*Says Ogundipe remains region’s party chair
By Dapo Akinrefon
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South West, have insisted that Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe remains the party’s authentic chairman in the zone even as they declared Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State a “persona non grata” after accusing him of fanning the embers of discord within the party in the South West.
While dissociated themselves from the meeting called in Ibadan, Oyo state, the leaders maintained that the executives who emerged at the zonal congress held on October 11, 2014 “remains the only validly elected and judicially sanctioned leadership of the party in the zone.”
Leaders of party from the zone from Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Osun States met after an emergency meeting of South West PDP zonal leadership and stakeholders in Lagos.
Those present at the meeting include the lawmaker representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Senator Buruji Kashamu, former deputy governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, former PDP National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, Mr. Tunde Carenna and Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju. Others are Mr. Segun Adewale, Mr. Wahab Owokoniran, Chief Gbenga Otegbolu, Chief Kolapo Ogunjobi, Mr. Hakeem Taiwo and Mr. Adekola Razak.
Reading the communique issued at the end of its meeting, Chief Ogundipe restated that he remains the chairman of the party in the zone, adding that those parading themselves as executives of the party in the region are impostors.
He said: “we observed with grave concern the activities of some impostors and errand boys parading themselves as members of the South West zonal executives of the PDP. These people-Eddy Olafeso, Bunmi Jenyo and others- are products of a contraption which has since been nullified by the Federal High Court, Lagos, in suit No. FHC/L/CS/605/2016.
“We further note that in a final judgment delivered on the 24th of June, 2016, the court categorically stated that our tenure ends in October, 2018, having been elected at a special zonal congress held on the 11th of October, 2014 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
“Therefore, the South West Zonal executives of the PDP under the able leadership of Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, who was Fayose’s nominee at the South West Zonal Congress, held on the 11th of October, 2014, remains the only validly elected and judicially sanctioned leadership of the party in the zone.”
Ogundipe, who berated Governor Fayose’s “hostile, authoritarian and destabilizing activities” however demanded that the Governor be called to order before “he sounds the death knell on the party in the South West.”
“The authentic zonal leadership and stakeholders hereby declare Fayose a persona non grata and dissociate the zone from his activities.”
He, however, appealed to chairman, Caretaker Committee on the party, Sen Ahmed Makarfi, to desist from relating with Governor Fayose “as regards the South West zone, just as the authentic leadership of the party in the zone and Ekiti State are directed to desist from dealing with Fayose in any capacity until further notice.”
Also, the party leader said a special committee of the party will be set up “to mobilise people into the PDP, just as we would continue to reach out and appeal to all those who had left the party as a result of the high-handedness and intolerant activities of Fayose and his cohorts, from the South West zone,”to come back.
In his remarks, the party’s former scribe, Prof. Oladipo assured the Makarfi leadership of the region’s support of the South West in Saturday’s special convention.
He said: “I am assuring Makarfi, we are going to moblise the entire South West so that Sen Makarfi would record a resounding success. We are not taking over a garage because we not garage boys, we are going to compete fairly.”