— Consultations are ongoing, nobody endorsed yet – Ondo PDP
Dayo Johnson Akure
The zoning of the position of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party to Ondo state ahead of its convention has further factionalized the party.
Recall that the party had remained divided after the last governorship election till now.
The party’s governorship candidate in the last election, Eyitayo Jegede who had assumed the position of the leader of the party in the state has been accused of not carrying other stakeholders along in the affairs of the party.
Jegede has reportedly hijacked the organs party in the state hence the executive members do his bidding as regards the affairs of the party and sharing of party positions.
But, a member of the party’s executive told vanguard in confidence that those that endorsed Ologunagba are on their own describing them as jokers.
He denied allegations that the party organs have been hijacked by Jegede.
The zoning of the office of the Publicity Secretary of the party to the state has further widened the gulf within the party.
No fewer than five chieftains of the party have signified their intention to occupy the position.
They include the former governorship aspirant and former vice chairman, south of the party Dr Eddy Olafeso, former information commissioner in the state, Kayode Akinmade, former Publicity Secretary in the south-west, Hon Ayo Fadaka, former states Director of Publicity, Hon Zadok Akintoye and a former member of the National Assembly, BarristerDebo Ologunagba.
A twist was reportedly introduced when reports reached the contestants that Jegede was working behind the scene to impose Debo Ologunagba on the party.
The report had it that the state party caucus members met recently and the choice of Debo Ologunagba by Jegede disrupted the meeting.
Vanguard gathered that some caucus members of the party kicked against Jegedes candidate and argued in favour of both Akinmade and Olafeso who were former information commissioners in the state.
According to sources, someone to occupy the position of the party’s Publicity Secretary must have a pedigree and a background knowledge of how to manage information.
Vanguard gathered that after much argument and the insistence of Jegede, the caucus settled for Ologunagba.
But, Vanguard gathered that the candidates, especially those that have collected the form have kicked against the imposition of Jegede’s candidate on the party.
The contestants have reportedly taken their case to the National Secretariat of the party.
Meanwhile, One of the contestants, Dr Olafeso told the vanguard that “Nobody has been endorsed.
Olafeso said that he was ready to submit his form and ready to compete with anyone that showed interest in the position.
He added that ” l am ready to redefine our party and take it to greater heights”
Another contestant, Hon Ayo Fadaka confirmed that there was a meeting to which a select spectrum of people was invited to deliberate on the issue adding that not all contending tendencies in the Party were invited to the meeting.
“While I will readily declare that there is no schism in the Party, I will however be honest enough to admit that there are contending groups.
“It is unfortunate that people just assume that anyone can fill the position of the National Publicity Secretary, very unfortunate.
“That job is technical and demands proper understanding, capacity and capability, you must be trained for it.
In his reaction, another contestant, Zadok Akintoye said that the decision of the party leadership ” is good and I am hopeful that we all can work together for the good of the PDP at all levels.
Akintoye told the vanguard that “Their decision stands accepted and as a party member, I have grown through the ranks to understand the importance of system integrity. The decision is good and I am hopeful that we all can work together for the good of the PDP at all levels.
Contacted, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Kennedy Peretei denied that the party has been factionalized and that no organ of the party has endorsed any of the contestants.
Peretei said ” Our party is not factionalized. The position of National Publicity secretary was micro-zoned to Ondo State and several layers of consultations are ongoing to ensure that the party comes out stronger not only in the State but in the South West and Nigeria at large.
“Don’t forget, our leaders are expecting that consensus will be reached and that is what we are working on.
He said that ” As soon as a final decision is reached, same will be communicated to the media.