- Party member drums support for Makarfi in Oyo, eyes 2019 guber victory
By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Ahead of the September 10, 2016 governorship election in Edo State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has picked a former local government chairman in Esan North East Local Government, Hon John Yakubu, as running mate to its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The decision was taken Saturday in Benin at a meeting held at the residence of a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih.
Recalled that the PDP had earlier zoned the position of the running mate of its governorship candidate to the Edo Central senatorial district.
The meeting had in attendance notable politicians from the Edo Central, who had been touted as likely running mates such as Hon Friday Itulah, Hon Akhere Ugbesia, Hon John Yakubu, Hon Felix Akhabue, Mrs. Philomena Ihenyen, and Felix Imosili.
The governorship candidate of the party, Pastor Ize-Iyamu; Edo State chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih and leaders of the party across the three senatorial districts of the state were also at the meeting.
It was gathered that a consensus agreement was reached to pick Yakubu as running mate as majority of the leaders of the party endorsed his candidacy.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the PDP under the umbrella of Ibadan/Ibarapa zones of Oyo State have declared their support for the party’s National Caretaker Committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
At a marathon meeting of the group held yesterday in Ibadan, the body lauded Makarfi’s efforts at making internal democracy a cornerstone of the party.
They also condemned the reported attempt by some “elements within the party to illegally impose unelected and unacceptable individuals as leaders without holding congresses.”
This is just as they condemned the style of governance of the current All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Oyo State, urging the state government to pay “the over six months’ salaries being owed workers.”
The stakeholders, who expressed their solidarity with the labour union in the state over their “genuine demands” from the state government, said they deserved the payment for the sweat.
In a statement signed Hon. Muideen Inakoju and Mr. Nurudeen Oke, at the end of a meeting held at the Jogor Events Centre, Ibadan, the PDP leaders commended some leaders of the party in Oyo State, including Senators Gbenga Babalola; Hosea Agboola and Ayo Adeseun as well as former Minister of State for the FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide and Mr Femi Babalola, among others, for “thwarting the attempt to produce fake congress results for Oyo State,” noting that a similar scenario cost the party heavily in the 2015 general election.
While stressing the need to take over mantle of leadership in the state come 2019 from the ruling APC, the PDP also “commended and supported ongoing efforts at rebranding and restructuring our party at the national level and consequently affirm our unalloyed loyalty to the Senator Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee as enthroned at our party’s May 21, 2016 National Convention held in Port Harcourt, Rivers States,” the statement read in part.