everything in the party. I have informed them that we can no longer go ahead in the face of a subsisting court order.”