By Henry Odeh
The highly anticipated peace meeting between ex Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose and the Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, may have suffered another major setback as Fayose and his loyalists were absent from the South West zonal meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was expected to hold in Ibadan on Thursday 28th January, 2021 but was eventually cancelled due to logistics reasons.
It was earlier reported that Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, was set to use avenue of the SW PDP meeting to broker peace which was expected to unite the duo of Makinde and Fayose as the political leadership tussle between them in the region lingers.
Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, while speaking with governor’s office correspondents at the Agodi Government House on Thursday 28th of January (today) shortly after meeting with Governor Seyi Makinde and other party leaders present which held behind closed doors, explained that the SW PDP zonal meeting was cancelled due to logistics reasons.
He added that PDP leaders in the region who were expected to be at the meeting had excused themselves from being available for the meeting citing various reasons for their absence leading to the eventual cancelation and postponement of the zonal meeting.
Wike said: “Well, let me say very clearly, there was no PDP stakeholders meeting today, yes, there ought to have been a stakeholders meeting but that two things that made me to come. First of all, you know that the governor of Oyo state, Engr Seyi Makinde, is not only a friend, he is also my in-law, you remember that he married from Rivers state and a good friend.
“And I told him that I will come to Oyo state, coincidentally, we were supposed to use it to bring unity to south west PDP because in my place we use one stone to kill two birds.
“So I said I will use the opportunity to see some of the projects. Yesterday night we realized that because of some logistics reason, some persons were not around and we didn’t want to have a half meeting where we will reconvene.
“So, we said ok, we need to give them the opportunity to come back and then meet so, since we have that understanding I said okay let me go and make some inspection but then he said no, some of the leaders of the party that are around, it will be necessary to say hi, to them.
“And I said yes, it is in our own culture to respect leaders so, that is why we have come to greet them and then move to the inspection of the projects.
When asked about how soon to expect lasting peace to return to the PDP Wike said, “you should not be in a hurry, peace means talking to a lot of people, and you know in politics, you need to talk to people for people to understand.
“It is not something you feel like because you have met today,when you call for a meeting tomorrow, everything must be resolved that particular day because politics is of interest and so, you need to make sure everybody is fully involved.
It was earlier reported in another online news medium that even though Fayose was favourably disposed to attending the meeting, his loyalists had told him categorically at the meeting held in his Lagos residence yesterday 27th January, that they will not sit on the same table with Governor Makinde, whom they accused of “promoting factions in Ogun, Osun and Ekiti States.”
According to the earlier report, suspension of the Chairman of Ibadan North-East Local Government Area of Oyo State, Hon. Taiwo Iyiola, because he held meeting with Zonal Chairmanship aspirant, Dr Eddy Olafeso in the residence of Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan was also cited as part of reasons they boycott the meeting.
Recall that Daily Independent had earlier reported that the meeting will hold at the Oyo State Government House, with PDP leaders on the side of Fayose as well as those with Governor Makinde in attendance.
However, it was gathered that only those on the side of Governor Makinde were in Ibadan for the meeting while Chairmen of Ekiti, Ogun, Lagos and Osun states stayed away.
Also, the Osun State PDP candidate in the 2018 governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke and his Ogun State counterpart, Hon Ladi Adebutu did not attend the meeting.
Governor Seyi Makinde, in his brief remark, maintained that he will continue to pursue peace in the south west zone of the party stressing that PDP is pivotal to where Nigeria is going.
He said, “we will continue to pursue peace in PDP south west because we believe that south west is pivotal to where Nigeria is going to.”
Present in Ibadan for the canceled meeting are former Osun state governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Ex Ekiti governor, Segun Oni, PDP Candidate at the 2020 Ondo Governorship election, Barrister Eyitayo Jegede, Ekiti state Senator, Abiodun Olujimi.