There are indications the rift between the duo of Oyo state governor Seyi Makinde and former Ekiti state governor Ayodele Fayose occasioned by who should call the shots within the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the southwest might have deepened worse.
Findings have revealed leaders and chieftains of the party within and outside the zone seem to have similarly divided along the two blocs, even as efforts by the leadership of the party to bring the two factions to accepting a peaceable option ahead of Saturday’s rescheduled zonal congress, may have failed.
The PDP, based on reports, has fixed April 10 for its postponed Zonal congresses in the Southwest, Northcentral and Northwest zones, but this has caused a stir within the party and worsened already fragile situation in the southwest flank of the party.
The April 10 date, communicated in a March 31 letter signed by National Chairman, Uche Secondus and the National Secretary, Senator Umar Tsauri, seem to have sricken a fresh cord of illfeeling, especially with some PDP NWC members, especially those on the side of Fayose.
The letter revealed the Southwest congress will take place in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, while that of the Northwest is scheduled for Kaduna and the North Central’s in Makurdi, Benue State. Although Fayose has not publicly rejected the Ibadan choice, a number of his allies have spoken against it.
Findings by journalists showed while the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), and some others supported holding the congress in Ibadan, the national legal adviser opposed the plan, citing a court case instituted recently. However, the NWC has not made a final and difinitive pronouncement upon the situation.
The duo have been at daggers drawn regarding who leads the southwest arm of PDP, each side justifying why it should be the one, a development that has led to rivals calling each other names and balkanising the party within the zone.
The situation prevented the party from holding the zonal congress till now as a faction was able to obtain a court injunction to scuttle a move by the other faction to organise a congress, even while other zones had held theirs.
Makinde, based on findings, is favouring Taofeek Arapaja, a former Oyo deputy governor, while e Fayose is supporting Eddy Olafeso, a former governorship aspirant in Ondo State and the immediate past chairman of the party in the zone.