By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Tension is now mounting over the conduct of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South West congress billed for Osogbo this Monday with the Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde expressing confidence that his candidate , Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja will emerge as PDP SW zonal Chairman
Amidst the governor’s pronouncement, Four of the PDP state Chairmen in the South West have raised alarm of an alleged plans to manipulate the Zonal Congress on Monday, ” after the failure of all the clandestine plots to manipulate the delegate lists.”
Specifically, the embattled PDP state Chairmenfrom four of the South West states raised alarm of an alleged plans to release over 150 ballot papers for the election to the Gov Makinde led faction of the party.
Governor Seyi Makinde while speaking on Saturday in Ogbomoso at the installation of the Director-General, Oyo State Investment and Public and Private Partnership Agency (OYSIPA), Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi, as Otunba Mayeloye of Ijeru Kingdom said Ambassador Arapaja will emerge winner at the Monday’s election.
The governor pointed out that by now, people should be having the premonition of what would happen at the zonal congress of the Peoples Democratic Party holding in Osogbo,
“You would have been having a premonition about what will happen on Monday (in Osogbo); the Mayeloye title will really be made manifest in Arapaja as he will emerge the Chairman.” he said.
The four PDP Chairmen in a petition to the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, dated April 10, 2021, signed by the Ogun State Chairman of the party, Dr Sikirulai Ogundele, on behalf of the PDP chairmen in Ekiti, Lagos, Osun States, Otunba Bisi Kolawole, Engr Adedeji Doherty and Hon Sunday Bisi respectively alleged a suspected plans to manipulate the planned zonal Congress in Osogbo
They also demanded that all ballot papers to be used for the congress should be signed by the National Chairman and that they must not exceed the number of delegates and that ” Observers/ Monitors should be deployed by the party to save the party from impending anarchy.
“I write on behalf of the Chairmen of Lagos, Osun, Ekiti and Ogun States to inform you of the clandestine plot to manipulate the South-West Congress scheduled for Monday, in Osogbo, Osun State. We have been reliably informed that over 150 (One hundred and Fifty) ballot papers for the election of National Vice Chairman and Zonal Secretary have been released to the group led by the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, to manipulate the Zonal Congress on Monday. This is coming after the failure of all the clandestine plots to manipulate the delegate lists.”, it said
The Chairmen maintained “these ballot papers were said to have been released through the office of the National Organising Secretary by one Prince Adeyemi”, adding, “the ballot papers are to be handed to some selected delegates from Oyo State in particular, to dump in the ballot boxes with the ballot papers to be given to them during voting.”
Alleging that the said manipulation ” of stuffing the ballot boxes with these illegally released ballot papers is to be supervised and achieved by a Senator who was nominated as Secretary of the Congress Committee by Governor Makinde’s group”, the embattled Chairmen stressed, ” also, we are not unaware of possible hijack of the congress materials on Monday, especially the result sheets.”
“We therefore call on the party to ensure a credible congress by compelling the Office of the National Organising Secretary to make sure that number of ballot papers released and the serial numbers are made public. All ballot papers to be used for the congress must be SIGNED by your good-self and they must not exceed the number of delegates. All congress materials, especially the ballot papers and result sheets must be inspected agreeable to all aspirants before voting.Any attempt to hijack or divert the congress materials will be resisted”,
They stressed, “:to us, yesterday’s impunity should no longer be associated with our great party, as nothing other than a free, fair and transparent congress will be accepted. In view of this, we request that Observers/Monitors should be deployed by the party to save the party from this impending anarchy.
“In closing, the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Dr Samuel Ortom, who was agreed to be the Congress Committee Chairman is said to be sending his Deputy. We hope that the Deputy Governor of Benue State will ensure that the uprightness and integrity that Governor Ortom is noted for will manifest in his handling of the congress.”