Prominent PDP leaders in the South-West shunned the congress of the governors’ faction held in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The camp of Governors Ayodele Fayose and Olusegun Mimiko yesterday were depleted at the zonal congress.
The absentees include Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Doyin Okupe, Mulikat Akande, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide, Taoheed Adedoja among others. No reason were giving by the party for their absence, but it may not be unconnected to a court order which stopped the congress.
But, Chief Bode George, who was also absent from the congress, sent his apology through Mr. Ola Apena to the congress.
Those PDP chieftains were earlier present in the party stakeholders’ meeting held two weeks ago in Akure, where it was agreed that the north should produce the next national chairman of the party.
However, Bode George, Ebenezer Babatope and Doyin Okupe had on several occasions made their stand known on why the party national chairman’s slot should be zone to south west.
At the congress, chaired by former Governor of Rivers State, Celestine Omehia, the offices were zoned to the various six states in the region.
Former Commissioner for Information, Mr. Eddy Olafeso emerged the South west Chairman of the party.
Other zonal executives of the party include Secretary, Rev. Bunmi Jenyo (Osun), Organising Secretary, Bakene Wasiu (Ogun), Youth Leader, Femi Akintola (Oyo), Women Leader, Ronke Ajigbeda (Ogun).
Others include, Publicity Secretary, Abiola Makinde (Ondo), Financial Secretary Hon. Afoji (Lagos), Auditor, Bili Aminu (Oyo), Treasurer, Adeola Ogunrinde (Ekiti) Legal Adviser, Chief Ojo Williams (Osun).
Mimiko appealed to the members of the party in South West to be determined to restore the glory of the PDP.
He said the actions or inactions of PDP South West will determine the future of the party in the country.
His words, “the future of our party depends on our actions an inaction in the zone.
“Based on the performance of All Progressives Congress (APC), there is no doubt that our party has a bright future. Despite all the bright chances PDP has, we still have a lot of work to do.
“We must work toward the future that beacons. Whether anybody likes it or not, South West remains the leading light of politics in this nation.
“This time comes for us to be able to stand up for what is right with history of integrity and progressives. Let us be determined to do what is right for our party.
“There is no doubt that there have been issues surrounding this congress but I am very sure that the truth shall prevail.
“Those who gathered in this hall are the movers and shakers of politics in South West PDP and I want to appeal that we stand firm because they are a lot of work ahead of us.
“Let me repeat what I have said in our last meeting, Fayose and I are on the same page and working together for the progress of our party in the zone. And we urge other leaders to join hands with us.
Fayose on his part said the problems in the PDP were an internal problem.
He warned the judiciary to be careful of granting court orders to people who cannot win elections by popularity.
The elected South west Chairman, Olafeso said whether people liked it or not, PDP had provided direction for the country.
“Our dear country is not enjoying the best of time. The exploit of PDP in agriculture, political stability and economic stability have been reversed by the APC.
“The party in power has reneged from all electioneering promises it made to Nigerians and despite 15 days to a year in its office, APC is still blaming PDP”, he said.
PDP leaders, who attended the congress include senator Iyiola Omisore, Senator Biodun Oluji, former Minister, Mr. Adedayo Adeyeye, Hon. Oladipo Adebutu, Senator Yele Omogunwa.
Others include Ekiti Deputy Governor, Kolapo Olusola, Segun Adegoke, Olu Agbi, Oluwole Kolawole, Bayo Fagboriji, Ajayi Oyedepo, Ondo State Assembly Speaker, Jumoke Akindele.