Makinde raises alarm over plans to postpone South West PDP zonal congress

•Asks PDP NWC to call National Legal Adviser to order •Vows to fight, defeat reactionary elements in party •Ladoja convening reconciliation meeting between me and Fayose is rumour, he adds

Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, raised the alarm over plans by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to postpone the South West zonal congress of the party.

According to Makinde, the tone has been set for this postponement with some members of the PDP in the South West going to court to demand relocation of the zonal congress that has been scheduled to hold in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He warned that the PDP may plunge itself into crisis should the NWC collude and allow the intentions of some “reactionary elements” within the party to hold sway.

Addressing journalists at the government house, Ibadan, Makinde particularly asked the PDP NWC to call its National Legal Adviser to order.

He wondered how the National Legal Adviser rather than seek Alternative Dispute Resolution will file a case and instruct the legal representative for both the plaintiff and the defendant.

He warned that if the South West zonal congress of the party is postponed based on some preconceived agenda, the PDP may be returning to the forgotten era.

Makinde said, “We held the South West caucus meeting in Ibadan on Tuesday and we reaffirmed the zoning arrangement for the positions of the South West zonal executive, and also each state has been able to put together a unity list, which we intend to take to the congress proper.

“But on Thursday, 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 conduct of the congress.

“Well, there are three things coming out of the court move. One, PDP has moved from allowing within its fold reactionary elements to hold the sway. Yes. Maybe it was possible in the past for the elements within the PDP to collude with NWC to file cases where they are, the plaintiffs are the defendants, and they also tried to corrupt the judicial system in Nigeria.

“That will never be allowed again because this is a PDP that is getting ready to take the mantle of leadership in this country, and we are ready to provide the leadership that is above board for the country. And we cannot be seen within PDP to do something that will compromise any aspect of governance in Nigeria.

“I specifically put on notice that the National Legal Adviser of PDP has not done well. When the issue of the party structure in Lagos came up, I met him personally and I advised him that we have an alternative dispute resolution mechanism in this country, especially if it is PDP to another PDP, he should explore alternative dispute resolution mechanism. He said we are going to defeat them in court. So, if you defeat them in court, what exactly are you going to get out of it?

“Now, they have started the same antics with the South West zonal congress. How can you file a case and then you instruct the legal representation for the plaintiff and also for the defendant? I don’t think that is acceptable. We expect the National Working Committee of the party to deal with that decisively.

“We are ready in the South West PDP to have a congress that will produce the zonal executives that is acceptable to the majority of the people of South West Nigeria.

Asked about the tendency of a parallel congress in the South West zone, Makinde said he expected the NWC to do what was right to prevent a parallel congress.

“I am the only serving PDP governor in the South West Nigeria and very interested in the growth of our party.

“We don’t foresee a parallel congress because as someone once said to me that if you see a rat, staying out there and abusing the cat, there must be something behind him, maybe he has a hole to quickly run into.

“This is why we are putting the National Working Committee of the party on notice that they must do what is right in this instance, and I believe they will do what is right,” Makinde said.

He consequently asserted the readiness of the South West PDP to hold the congress on March 6, promising to fight “reactionary elements” in the party until they are defeated.

“If the National Working Committee has decided to postpone the zonal congress, for a reason that is acceptable to everybody, then, we will work with them.

“But if they are towing the path of ‘arrangee’, an apology to Fela, I think Nigeria has moved beyond that, that would mean they are taking PDP back to an era that we should have forgotten about in this country.

“Even, if they do, there are some of us in that party, that we are bent on taking the party to take its rightful position and to get the party ready, for the leadership of the country.

“We will fight those reactionary elements until they are defeated within the party,” Makinde said.

On reconciliation moves, Makinde discarded reports in some quarters that Senator Rashidi Ladoja planned to convene a reconciliation meeting between himself and former Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose.

He added, “In terms of any reconciliation meeting, there is nothing like that. I haven’t had any meeting with Baba Ladoja. I think it is just a rumour that has been flying around. There is nothing like that.”

“First, politics is about conflict and conflict resolution. Even, in a particular family, everyone may not sleep and put their heads in the same direction.

“But within those diversities of ideas and opinions, you should seek alignment, and then push in the positive direction.

“That is what brings growth and development. And that is exactly what we will continue to do for our party and for our state, and our country.”

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