The rivalry between Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and former Ekiti State governor Ayo Fayose deepened on Thursday after he warned the latter against making inflammatory remarks about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) congress in the South-West, only days after they publicly embraced and shouted conciliation.
At a press conference held ahead of the congress in Osogbo, Osun State, the duo vowed to work together to restore the party.
Fayose, who last week acknowledged Makinde as the PDP’s South-West chief, alleged on Wednesday that the zone’s PDP congress was marred by irregularities.
On the list of accredited delegates for the congress, he said, he discovered dead and ill people.
Makinde, according to the ex-Ekiti governor, is “deadly.”
Taofeek Arapaja, the ex-deputy governor of Oyo State who was supported by Makinde, was elected as the PDP vice-chairman in the South-West.
In the congress held on Monday, he defeated the party’s former chairman in the district, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, who was the ex-Ekiti governor’s preferred candidate for the seat.
The governor cautioned Fayose not to spread a false narrative about the congress in a statement released by his media aide, Taiwo Adisa.
“The South-West PDP zonal congress, which took place in Osogbo, has come and gone, and there is no doubt that it will go down in history as one of the most peaceful PDP congresses in the zone,” the statement read.
“The peaceful conduct of that congress, one would claim, was inspired by the body language and behavior of Governor Makinde, the zone’s party’s leader and a man known for his peaceful demeanor.
“Despite the desperation and provocations from the Fayose camp, the governor maintained his calm and guided the zone to a peaceful congress that has now produced worthy leaders for the party.
“The governor made it clear from the outset that the congress was about rebuilding and strengthening the South-West PDP and he worked hard to ensure that the party puts its best forward, as, according to him, whatever happened in that congress had ramifications for the national polity.
“Governor Makinde had also characterized the congress as a family affair, promising to work with whoever won, with the climax of the Monday, April 12, 2021, event being former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose’s eventual acceptance of Governor Makinde as the leader of the South-West PDP.
“It comes as no surprise, then, that less than 48 hours after that recognition and determination to work with Governor Makinde to create the party, the former governor is orchestrating an attack on Governor Makinde over the peaceful congress, in which the latter made it clear that there will be ‘no victor, no vanquished.’
“One can see Makinde’s detractors adopting an ungodly trend by attempting to create a false narrative around the congress in order to discredit it.
“It should, therefore, come as a surprise to the public that the same camp that claimed that it had conceded defeat and was ready to work with Arapaja, is now engaging in media warfare against the governor.”
The exchange of words between the two PDP chieftains has shown that the crisis rocking the party in the zone is far from being over.