PDP Convention: S’West crisis deepens as Oyinlola, Oladipo, Arapaja set to clash over Deputy National Chairman
The Southwest zone may end up being the only region that will not be able to agree on consensus candidates for the coming national convention of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This is as three notable leaders of the party are set to slug it out for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South). They are former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former National Secretary of the party, Prof Wale Oladipo and the incumbent National Vice Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.
Already, Prof Oladipo, who has the backing of the Senator Ademola Adeleke led group in Osun State has obtained nomination form while Oyinlola, who was earlier favoured for the position is said to be insisting that he will go ahead and contest even if Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State withdraws his support.
The Oyo State Governor was said to have suddenly developed cold feet on Oyinlola and switched support to Arapaja.
It should be recalled that Oyinlola was earlier favoured to emerge as the National Chairman until the position was moved to the north. The Deputy Chairmanship position was meant to compensate him, but it remained unclear why Governor Makinde, no longer wants him.
Also, the position of National Publicity Secretary is creating ripples, with four people showing interest in Ondo State, where it was zoned to.
PDP governorship candidate in the State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) is allegedly backing Hon Debo Ologunagba, a former member of the House of Reps while the immediate past National Vice Chairman, Dr Eddy Olafeso has already obtained a nomination form. Others from the State who have shown interest are Mr Benson Enikuomehin and Mr Zadok Akintoye.
The National Publicity Secretary position was supposed to be between Ondo and Ekiti States, but sources disclosed that it was deliberately restricted to Ondo State.
The source, who preferred anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, said the argument was canvassed that Ekiti was holding the position of National Treasurer and as such should be excluded while a counter-argument was raised that Ondo held the position of National Vice Chairman too.
In Lagos and Ogun States, the contention is on Deputy National Secretary position zoned to Lagos. A former House of Reps member, Hon Rita Orji, is favoured by Governor Makinde, but it is being said that the National Secretary of the party cannot be from the Southeast and another Igbo person will be deputy, using the Lagos State slot.
Our reporter was told that a member of the party from Ogun State has obtained a nomination form to contest for Deputy National Secretary while another may likely obtain a form from Lagos.