The fight over the soul of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West between the former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, and the governor of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde, has torn apart the Ondo state chapter of the party.
A statement by the state party’s publicity secretary, Kennedy Peretei, announced the indefinite suspension of a former party state chairman, Hon. Ebenezer Alabi; former party state secretary, Chief Oyedele Ibini; a former national assembly member, Hon. Lad Ojomo; former Zonal publicity secretary of the party in the south west, Mr Ayo Fadaka; and the minority leader in the state assembly member, Hon Rasheed Elegbeleye.
While the state executive members and other leader have pitched their tents with governor Makinde, other leaders especially National and state Assembly members sided with former governor Fayose.
Recall that all those suspended accompanied two serving senators, Nicholas Tofowomo and Ayo Akinyelure to visit former governor Fayose in Lagos last weekend and passed a vote of confidence on him and condemned what they described as the self serving attitude of Governor Makinde.
The leadership of the party however failed to suspend the two senators that led the delegation to visit Fayose at his residence in Ikeja, Lagos State.
It however disowned the said delegation that visited governor Fayose and described them as impostors “that does not represent the opinions of our teaming supporters in the State”.
In the released statement, Peretei, said; “Pursuant to Section 58(1)(a)(b)(f)and (h)of the Peoples Democratic Party Constitution (2017 as Amended) the under listed persons are hereby suspended indefinitely from the party for anti-party activities and gross misconduct:Chief Oyedele Ibini, Hon. Lad Ojomo, Mr.Ayo Fadaka, Hon. Rasheed Elegbeleye and Hon. Ebenezer Alabi.
“By this decision, they are expected to stop parading themselves as members of the party. All organs of the party are to take note in this regard.
“They stand suspended until the outcome of the report of the State Disciplinary Committee.
“In another development, the State Working Committee has dissolved the State Elders Committee. In accordance with the provisions of our constitution (2017 as Amended), another State Elders Committee will be constituted in due course.
“We also want to put it on record that, the State Executive Committee of the PDP in Ondo State did not send any delegation to anywhere to represent the Party. Whoever lays claim to such is an impostor and does not represent the opinions of our teaming supporters in the State.
Reacting, the suspended former party’s zonal publicity secretary, Ayo Fadaka said that “My attention has been attracted to a purported suspension of myself and four other leaders of the Party by the State Working Committee.
“No reason other than a blanket tag of anti-Party activities have been established by them as the basis for this step. I am amused really as my suspicion of inadequate capacity in managing our great Party has just been confirmed.
“The suspension is actionable and I assure you that this action will ignite a series of reaction.”
Recall that at the meeting with governor Fayose, the delegation led by the two Senators adopted a former commissioner in Ondo state, Dr Eddy Olafeso, for the position of National Vice Chairman (southwest) ahead of the zonal congress of the party on January 2021.
Senator Tofowomo who spoke on behalf of the delegation said Ondo State PDP will not sacrifice the position of National Vice Chairman of the party for ordinary Ex-officio, saying that Olafeso will be returned as the Zonal Chairman as well as other candidates presented by Fayose’s group.
He said that; “Governor Makinde must realize immediately that Ondo State is independent of Oyo State and not tied to anyone’s apron strings. His leadership style is not unifying and edifying the PDP in the southwest and he must begin to lead by example.
“We believe in the leadership of His Excellency, Dr Ayo Fayose for his exemplary qualities, commitment and vision in developing the party and wishes to thank His Excellency, Dr Fayose, for his support for Ondo State by supporting the original formula that ceded the National Vice Chairman and Zonal Publicity Secretary to Ondo State.”
Responding Fayose said he remains steadfast and loyal to the PDP, adding that only those in Governor Makinde’s group insinuated that he is working for the ruling APC.
“l will not hesitate to respond appropriately if Governor Makinde continues to go personal over political issues.
“It is Makinde’s choice and latitude to remain a captive of his court jesters and numerous sycophants around him, but must be careful and no longer attack,” he said.
Apart from Senator Tofowomo, other notable leaders at the meeting with Fayose include: former State Chairman of the party, Hon Ebenezer Alabi, who represented the Senator representing Ondo Central, Ayo Akinyelure, former State Secretary of the PDP in Ondo State, Chief Ibini Oyedele, former House of Representatives member, Hon Lad Ojomo, Dr Eddy Olafeso, Hon Rasheed Elegbeleye, Hon Festus Akingbaso, Chief Tunde Akindehin, Hon Saka Lawal, Hon Idowu Ogunmade, Hon Niyi Ogungbuji, Hon. Ayo Fadaka, among others.