A fresh crisis may be brewing in the South-west zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the postponement of the zonal congresses earlier slated for March 6, 2021.
The main opposition party had postponed its elective congresses despite several warning by stakeholders, including Governor Seyi Makinde, who cried out that it could spell doom for the party.
While speaking to newsmen last week Governor Makinde said: “I came here to brief you, first, on the meeting of the southwest caucus of the PDP that was held here two days ago and also to discuss briefly the happenings within the PDP National Working Committee as it relates to upcoming southwest zonal congress of the party.
“At the meeting, we reaffirmed the zoning arrangement for the positions of the South West zonal executives, and also each state, by now, has been able to put together a unity list, which we intend to take to the congress proper.
“But yesterday, I heard of disturbing news that our National Working Committee is planning to postpone the South West zonal congress because some people went to court to complain about the location for the conduction of the congress.”
The Oyo governor urged the PDP leadership to do the right thing and go ahead with the planned congresses.
He stated that the opposition 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.
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.
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.”
It was however gathered that the party might have postponed the congress especially in the South-West because of the lingering crisis among 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.
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