Fresh Crisis Hits S’West PDP

There are indications that fresh crisis is brewing among the members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West.

Investigations by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday showed that leaders of the party from the zone are not happy with the way the party is being run.

For example, some members of the party have called for a meeting, where issues bothering on disagreements and other issues among its members are billed to be addressed in Ibadan on Saturday(today).

The meeting, which holds at the residence of the former Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), who is also the father of the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide, is being threatened with boycott by some leaders of the party in the zone.

In her bid to retain her job, the minister is said to be under pressure to prove to President Goodluck Jonathan that she would not join her husband, Ahmed Pategi, who is a member of the House of Representatives, to defect to the All Progressive Congress.

When asked whether she would ditch the ruling party, the minister had said, “The Akinjide family is loyal to the PDP and loyal to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. My father, Richard Akinjide, is a founding member of the PDP and a member of the PDP Board of Trustees.”

“I am the arrowhead of the PDP in Oyo State as the minister in an opposition state. I will continue to work hard to ensure the success of Mr. President, the Transformation Agenda, and the success of the PDP at the polls in the 2015 elections.”

However, a member of the Board of Trustees of the party in the zone, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, said that the minister was not qualified to call for a meeting of the party in the state or in the zone.

Oyedokun told our correspondent that one of the problems of the party in the zone is the refusal of its members to abide by the party’s constitution, which he said places the running of the party in each state in the hands of its state officers.

He said neither him nor other elders of the party would attend the meeting and appealed to the leaders of the party in the zone to concentrate on building the party in their respective states.

He said, “That meeting is illegal. The minister has no power to call the meeting. We won’t attend it and I can tell you that leaders of the party would not be there.

“While we have respect for the former minister of justice, we must also know that meetings of such should take place in another place and should be called by either the state chairmen of the party in the zone or zonal officers of the party.”

He, however, added that since the party had no zonal leaders for now, its state officers should concentrate on building the party in their respective states until “we have elected zonal officers.”

Another elder, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, alleged that the minister was looking for ways to enhance her political fortunes.

Already, the state chairmen forum, stakeholders forum, elders committee and other organs of the party in the six states in the zone have dissociated themselves from the meeting.

A statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Committee of South-West PDP State Executives, Mr. Adebayo Dayo and Ebenezer Alabi respectively, said that “the decisions and resolutions that may arise from the gathering (at Ibadan) do not represent the views of the leadership of the party in the state and the South-West.”

They also queried whether the minister could claim to have any political influence in the state when she was unable to stop her husband from joining the APC.

“What significance is her purported influence in the politics of Oyo State if she could not stop her husband from joining the opposition,” they asked.

Jumoke-Akinjide has, however, denied that she is the arrowhead of the meeting. She said she was an invitee like others to the meeting in her father’s house.

The minister, who spoke through her spokesperson, Mr. Isiaka Kehinde, also said that stakeholders of the party could call for the meeting of the party.

He said, “The meeting is still holding. However, let me say that the minister was also invited to the meeting, she was not the one who conveyed it. It is in the party’s constitution that stakeholders can also call for the meeting of the party.”

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