By Abiola Olawale
Amid the no-love-lust between Seyi Makinde, Oyo State Governor and Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Lere Olayinka, Fayose’s spokesman has berated Makinde, stating that he is not bigger than the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Makinde had earlier warned the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) against postponing the Southwest Congress which was scheduled for March 6.
The governor made this known while addressing a news conference in Ibadan said.
In his words: “I heard the 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 venue for the conduct of the congress. PDP has moved from allowing, within its fold, reactionary elements to have their way. Maybe in the past, it was possible for the elements within PDP to collude with the national working committee to file cases where they are the plaintiff and the defendant. And they also try to corrupt the judicial system in Nigeria.”
Reacting in a statement, Olayinka, who is also the spokesperson for the South-West PDP, criticised the governor for trying to impose himself on the party ahead of the zonal Congress.
Olayinka further warned that Makinde should stop parading himself as the Premier of the South-West, adding that the governor should focus on governing his state.
The statement reads: “Those of us who stayed in the PDP to defend and hold it together when he (Makinde) was wandering from one party to the other, deserve some level of respect from him because we are his seniors in this party. On this one, I speak for myself and not as Media Aide to Fayose or Spokesperson of the South-West PDP and I wish to tell Governor Makinde that he is not more a committed member of PDP than me.
“The governor needs to be told that the party is bigger than him and he can’t be ordering NWC members around as if they are his aides. The governor should also be mindful that not everyone can be bought. The Legal Adviser and other National Officers as well as leaders of the party that Makinde is now disrespecting were there to help him when he returned to the party in November 2017 after he had contested the governorship election as candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). In 2015, Governor Makinde was prevailed upon to accept senatorial ticket and stay in the PDP, but he refused. He instead decamped to SDP. So when did he become more of a loyal member of PDP than people like us? Did this same Makinde not take PDP to court in 2014 over the governorship primary election, using one Demola Adelowo that he left in the party to continue with the case while he moved to SDP?When he could not get the PDP Senatorial ticket in 2007, did he not go to court against PDP and Senator Kamoru Adedibu to court and was the case not in court till 2011 that he returned to the party? Isn’t it funny that this same Makinde, who took PDP to court twice is now the one issuing warning to the National Legal Adviser of the party, for simply acting to protect the law and the party? May be he wants to come and take over the NWC and run it along with Oyo State. On venue of the Zonal Congress, it is clear that Governor Makinde has perfected plans to unleash his thugs led by Lamidi Mukaila (aka Auxiliary) on those perceived as opposing him and I am sure the party will not endanger the lives of its members by holding the congress in Ibadan.
“Most importantly, this is not the first time zonal congress or even PDP primary election will be held outside the location of the secretariat. In 2003, the governorship primary election between Senator Rasheed Ladoja and Alhaji Yekini Adeojo was held in Abuja. In 2012, South-West zonal congress was held in Osogbo, Osun State while that of 2016 was held in Akure, Ondo State. That Governor Makinde is oblivious of all these is understandable because he has never stayed in the PDP long enough to understand the workings of the party. That’s why it is so convenient for him to place the same people who worked against PDP in 2019 over and above those who worked for the party.”