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S’West PDP holds parallel meetings, nominates different candidates

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Former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola (left); Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni; Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Debo Ogundoyin; Senator Abiodun Olujimi and Eyitayo Jegede of Ondo State, during the PDP South-West caucus meeting at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan… yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Prominent Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in South-West, yesterday, held different meetings at separate locations to strategise for the zonal congress of the party holding on March 6 in Ibadan.

The Ibadan meeting was convened by the purportedly sacked zonal caretaker chairman of the party, Mr. Dayo Ogungbenro while the Secretary, Daisi Akiitan, convened the Lagos meeting.

The development has further confirmed the fears by members of parallel congress due to unresolved impasse by the party gladiators in the zone.

While the faction loyal to governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, declared their support for the former deputy governor and former Ambassador of Jordan, Taofeek Arapaja, the Ayo Fayose group that met in Lagos re-affirmed its earlier decision to support former Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Eddy Olafeso, to return as zonal chairman of the party.

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Present at the Ibadan meeting were Senator Abiodun Olujimi, representing Ekiti South in the National Assembly, all PDP lawmakers at the National Assembly from Oyo State, the candidate of PDP in Ondo State in the 2020 governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede; Senator Olu Alabi, the Caretaker Committee Zonal Chairman, Dayo Ogungbenro; former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Segun Oni, among others.

Makinde said the decision to nominate Arapaja was made after consultation with party leaders in the state.

The governor said the party would redeem the country in 2023, saying the journey would begin in South-West.

Ogungbenro said the meeting was important in view of the coming congress, adding that the party’s constitution had laid down rules, which must be followed.

Also, a member of Board of Trustees (BOT), Senator Olu Alabi, said: “PDP is governed by certain mantra which are constitution and conventions.

Senator Olujimi said the time had come for the party to use its members in the National Assembly to become formidable.

Former Governor Oyinlola emphasised that the party must unite to achieve its objectives.

While Arapaja said the future is bright for the party, Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, urged party members to eschew pride and embrace humility to resolve issues in the party.

The Spokesperson of Fayose group, Mr. Lere Olayinka, told The Guardian that the group held a meeting in Lagos on Tuesday and re-affirmed their earlier decision to make Olafeso the zonal chairman of the party.

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