PDP Zoning: S’west meeting a nullity – Makanjuola, Awoyelu

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By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.
The factional National Vice Chairman of the of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe and a member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Party, Senator Clement Awoyelu, have described the meeting conveyed by Governors Ayodele Fayose and Olusegun Mimiko in Akure, Ondo State on Monday as an infraction and abuse of court judgement.
Ogundipe said allowing the former Commissioner for Information in Ondo State, Mr. Eddy Olafeso to preside over the meeting as the National Vice Chairman South West, in spite of the June 24, 2016 Court judgement declaring him the authentic occupant of the exalted
position, was tantamount to illegality.
‪Ogundipe and members of his executive and those perceived to be loyal to him were allegedly locked out of the meeting’s venue held in Akure, the capital of Ondo State.
‪Speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, Ogundipe  said though he viewed the action as very contemptuous, he won’t sanction Governors Mimiko and Fayose in the spirit of reconciliation.
‪The embattled National Vice Chairman insisted  that  only the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the PDP enjoys the legal validity to convey the national convention of the party slated for August 17.
‪On the zoning of the National  Chairmanship position to Ogun/Lagos axis of the South West, Ogundipe said only the national convention was vested with the power to zone national positions.
‪He said; “Whatever Governors Mimiko and Fayose did in Akure on Monday is a nullity. I am not interested in whoever becomes the National Chairman, but we are looking for how we can look inward and get the best material as the National Chairman of the party.
‪“My Executive remains the authentic and the Court had ruled that my tenure expires in October, 2018 and anything that contravenes the judgement is an illegality.  But in the spirit of reconciliation, we will go ahead with the Port Harcourt’s convention.
‪“The court had validated my position and it is left for them to recognize me or not, but I know they won’t play with fire”.
Ogundipe said his faction had zoned the position of Treasurer to Ogun/Lagos and Deputy National Publicity Secretary to Oyo/Osun axis contrary to what the Olafeso’s faction did by zoning the Chairmanship to Ogun/Lagos axis and Treasurer to Ekiti/Ondo.
He reiterated that any spirant from any of the zones is free to vie for the National Chairmanship in line with the party’s constitution.
‪“Our party will look beyond parochial consideration. We have to enlarge the opportunities for the National Chairmanship position because the PDP is in the opposition.
‪“We have to look at the contestants’ pedigrees, leadership ability, loyalty and integrity for us to be able to confront a ruling government”.
‪Speaking about the legality of the proposed Port Harcourt’s
convention, Ogundipe said all members should attend in the spirit of give and take so that all the contentious issues can be resolved.
‪“I am a zonal leader and I should be an automatic delegate, but the idea that whether I am going to attend or not is my own personal decision. As a father in the party, I believe we must attend in the spirit of reconciliation”, he stated.
‪Awoyelu, a member of the Senate and pioneer Chairman of the PDP in Ekiti, said the zone should stop dissipating energy by recognizing faction not recognized by law to pilot the affairs of the party.
‪The BoT member added that only the National convention of the party has the power to zone positions and that this has been the standard since 1998, describing the Akure meeting as a clear infraction and clear illegality.

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