By Akinrinlola Olumide
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will hold its zonal congresses in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria on Saturday, March 6, 2021, as approved by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party according to a release signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.
This means that all the aspirants seeking to occupy one office or the other in the Southwest zonal executives have less down fifteen days from now to campaign across the six states of the zone to meet with party leaders and delegates in support of their aspirations.
However, there is something very strange about the upcoming congress in the southwest which keeps some members of the party talking across the six states of the zone. Initially, some members of the party were in doubt if the National Working Committee of the PDP will conduct any congress in the Southwest due to the leadership crisis bedevilling the party therein.
Many were in doubt not until yesterday when a date was announced for the conduct of the zonal Congresses across Nigeria because they do not understand why the group loyal to governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State was not prepared for the Southwest Congress.
Recall that the fight for supremacy between former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose and Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has split the PDP Southwest into two factions.
While Fayose led faction has been campaigning vigorously across the six states of the zone for the past few months to seek supports of party leaders and delegates to retain the old structure of the southwest executives which has Dr Eddy Olafeso as National Vice Chairman and Rev Bunmi Jenyo as Secretary, Governor Makinde led faction is yet to unveil the faces of the new Sheriffs he intends to use for the replacement of the old structure he kicked against.
Members of the party are wondering why governor Makinde’s group is not visible on the field. The strange development left the people in doubt if indeed, the Oyo State Governor is serious about the Congress and his quest to face out the old structure.
As of today, less than fifteen days to the congress, his candidates for any of the executive offices are not yet known when Olafeso and other Aspirants belonging to the Fayose’s group are already rounding off their campaign after touring the Southwest states repeatedly.
A leader of the PDP in the Oyo State Chapter said in anonymity on Thursday evening that Olafeso might be returned unopposed.
According to him, “Seyi Makinde is still in search of a replacement for Olafeso”. The source further said that the governor is currently weighing all options including the chances of winning and the consequences thereafter most especially as many prominent leaders of the party in the Southwest preferred Olafeso for the position of the National Vice Chairman.
As the clock thickens, the question now is, who is contesting against Olafeso for the position of National Vice Chairman as the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP fixes March 6, 2021, for the zonal congresses across Nigeria?
Akinrinlola Olumide is the Publisher of Starnews Nigeria Online Newspaper