Some stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West, including Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, are unhappy with the postponement of the zonal congresses earlier slated for March 6, Daily Trust has learnt.
The PDP had announced the postponement of the elective congresses despite warning by stakeholders, including the governor, who cried out that it could spell doom for the party.
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National Organizing Secretary of the party, Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), had in a statement on Sunday announced the change to the zonal congress while extending the tenures of Zonal Caretaker Committees for South-West, North-Central and North-West for another period of 30 days with effect from March 10, 2021, being the date of the expiration of the current tenure.
Governor Makinde had earlier warned that the party may sink deeper in crisis if the NWC colludes with some “reactionary elements” in the party to postpone the election.
Also, another group of stakeholders in the zone under the aegis of ‘PDP Collectives’, sensing the plan to postpone it, warned that the party might be threading a path of “self-destruction” by postponing the congress.
But the PDP NWC went ahead to postpone the congresses and those of two other zones – North Central and North-West – to the shock of the stakeholders.
A chieftain of the party who spoke with Daily Trust yesterday said, “The party seems to be taking us for a ride. PDP is not an autocratic party, we are supposed to be doing things like a democratic party but as I am talking to you we do not understand the reason for the postponement.”
But Daily Trust learnt that the PDP might have postponed the congress especially in the South-West because of the lingering crisis among gladiators in the zone especially Governor Makinde and former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.
“It would be suicidal to conduct the congress in this wobbly divided state,” the source said.
He added that the reconciliation drive anchored by the former Senate president, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, is still on course hence the reason for the postponement.
Daily Trust reports that while Fayose supports the immediate past Chairman, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, to return to the position, Makinde is strongly rooting for a former deputy governor of Oyo State, Taofik Arapaja.
It was learnt that the party sensed the possibility of a parallel congress if it allowed the congress to go on as reconciliation was still on-going.
Speaking with Daily Trust, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party was interested in reconciling all warring members before conducting the congresses.
He stated that the party was sure that the reconciliation drive of the Bukola Saraki-led committee would harmonize all the various interests and resolve the crisis.