•Party frets over impact of feud on 2023 outing
By Chuks Okocha
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has waded into the power tussle in the South-west chapter of the party that has pitted former Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose against Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde.
The NWC has, therefore, mandated its Peace, Reconciliation and Strategy Committee to resolve the feud between the two zonal party chieftains, as part of efforts at repositioning the PDP in the South-west. The committee is headed by a former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, with former Gombe State Governor, Hassan Dankwambo; former House of Representatives Minority Leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande; former Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke; a former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, as members.
Makinde and Fayose are locked in a supremacy battle that has polarised the opposition party in the zone as state chairmen of PDP and others pitched tent with either camp.
Fayose, it was learnt, is challenging Makinde’s claim to being the zonal leader of the party on the account that he’s the highest elected PDP leader in the region.
THISDAY gathered that the Prince Uche Secondus-led NWC is worried that the feud between Fayose and Makinde could impair the party’s efforts to win the zone in the 2023 general election.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told THISDAY that the six-member committee has got its marching orders to resolve the leadership crisis in the zone.
The supremacy battle, that has lingered for some months, has degenerated as aides of the two party chiefs engaged in a war of words on the social media.
Fayose, on Monday in Lagos, had said that Makinde was not the PDP leader in the South-west, noting that leadership should be earned and not for anyone to appropriate because of positional influence.
The former governor spoke when he received prominent members of the party who paid him a solidarity visit. The delegation was led by Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, representing Ondo South District in the National Assembly.
It was learnt that the two party chiefs were at loggerheads over whether or not a former Ondo State Information Commissioner, Dr Eddy Olafeso, should be the next PDP National Vice Chairman (West), saying this was the agreement made in Makinde’s house at Ibadan.
“Governor Makinde is not my leader. He is my follower. Respect should beget respect. I have been a warrior. They thought I will be with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission now. But, I am surviving,” Fayose had said.