By Richard Akintade, Osogbo
Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde has been declared the leader and father of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Southwest zone.
The former governor of Ekiti state, Mr Ayodele Fayose, made this declaration on Monday at the Southwest Convention of the party holding in Osogbo the capital of Osun State.
This followed months of supremacy tussle over the leadership of the party in the zone.
The former Ekiti state governor had, while addressing the delegates at the WOCDIF Centre, Osogbo venue of the South-West PDP Zonal Congress, added that supporters should not be allowed to drive a wedge between the leaders, adding that he would readily accept “the leadership of Amb. Taofeek Arapaja if he wins the election.”
A statement by the Special Assistant (Print Media) to Governor Makinde, Moses Alao, indicated that the governor, while also addressing delegates at the venue of the congress declared that there would be no victor or vanquished in the election.
He further declared the process as a family affair of the PDP.
Governor Makinde added that whatever the outcome of congress, it would be accepted in the spirit of a family contest.
He maintained that the Congress was an attempt to reposition the Southwest PDP, though it had ramifications for the party nationally.
“This is an attempt to reposition our party in the South-West. But it has ramifications for our party nationally. So, whatever the outcome is, we will take it in the spirit of a family contest.
“We don’t want to defeat ourselves but we want to defeat the APC. So, at the end of this exercise, I promise you that there will be no victor and no vanquish.
“As your only Governor in this zone, whoever emerges belongs to me and I will work with the team to reposition our party in the Southwest.
“So, let me thank you ahead for a peaceful and orderly conduct,” Governor Makinde said.
In his speech, shortly before the commencement, Fayose publicly accepted Makinde’s leadership of the PDP in the zone, adding that the governor had been making impact in Oyo State and that he would not fail.
He said: “Thank you for the endurance and tolerance we have all gone through. The issue of this congress is a circumstantial one, which is still in the public domain. Who is the leader? Governor Seyi Makinde is our leader.
“Therefore, we should not allow, particularly those who are our supporters and lovers, continue to put a wedge in between us. Our leaders; Governors Oyinlola, Oni and former Deputy Senate Majority Whip and all serving senators, I want to assure you that we will make exploits together because this must not divide us.
“Nobody has offended me and if I have offended anybody, I sincerely apologise.
“Don’t let them give us the name we do not bear in Yorubaland.
“I want to say again that Governor Seyi Makinde has made impact in Oyo State and he won’t fail. Seyi Makinde and I are one. No matter what, he is our father and may God continue to do wonders through him.”