By Olusesan Laoye
The South West Peoples Democratic Party Congress election last week, which gave the Oyo State Governor’s candidate Ambassador Taufeek Arapaja victory as the zonal chairman of the party, has come and gone but it was a bitter pill for the leaders and members of the party to swallow.
It has opened up a different chapter that would affect the party in future as the different camps of both Governor Makinde and former governor of Ekiti State still nurse one grouse or the other against each other, which could affect them in future elections, if proper care is not taken to completely quench the fire of discord still on.
Although the Makinde group believed that they have completely cowed the Fayose group with that election, Fayose and his men are not happy and it was doubtful the feelers got at the venue of the congress, if they have totally forgiven and forgotten their defeat.
Some of those in Fayose’s group were heard saying that, there were still events in future where they would retaliate, while the other group believed that they would never again allow the Fayose group to gain upper hand. Although the Makinde group won all the positions, the overall result was very tight looking at the figures of all the contestants declared. It was a battle of wit and money.
While it was Makinde that bankrolled his team, the Adelekes were the ones that paid all the bills for the Fayose group, as they are planning to stage a come-back in the coming governorship election in Osun State.
The Adelekes with their activities in the state presently are indicating that Senator Demola Adeleke may come back to contest, now that he was said to have perfected his educational records which gave him problems in the last race.
Looking at the events before the congress election, it was glaring that Makinde and Fayose were at loggerheads over who controls the party in the South West. This battle went on for about two years during which both camps held separate meetings and controlled parallel executives, with different decisions which affected the party and confused members.
Even the imbroglio could have affected the Osogbo congress, as the camps have decided to hold parallel congresses, which could have led to litigations but the former senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki had to wade into the matter, as the chairman of the National reconciliation committee.
The main issue now, is what comes next as both groups in the zone are mapping out strategies to pay back especially the Fayose group.
For instance, the Fayoye group in Osun and Ekiti States, where governorship elections would soon be held, are waiting for the Makinde group, as they are determined to ensure that come what may, their candidates would emerge as the flag bearers of the party, in those states; while the Makinde group too is determined to control the states.
It was gathered by members of both camps that the two elections would be a serious battle between them and that is actually what would determine who controls the South West.
The intention of Fayose’s group which failed to secure a single post in the last week’s congress election, despite the plea that the positions be shared, after it was glaring that the election would be one way in favour of the Makinde camp, was to ensure that if they clinch the governorship of the two states, they would be able to contest the leadership and one of the governorship candidates in their camp would replace Makinde.
The other plan on the drawing board, it was learnt, would be during the National convention of the party, when the Fayose group has determined not to back the Makinde group. The former governor of Osun state Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from the look of things is being positioned to take over from Uche Secodus from the South South.
The Fayose group is not comfortable with that arrangement which would pave the way for a Northerner to emerge as the presidential flag bearer of the PDP in 2023 and the man being positioned is the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The calculations of the Makinde group is that if the chairman comes from the South and preferably, the South West, Atiku would have upper hand over and above any other aspirants.
But Fayose’s group would want a Northerner, so that a southerner can emerge as the party’s candidate.
Where the interest of Fayose comes in, is to prevent Oyinlola from becoming the National Chairman, so that Secondus would remain or for another Northerner to take over. The South West imbroglio it was argued could cause a big crisis in the party in the South, since all the three zones of the South West, South South and the South East have interests in the presidency.
Although Governor Makinde still has his tenure till 2023, there were indications that there would be a gang up against him from all fronts within the party and outside to prevent him from having a second term.
A member of the party and a governorship aspirant in the last governorship election in Osun State, Prince Ayoade Adewopo who spoke with the BusinessHallmark at the venue of the convention said that all is still not yet heard about the PDP crisis in the South West.
Prince Adewopo who was a National delegate at the congress said that it was good that Fayose displayed the spirit of sportsmanship at the congress by finally accepting Governor Makinde as the leader of the party in the South West.
He said right from there, the best thing is for the party to come together as a family, as said by Fayose but politics has never been like that because of political ambitions and interests, saying “that is why there would always be different camps and opinions in politics.”
“You see one can’t say that because of this or that compromised his stand at the expense of his political career and interests, since people have different motives of going into politics.”
He argued that it would help the people meant to be served if politicians unite to deliver and give proper account of themselves to guarantee and deliver genuine dividends of democracy to the people. He said that as far as he was concerned, he would never at any point in time allow his personal interests to override the interest of the people.
He was hopeful that everything would be sorted out at the end of the day because, according to him, anywhere there is an election people would contest for it and the contestants can’t be in the same camp.
Below is the People’s Democratic Party South West Zone Executives*
1. Chairman – Amb. Taofeek Arapaja.
2. Secretary – Chief Rahman Owokoniran.
3. Treasurer – Mr Samson Omotoyosi. .
4. Organizing Secretary – Barr. Amuwa Benson.
5. Publicity Secretary – Chief Olusanya Atofarati.
6. Financial Secretary – Mr Adewoyin Rasaq Babarinde.
7. Legal Adviser – Barr. Gbenga Kukoyi.
8. Auditor – Dr. Adeola Adewumi.
9. Women Leader – Mrs Modinat Bosede Adedibu.
10. Youth Leader – Mr Bamidele Seyi Abiola.
11. Zonal Ex.Officio – Adeola Santos.
12. Zonal Ex.Officio – Modupe Adetokunbo.
13. Zonal Ex.Officio – Araoye Sikiru.
14. Zonal Ex.Officio – Olugbenga Idowu.
15. Zonal Ex.Officio – Segun Adewale Aeroland.
16. Zonal Ex.Officio – Lanre Fajuyi.
Nat. Ex Officio – Olakunle Paul.
Nat. Ex Officio – David Kolawole Vaughan.
Nat. Ex Officio – Ogunrinde Emmanuel.
Nat. Ex officio – Faboyede Clement.
Nat. Ex officio – Taiwo Kabiru.
Nat. Ex-officio – Oluwakemi Olayiwola