The Battle For The Soul Of PDP South West: Makinde Vs. Fayose | Bar Abdul Waheed O. Lawal

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The Battle for the soul of Peoples Democratic Party in the South West Zone is a senseless, needless and distractive battle. The Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde does not need this. I choose to offer this unsolicited advice by virtue of having served as a former Zonal Legal Adviser 2008-2012 and also Zonal Publicity Secretary 2012-2014. I felt obliged to contribute this in order to deepen our democracy. The beauty of a democracy’ is in having a vibrant and stable opposition that will put the ruling party on her toes.

I’m sure some people, especially new entrants and tenants in PDP who have neither seen nor read the PDP constitution and those with jaundiced and perverse understanding of it will take not to put my mouth in their party as if a Nigeria cannot talk on any Political party. I’m also propelled by the need to sustain PDP alive and save it from total extinction so that APC can always get a bush meat for pepper soup at 2023 elections.

From a community reading of the provisions of PDP constitution there is no where it provides for a sole leadership of the party in a geopolitical zone by one Governor.

Thus, claim to the leadership of the party by Gov Makinde is a privilege and not as of right. He has no right whatsoever to lay claim to leadership of the people’s democratic party in the south west zone.

The governor of the state is the leader of the party in the state. Where there is no sitting governor, the former governor is the leader. The PDP constitution doesn’t envisage where there is only one Governor in a geopolitical zone and was therefore silent.

Even where there is only one Governor in a geopolitical zone and they conceed leadership to him, under no circumstances should he meddle in the internal affairs of the party in other states. It’s the South West Executive that has power to coordinate the affairs of all the parties together in the south west including the state that has the Governor. The leadership of a governor in the south west is only for ceremonial and spending. He must also subject himself to the authority of the south west exco and not vice versa. If the governor wanted anything, he can only lobby or if by virtue of his funding the party they want to conceed certain privileges to him, it remains a privilege, not a right. Once the meeting of the south west exco or zonal caucus is holding, the governor cannot preside over the meeting, it’s still the national vice Chairman who doubles as the zonal Chairman that will preside and it’s through the zone that the national will take the report of the party in that geopolitical zone.
Any Governor who is a good Politician will not oppose any candidate for zonal Chairman. There is no how a zonal exco will not regard and respect you as a leader if you are nice and responsible leader. There is a way to whip to line any zonal exco that is antagonistic to your interest. It’s either you pamper them or you starve them with funds. They will gasp for breadth and die metaphorically.

If I were Seyi Makinde and Fayose is supporting a person as south west zonal Chairman, I would conceed and let him be.

As the only governor and the supposed leader, they would always defer to me. In any meeting of zonal caucus, they have to wait for me, in fact they would always seek my convenience before fixing such meeting, I will use my power to determine the venue and time since I must fund the zone.

Again, occassionally when I’m traveling, I would pick one or two members of zonal exco plus one or two state Exco to be in my entourage. I would take care of and spoil them. I don’t need to tell them what I want, they would be the one to give me options.

There is another very important pronounced inadequacy of the Governor which several people, I mean politicians of PDP and other leaders of the coalitions that birthed the state ruling party in Oyo state and it’s very bad. What’s that ? It’s this idea of turning against those who worked for and helped him to attain victory at the 2019 polls.

The statements in the lips of every aggrieved persons is that Gov Makinde is a serial breaker and violator of agreements. The hall mark of great men in history is that they are men of their words. Once good leader makes promise, they keep to it and fulfil it.

I don’t need to mention names of the coalition leaders, other prominent personalities who organised and kept the party intact for Gov Makinde to use the platform to contest the 2019 election. I remember with nolstagia the cool headed and apostle of refined politics, Engr Femi Babalola Jogor. It’s a pity the Governor cannot manage such a person.

What of the man of the people, (Olopoeniyan), a political bulldozer, a great grassrooter and mobilizer of men and women. These are tested war-horses that do not fail. For one to use these kind of people and think he has secured a second term, that governor must be joking. For your information, Chief Adebisi Olopoeniyan is not a flamboyant politician and he is not difficult to manage.

I’m yet to see any Politician’s house where men and women converge daily today like Olopoeniyan’s house. Looking for him, you would see him in the midst of these grassroot people either eating or gisting with them. He cracks jokes with them and they crack jokes with him. That reminds me of the Molete Political Academy of Baba Adedibu of the blessed memory. Let us wait and see, how a person with good conscience will justify the unfair treatment by Gov Makinde to this great Politician.

I’m not a fan of Hon Mulikat Adeola Akande who I expect to have settled her differences with former Gov Akala. But let’s give honour to whom honour is due, she is a material anytime any day.

I do not want to talk about His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, Engr. Aderemi Olaniyan because he is too quiet and easy going. The day a person kills a madman, that’s the day he will see his people.

Even Chief Sunday Igboho Oosa felt betrayed. According to him, he was a critical factor in the emergence and victory of Gov Makinde, but the Governor ignored him.

When will the political culture of use and dump end in Oyo State?

Most Governors that would act with impunity and treat those who helped them to win their election as lepers or garbage often don’t bother to look for second term. Such governors are usually contented with first term.

I know there will be many other people like that who are not happy not because they are not given appointments or contracts but because they were completely sidelined with impunity. *(Omode bu iroko o boju wo ehin…..)* A child insulted mahogany tree and looked back) think with due respect if the narratives by those who felt let down, betrayed, used and dumped like disposable items are anything to go by then gov Makinde should have a change of heart. I know some people will also take me up from my own party for advising gov Makinde. Yes, I owe a duty by virtue of my being a citizen of Nigeria and an indigene of Oyo state from Okeogun to give this sincere advice devoid of partisanship in order to guide the governor to remain focused and deliver dividends of democracy to all.

Those who read my Facebook comment on the night Ajimobi won his second term election in 2015 would bear with witness that I said 2019 was for Makinde if he had stayed in PDP.

Against 2023, I just wish and pray that he succeeded in protecting the state and do the little he could do without distractions so that he can handover back to the APC in 2023 God’s willing.

I am not God and can never be. I’m also neither a prophet nor a clairvoyant, but I have the belief, conviction and hope that Gov Makinde will recieve a thunder of applause during the handing over of the baton of leadership to an APC Governor in 2023.

There is a very important prayer which most people in leadership often forget to make. It’s that *Oh my Lord! Anytime you provide a position for me, please prepare me for that position and surround me with righteous and quality advisers. Oh God of Heavens and Earths and all in between them, do not allow sychophants, bootlickers and praise singers to hijack my Government and derail me.*

On this note, I advise the Governor to be wary of those around him and take with great circumspection all advice given to him.

God bless Oyo state.
God bless Nigeria my country.

Abdul Waheed O Lawal
Lawyer and Advocate for Good Governance
wolawal@yahoo.com
16th February, 2021

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