The former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose has warned Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde against tampering with the leadership structure of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti state.
He vowed that he was ready to look into Makinde’s eyes and fight him publicly.
The former governor made this known on Wednesday to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
The former governor who led the National delegates of PDP including the chairmen of the party in Osun, Ekiti, Lagos to Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital to pledge their support for a chairmanship aspirant for the zone, Dr. Eddy Olafeso maintained that Makinde has no right to interfere in the local politics being played in each South west state despite being a zonal leader of the party.
He urged Makinde to allow every state to be governed by its local leaders.
He said, “There has been a reasonable cold war of who and who becomes the executive of the zone. Governor Makinde has demanded that the zonal executive be sacked and a caretaker be fostered on the zone which the party did. But, since the caretaker committee came into being, he has not allowed them to function because he produced the chairman.
“Beyond that, the fact that there is a sitting governor does not say I should go to another man’s state. Nobody should come to my state; if you come to my state, I will face you squarely.
“I will continue to respect him because he is my brother, I love him so much and I was part of his emergence.
“Leaders does not give you power to go and manage another state. Every state has its own leaders, but by recognition and respect, whosoever is the governor is a leader.
”When I was the governor, I was the leader, but nobody can come out and say I was ruling their state or I was picking people from their state. You can’t pick people in my state, the moment you support any faction in my state, we have to face you.
“There is a level of respect a leader must have to continue to be a leader, so, the moment you cross that line, we are going to look into your eyes.
” We are professional when it comes to that, I am not somebody that will hide to fight, I fight you publicly”
Meanwhile, the PDP chieftain in Ogun state, Ladi Adebutu vowed that 85 per cent of the party structure in the state will support Olafeso’s candidacy.
Adebutu noted that his structure which he claimed had the majority in Ogun state will make sure Olafeso emerge as the Southwest chairman of PDP.
Similarly, in their separate responses, the chairmen of PDP in Southwest which include Engr Deji Doherty (Lagos); Sikirullahi Ogundele (Ogun); Sunday Olatunde Akanfe
(Osun) and Bisi Kolawole (Ekiti) endorsed the candidature of Olafeso.
The chairmen also raised the hands of Olafeso for the delegates’ approval .
The chairmen in the communique resolved, “it must also be noted that the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde is not in question.
“It must be noted that each state has its own leaders as politics is local and its leadership structure must be respected, but no state is ruled or governed by another.
“It has been established and a decision is taken that the existing zoning formula in the zone for the zonal executives of the party should not be tampered with. Our position is that any other formulae for the zone in the South West will not be acceptable to us.
“We seize this opportunity to let the National Working Committee know that it is nothing but free, fair, transparent and no violence congress is what is acceptable to us and we are ready to comply with all legitimate processes to determine the outcome of the zonal congress.
“The Eddy Olafeso led zonal executive only spent two years from November 2017 till date, should be allowed to complete the very credible job they’ve commenced in the South West. The team must be allowed to complete their tenure.
“We reject any style of leadership that does not respect democratic norms. Everybody must be carried along for the same of equity and fairness.
“All we are saying is that we must give peace a chance and allow the South West take its rightful position in the PDP and Nigeria.”