A chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP ), Oyo state chapter, Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan has shed more light on his and other party leaders’ relationship with former Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose, describing it as normal and necessary for the progress of the party in South West Geo-political zone.
He maintained that despite the fact that former Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose is not contesting the zone leadership position with Governor Seyi Makinde but also declared that the former Governor has the wherewithal and political muscle to lead PDP in South west zone.
As he also declared that it is Governor Makinde, who decided to factionalise the party in zone by excluding many leaders in the zone from the zonal meeting held in Ibadan at Governor Makinde’s instance.
He said since it only required individual decision to choose own leader and consensus to accept leader for the party, so nobody should be criminalised in PDP for going into a meeting with Fayose in Lagos, as all zonal leaders knows he ( Fayose ), has the charisma and political experience to lead the party.
Olopoeyan, who is also a PDP leader in Oyo state and south west on a radio program in Ibadan on Saturday said, the party’s constitution did not automatically conferred leadership on an elected officer of the highest rank at local, state, zonal, or national but it is only done on tradition and mutual understanding by all the party leaders’
According to him, “no one is contesting zonal leadership with Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state but it was the governor that decided to factionalise the party in Southwest when he called few people to his zonal meeting held in Ibadan.
“We were not called to the Ibadan meeting, we only went to where we were called, Fayose as one of the zonal leaders called us for a meeting, so there is no crime in attending such a meeting since it is for the progress of our party.
“Nothing like a governor being the leader of PDP at zonal level in the past, not in the constitution, in 2003 when we had five governors, no one was appointed as a leader ahead of others, each hold onto his state, not interfering in other state party affairs.
“It was during Fayose when he was the only governor in Southwest zone, that we adopted him to be the overall leader just for all members of the party to have a rallying point for negotiating for the zone at the national level, that all.
“There was no governor saddled with such leadership before 2014, when we just picked Fayose, so, since Fayose is entitled to it, no one is fighting governor Makinde about it but it was him that created the scene by not inviting PDP bigwigs into the zonal meeting”.
Olopoeyan claimed that the zonal meeting held in Lagos was the authentic one, compared to one held in Ibadan, stressing that all recognised zonal party leaders attended the Lagos meeting with the same agenda.
When speaking about his recent outburst concerning his party administration in the state, Olopoeyan said, he is not after government money or asking Mr. governor to be dashing him money, but he is clamouring for the welfarism of the party members.
“Am not bothered about how the government is being run, or ask for government money, all am fighting for is for all our party members who worked day and night during the electioneering to enjoy as ruling party members.
On his association with the opposition party in Oyo state , Olopoeyan said, he has been maintaining a cordial relationship with each of the opposition party leaders and chieftains for a long time and the relationship will still be mutual.
“All of them are my friends and we will continue to be friends despite not being in the same party” Olopoeyan stated.