The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West deepened yesterday when the zonal caretaker committee suspended the chairman, Dayo Ogungbenro, over alleged negligence of duty.
Seven out of the 12 members in the caretaker committee, who suspended the chairman, said he had not called for any meeting since he was appointed.
They also called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to appoint another chairman that would be alive to his duties to pilot the affairs of the party in the zone pending the conduct of the zonal congress.
However, Hon. Ogungbenro has rubbished his purported suspension by some members of the committee.
“They are wishful thinkers. I still remain the authentic chairman of caretaker committee of the People Democratic Party. It is as simple as that,” he said.
Daily Trust reports that the party in the zone has been embroiled in crisis over the control of the party structure.
The chairman, who was said to have been suspended is loyal to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State who has been at loggerheads with former Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose. The seven members that suspended Hon. Ogungbenro are loyal to Fayose.
The gladiators and party chieftains in the six states that make up the zone have been divided over the caretaker committee.
But the crisis deteriorated yesterday when seven members of the caretaker committee comprising Zonal Secretary, Hon. Daisi Akintan, Mrs Funmilayo Ogun, Hon. Ayobola Fadeyi-Awolowo, Prince Nekan Olateru- Olagbegi, Hon. Wahab Owokoniran, Alhaji Mustapha Sikiru and Hon. Martins Olu-Abiloye rose from a meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday to announce the suspension of the chairman.
The meeting was also attended by Engr Adedeji Doherty, Hon Sikirulai Ogundele, Hon. Sunday Bisi and Chief Bisi Kolawole, chairmen of Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states respectively.
Also, the meeting appointed Mr Lere Olayinka as spokesman for the PDP in the South West zone.
On the reconciliation embarked upon by former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the meeting said no such reconciliation committee was known to the party.