Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a vote of no confidence on the zonal Chairman of the party, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, over his role in last weekâ€™s plot to harmonise the state executive of the party.
His sin, Olafeso allegedly gave undue recognition to the masterminds and proponents of harmonisation plot â€œto destabilise the state PDP, thereby usurping and undermining the power of the partyâ€™s leadership in Abuja.â€
The state PDP said they were impressed by the position of the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, that all politics is local and that the state chapters should be left to determine their fate, and this has further reinforced â€œour belief that the era of impunity was indeed a forgone thing in the party now primed to take over rein of governance across all levels in 2019.â€
Briefing journalists after the partyâ€™s State Working Committee (SWC) emergency meeting in Ibadan yesterday, the state party Chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha, said the decision became necessary because Olafeso had colluded with others to rock the boat of the party and frustrate former state Governor, Rashidi Ladoja, out of the party.
Mustapha said the zonal chairman, who could have intervened by finding out what was happening in the party, took the matter to Abuja to use a platform that looked as if though he and others invited for last weekâ€™s meeting were discussing with the National Working Committee (NWC).
He disclosed that the proposal to share the 26 state offices neither got to the NWC nor the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, but was a secret agenda between Olafeso and others, prompting Secondus to warn against tampering with Oyo State PDP executive as currently constituted at last Thursdayâ€™s NEC.
The chairman admitted that personal interest of some people in clinching PDP tickets for 2019 elections sparked the current crisis, urging such individuals to put the interest of the suffering people of the state who desired a change above their personal interest.
He stated that the party would not accept any plan to frustrate Ladoja out of the party because he remains the leader who still enjoys massive support that could lead PDP to victory in 2019 election.
â€œThe day we shared the offices, we did not do so on the basis of factions but among the five political parties that came together to form the new PDP, namely the old PDP, Accord, SDP, Labour Party and AD.
â€œWhile PDP got 13 offices; Accord got only six; SDP got three; Labour Party got three, and AD got one. Seyi Makinde canâ€™t say he has not got any slots. He has three of the SWC members given to SDP.
â€œBut Secondus has told us he would not be a party to anything that is illegal. We received a call from Abuja that I should see that I bring five people each from Ladojaâ€™s faction and five from Seyi Makindeâ€™s faction. To me personally, I see that as an insult.
â€œWe did the ward and local government congresses successfully and there were neither factions nor rancour. We did not have any problem because the arrowheads of the five parties were appointed coordinators to handle the congresses in the wards and councils.
â€œWe formed a committee of 33 people. But Olafeso unilaterally increased the number to 47, until he was vetoed by the Senator Ahmed Markafi-led National Caretaker Committee (NWC).
â€œMakinde conducted the congresses in Ibadan North East Local Government Area. Mulikat Akande-Adeola did the congresses in Ogbomosho North and South councils. Senator Hosea Agboola conducted those of Itesiwaju Local Government Area, while Chief Sharafadeen Alli handled Ibadan North Local Government Area.
â€œPeople are yearning for a change in Oyo State and we feel our coming together will bring about the change. If all of us canâ€™t come together, if Ladoja joins, us we will win the election. But these people donâ€™t want Ladoja from the outset and they are still on it.
â€œAll that are happening now are just to frustrate Ladoja out of PDP, but they will not succeed by the grace of God.
â€œWe have told the national headquarters to leave us alone. We will deliver the state. I am exonerating the National Chairman, Secondus. But it is the legacy of Markafi that others are trying to destroy.
â€œWe worked hard to bring Ladoja to PDP successfully. But it was during Markafi that this was achieved. We know Ladoja has the masses on Oyo State behind him and politics is a game of number. They donâ€™t want Ladoja, but we want him to be the rallying point for Oyo PDP,â€ he insisted.