The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde has disclosed that he has settled his rift with a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, over the leadership of the PDP in the South-West.
The governor made this known while featuring on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, in Abuja on Thursday. He noted that the issue of the rift with the former Ekiti State governor has been put behind adding that he will be attending the wedding of Fayose’s son on Saturday.
“We have put all of that behind us; that was before the PDP zonal congress. We are done with the zonal congress. It has come and gone. I am going to be at Governor Fayose’s son’s wedding on Saturday,” he said.
According to the governor, it is the first time in the history of the PDP and political parties in Nigeria where a party is about to hold an elective convention, and out of the 21 positions to be contested, about 16 have been settled through consensus including the national chairmanship position.
Makinde also refuted the claim that members of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum are mounting pressure on the outgoing National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, to withdraw his case against the party from the court. He stated that members of the PDP who have failed to deploy the internal dispute resolution mechanism of the party before dragging it before courts are trying to frustrate the forthcoming national convention and should not be allowed to benefit from the party.
When asked to confirm the report that PDP governors were pressurising Secondus to stop the legal action, he said, “We cannot put pressure on him. These are adults; these are leaders in their own rights. When you are leading a state, it does not happen just like that. No. You must have gone through a process. You must have been scrutinized by people of your state before you are deemed fit to occupy the status or position of a state governor.”
Reacting to the likely effect of the case instituted by Secondus on the forthcoming national convention of the PDP, Makinde said, “This is a democratic party. We believe in the judiciary. By all means, he can go ahead with his case. But we have mechanisms internally for the party to resolve issues within ourselves and I still believe that that mechanism is still there.”
On the allegation that Secondus was unfairly treated, Makinde said, “This is somebody that, at the inception of this Fourth Republic, he was the chairman of the party in Rivers State. Then, he moved from Rivers to the national (leadership).
“He was the National Organising Secretary of the party. He was Deputy National Chairman. He was Acting Chairman and he was the National Chairman. I would think that he has benefitted so much from the party and the least we expected from him was to really give back to the party and be a stabilizer for the party.”
The governor said if he was in Secondus’ shoes, “I would listen to the voice of reasoning.”
On the disqualification of three PDP leadership aspirants especially when the party had once pardoned its members of similar offenses, Makinde said, “At some points, you have to draw the line. Yes, people have been doing things in the past and they have been getting away with it. But there has to be a point where the party will have to say, ‘Enough of this!’
“You have the internal mechanism of the party to settle any issues that you may have. Besides, what exactly are we trying to do? We are trying to send a message to Nigerians: we are going towards the general elections in 2023 and we need to let Nigerians know that this is a party that will stand for discipline, unity, and a party that they should look up to whenever they are thinking of how to fix the problems that we are in. And we cannot do that in an atmosphere of impunity.”