The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee led by former Senate President, Bukola Saraki last week held a peace meeting with stakeholders of the party in Oyo State.
At the meeting which also had in attendance former President of the Senate and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; former Governors of Cross River and Gombe States, Senator Liyel Imoke and Ibrahim Dankwambo and former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande-Adeola tried to find lasting solution to lingering crisis within the party in the state.
The meeting which first held at Carlton Gate Hotel had in attendance some of the aggrieved persons, where they laid their grievances before the committee After the one at the hotel, an enlarged stakeholders meeting was held at the government house which a chieftain of the party, Adebisi Olopoeyan and few others did not attend in which explained that he wasn’t at the meeting at the government house for security reasons.
Olopoeyan who allegedly deliberately refused to attend the enlarged meeting at the Government House based on his security, because he had fallen apart with Governor Makinde.
He said the aggrieved members stated what they wanted before the committee, and those that are still loyal to Governor Makinde also stated their own.
“After the meeting in the hotel, I decided not to go for the enlarged meeting at the Government House because of my safety. The government is hobnobbing with Mukaila Lamidi, also known as Auxillary.
“But the committee has not given any judgment. The committee said they gave the governor till the end of this month (August) to reconcile all the aggrieved members. I believe Saraki-led committee would do the right thing. But I don’t have confidence in Seyi Makinde, until I see it done.
“We have not left the party. It is our party. We are together. We don’t want the party to be in disarray. Saraki said he would not allow anyone to destabilise the party. I am not asking for anything other than to the party to be a united one.
“One of the requests that we tabled before the committee is that the PDP executive council in the state should be dissolved. Let the caretaker committee be set up. We are preparing for the congress. Let the caretaker committee organise the congress. All I wanted is the stability of the party.”
But Speaking after the meeting at the government house, Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, promised to address all grievances within the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a view to making the party more formidable and well-positioned for victories in future elections.
He maintained that stakeholders of the party in the state must never allow their grievances to get to the point of destroying the party, urging everyone to put their misgivings behind them.
The governor promised to address all grievances by reaching out to every aggrieved party within a short time.
Governor Makinde, who stated that he has been doing things that are fair and could promote brotherliness and strengthen the party in the state, noted that since the grievances within the party have persisted, it meant that the party must try again to solve the problem.
He called on all sides to unite in the interest of the Oyo State PDP, stating that he has no personal animosity towards anyone and that his desire is to see the party produce more winners in the state in future elections.
Likewise, the chairman of the reconciliation committee, Saraki expressed delight with the outcome of the meeting, which he termed a family meeting of the PDP.
He stated that the meeting resolved that all stakeholders should work together under the leadership of Governor Makinde to ensure the victory of the PDP in future elections in Oyo State and at the national level.
Saraki commended the stakeholders for what he described as the beginning of a new chapter in Oyo State PDP, noting that Governor Makinde has been doing excellently well in terms of governance and that if the same mileage is achieved in the area of politics, then the PDP will become unbeatable in the state.
He said: “As you know, we are here as part of the National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee and we are very happy with what transpired this afternoon here with the PDP family.
“We have resolved that all the party members work closely together under the leadership of our performing governor, Seyi
Makinde, and we have asked that all the areas of differences should be put aside. And they should work towards ensuring that the PDP is victorious, not only in the state but at the national level.
“I want to commend all our stakeholders who have agreed that today is the beginning of a new chapter in Oyo State. I also want to thank the governor as well for the statement that he made that he is a beneficiary of what the party is doing and that he hopes that when he finishes his term, people in the PDP will continue to benefit from it.
“So, everyone here is committed to ensure that PDP continues to work and strive hard.
“This is the beginning but we have started the process. The commitment has been made by the governor and the stakeholders and this has started materializing because some steps have already been taken today. We are very confident for coming out of it.
“Definitely, there is a new dawn ahead of us here in Oyo State. We know that our governor is performing. In the area of governance, he is doing very well and we are proud to be associated with him.”
The former Senate President added that the efforts being made by his committee were aimed at consolidating on the formidability of the PDP in Oyo State, stating that with the calibre of people that attended the peace meeting, he was sure that a new dawn had started for the party.
“These are not issues that are not surmountable. The governor has made the commitment and we all know him as a man that will deliver by his performance and antecedents. So, we are confident,” he added.
Few days after the meeting, Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Matters to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, Babatunde Oduyoye, called on leaders and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State have been advised to give peace a chance within the fold of the party.
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In a statement by Oduyoye, it stated that the path for peace and continued success of the ruling party in the state has been charted with the successful conciliatory meeting.
He said that the advice became imperative following a statement credited to a chieftain of the party, who alleged that the governor cannot be trusted on his readiness to reconcile.
He urged those with misgivings on the peace process should give the governor the benefit of the doubt.
Oduyoye, who commended Governor Makinde and all aggrieved stakeholders for choosing the option of peace-building in the interest of the party and its members, noted that everyone at the meeting held inside the Government House saw the imperative for peace and unity within the PDP in Oyo State.
According to him the stakeholders should no longer fan the embers of discord but should seek to expand the frontiers of peace and unity.
He added that “the commitment made by Governor Makinde at the meeting was clear: that everyone should put the past behind them in the interest of the PDP and the future of the party; that he would reach out to all aggrieved parties within a short time and inform the Saraki committee of the outcome of his interactions with the stakeholders.
“It is my considered view that the Governor should be allowed to execute this plan that he already mapped out to bring an end to the crisis.
The peace-building does not require incitement, display of anger, resort to insults or name-calling. Rather, it demands give and take, open mind and single-minded focus on growth of the party. ”
He equally counselled all parties to desist from “doing and saying things” that could further worsen the crisis, while admonishing PDP stakeholders to sheathe their swords, noting that “it behooves on every stakeholder to demonstrate confidence in the peace process already initiated.”
He added: “Stakeholders in the Oyo State PDP, under the leadership of Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, met on Tuesday at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
“The meeting was at the instance of the PDP National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee under the leadership of the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the meeting was successful in that all stakeholders including those aggrieved aired their views on the situation in the party and the way forward.
“The governor had also made it clear that he bears no personal grudge with anyone and that going forward, everyone must put the grievances behind them and come together to build the PDP into a great and united party that will continue to win elections in the state.
“The take-home from the meeting is that there is a commitment to peace and unity from the governor and all stakeholders and it becomes important that all parties must follow that commitment in order to get the desired result of peace and unity in the interest of the party.
“Therefore, I urge all stakeholders to desist from doing and saying things that can threaten the commitment to peace, because in the end, as the governor and all the members of the reconciliation committee rightly pointed out, the interest of the party should be the most important consideration.
“So, it is imperative that all sides bury the hatchets and avoid words and actions that can further worsen the crisis in the party.”