Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders yesterday declared former Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose as the leader of the party in the Southwest.
Twenty local government party chairmen, 14 members of the State Executive Committee and national delegates from Ogun State paid a birthday solidarity visit to 60-year-old Fayose in Lagos to express their loyalty to his leadership.
They were led by state Chairman Sikirulahi Ogundele and Ladi Adebutu,
“On issues regarding to the PDP in the Southwest, we will only attend meetings called by Fayose,” they said.
The Fayose camp set up a parallel reconciliation zonal committee two weeks ago to unite aggrieved chieftains in the Southwest.
It also set up a panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the defeat of the PDP in the Ondo State governorship election.
The camp has endorsed Dr. Eddy Olafeso, former Ondo State Information commissioner, as its candidate for the position of zonal chairman at the proposed regional congress.
The Ogun PDP chieftains prayed for the former governor and urged him to remain focused and undaunted in his quest to ensure fairness, equity and justice in building a formidable party in the zone and the country.
Ogundele, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said: “Today, we visit our leader, the key leader that we know in the Southwest, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, to wish him a happy birthday and show our solidarity with his leadership and unalloyed loyalty and commitment to his directives in the zone in the coming Southwest zonal congress.
“Ogun State will not be a part of any meeting that is not initiated by him. We condemn all acts of violence by some leaders who are claiming to be generals, but without followership and we call on the National Working Committee (NWC) to call them to order, as no group or individuals has monopoly of violence.
”We equally acknowledge and appreciate the National Working Committee, led by Prince Uche Secondus, and we pledge our loyalty to the NWC, while we call for a credible Southwest congress.”
Apparently firing salvos at Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, who is locked in a row with Fayose over partisan matters in the region, Ogundele said every state is independent, adding that there is no Governor-General in the constitution of the PDP.
He added: “We salute our key leaders in persons of Ladi Adebutu, Senator Demola Adeleke, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, Deji Doherty, Rev. Bunmi Jenyo and others.
“For the coming Southwest Zonal Congress, we stand by Dr. Olafeso as the zonal chairman.”