Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has declared that the Governor of Oyo State and only governor of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South West, Seyi Makinde, is the father and leader of the party in the zone.
This comes after months of supremacy tussle over the leadership of the PDP in the South West.
Fayose had, while addressing the delegates at the WOCDIF Centre, Osogbo, Osun State, venue of the South West PDP Zonal Congress, added that supporters should not be allowed to drive a wedge between the leaders, adding that he would readily accept the leadership of Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja if he wins the election.
A statement by the Special Assistant (Print Media) to Makinde, Moses Alao, indicated that the governor, while also addressing delegates at the venue of the congress, declared that there would be no victor or vanquished in the election.
He further declared the process a family affair of the PDP.
Governor Makinde added that whatever the outcome of congress is, it would be accepted in the spirit of a family contest.
He maintained that the Congress is an attempt to reposition the South West PDP, though it has ramifications for the party nationally.
He said: “This is an attempt to reposition our party in the South West.
“But it has ramifications for our party nationally.
“So, whatever the outcome is, we will take it in the spirit of a family contest.
“We don’t want to defeat ourselves but we want to defeat the APC (All Progressives Congress).
“So, at the end of this exercise, I promise you that there will be no victor and no vanquish.
“As your only Governor in this zone, whoever emerges belongs to me and I will work with the team to reposition our party in the South West.
“So, let me thank you ahead for a peaceful and orderly conduct.”
In his speech, shortly before the commencement of, Fayose publicly accepted Makinde’s leadership of the PDP in the zone, adding that the governor has been making impact in Oyo State and that he would not fail.
He said: “Thank you for the endurance and tolerance we have all gone through.
“The issue of this congress is a circumstantial one, which is still in the public domain.
“Who is the leader?
“Governor Seyi Makinde is our leader.
“Therefore, we should not allow, particularly those who are our supporters and lovers, continue to put a wedge in between us.
“Our leaders: Governors Oyinlola, (Segun) Oni and former Deputy Senate Majority Whip and all serving senators, I want to assure you that we will make exploits together because this must not divide us.
“I stand here to tell you today that either way it goes, I will accept it.
“Therefore, if Arapaja becomes chairman, I will be the first to visit him in Ibadan because there is nothing that will last forever.
“Nobody has offended me and if I have offended anybody, I sincerely apologise.
“Don’t let them give us the name we do not bear in Yorubaland.
“I want to say again that Governor Seyi Makinde has made impact in Oyo State and he won’t fail.
“Seyi Makinde and I are one.
“No matter what, he is our father and may God continue to do wonders through Him.”