S’West PDP leaders kickstart unification parley
Leaders in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South West zone, yesterday resolved to restore an enduring harmony into their folds.
The leaders had converged on Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for a peace parley between warring members in the Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff factions.
The general assembly which had as its theme: “Working Together to Regenerate our Party in line with the Spirit of the Founding Fathers”, was presided over by former Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun and had in attendance chieftains drawn from different states in the South West.
They include the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the forthcoming Ondo State gubernatorial election, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole; former Leader of the Senate, Senator Teslim Folarin; former Minister of Sports, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja; former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; Senator Sunday Fajimi; Senator Buruji Kashamu and a host of others.
At the end of the five-hour meeting, a peace committee was set up to look into all intra-party frictions with a view to bringing in all aggrieved members.
The assembly in a communiqué issued and read out to journalists by Prof. Adedoja, applauded the on-going peace moves at the federal level by the Sheriff and Makarfi groups, while urging all other zones in the country to resolve their internal grievances accordingly.
The party leaders specifically, resolved to remain in the PDP, irrespective of the various challenges facing the party at national, zonal and states levels, with the aim of capturing the centre come 2019.
They however admonished the leadership of the party to clearly zone the national chairmanship position to the South West zone, “being the only zone that had never occupied the position in the past.”
The forum also urged the party’s leadership in Ondo State to close ranks and work together as a solid and united team to sustain the control of the state at the forthcoming governorship election.
Dr. Ibrahim, while addressing the gathering, said the time has come for genuine members to close ranks and move the party forward, not only in the South West but the entire country.
He said the meeting was conveyed primarily to achieve peace, stating that leaders of the party in the zone, particularly Senator Kashamu has been doing wonders in this regard.
He said: “What we are here for today is how to have peace back in our great party and move it forward not only here in the South West but all over the country.
And it is gladdening that our leaders in the South West, particularly Senator Buruji Kashamu, have continued to work tirelessly towards this.”
On his part, Bankole lauded the peace initiative, which he described as a good development within the party.
He said he had been staying back from the fold since the past five years due to the raging misunderstanding in the party, both at national and zonal levels.
He said: “I have not been attending South West meetings due to the political differences. If this is the beginning of unification in the PDP, I am part of it. I noticed that a peace committee has been set up and this is a good omen”.
He also advised that further moves be made to bring back into the family other stakeholders still outside the fold.
Speaking in the same vein, Senator Folarin said an enduring peace would only be recorded when either of the aggrieved party members are ready to shift grounds to accommodate one another.