The seven-man reconciliation steering committee set up by the governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, over the disquiet in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is to meet with some key stakeholders in Ibadan, the state capital, today.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, the chairman of the committee, Dr Saka Adegbite Balogun, said key stakeholders in all the zones had been invited to the sitting of the committee.
Balogun, who said that the seeming cold war raging in the party would soon be over, urged the various tendencies to be patient as the committee would be fair in the discharge of its mandate.
He explained that, unlike the rumour being peddled, nobody was quarrelling with the governor, emphasising that most of the issues to be reviewed may be intraparty affairs, and not government’s.
He stated that all the groups would meet today in Ibadan to air whatever grievances that they have.
While maintaining that the committee was enjoying the full support of the state governor on the assignment committed to its hands, Dr Balogun expressed optimism that the efforts of the committee would yield the desired fruit.
Dr Balogun, who was chief of staff to a former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, advised the leaders and members of the party to help the work of the committee in its bid to build an indivisible party as an entity. He charged all the tendencies to avoid the use of the words ‘factions’ and ‘groups’ within the party.
He said, “The governor has assured us that we would operate freely and independently. By the grace of God, we will succeed. I don’t belong to any faction and I don’t believe in the word ‘faction’ and that is why I have used the word ‘tendencies’. I’m one of the leaders of the party. So, because of my objectivity and integrity, we will succeed. And more importantly, with the support of the governor, we will excel.
“You’ll agree with me that since the governor had inaugurated our committee, the crises are waning because party faithful believe that we will be objective in handling the issues that will be brought to our table.”
Asked on the areas of focus of the committee in discharging its duties, Balogun simply responded, “That is still our cup of tea. We will start calling the stakeholders involved from today. How we are going to do it is still our secret. We will call the stakeholders from all the seven zones: Oke Ogun 1, Oke Ogun 2, Ibadan, Ibadan Less City, Ibarapa, Oyo, and Ogbomoso.”
He clarified that the first round of the reconciliation would be for the PDP and later, it may be extended to the allied parties that united to defeat the, then, ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). “The allied parties will also be taken care of, but later, because without them, we may not have won the March 9 governorship election in our state,” he said.
He, therefore, called on the tendencies in the party to embrace peace and believe in the leadership of Governor Makinde who he described as a soft speaker but deep thinker.
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