The candidate for Southwest chairmanship of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, has accused former Ekiti Governor Ayo Fayose of planning to destroy the PDP before moving to the All Progressive Congress (APC)
Arapaja, who said Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde remains the face and leader of the party in the region, pointed out Fayose is notorious for always disrespecting people in authority and causing confusion for selfish gains.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq was selected by the Makinde faction to contest the Southwest PDP chairmanship position at the March 6 congress.
The decision on Arapaja’s choice as well as other delegates was reached during a stakeholders meeting at the Oyo State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
Speaking with journalists over the weekend, the former Oyo Deputy Governor said it would be disheartening if the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party gives undue preference and recognition to the Fayose’s faction by postponing the planned March 6 Southwest congress.
He said Fayose is engaging in anti-party affairs by praise-singing leaders of the ruling party and openly identifying with them with the grand plot of breaking the PDP before joining the APC.
Asked if his faction would consider a boycott or conduct a parallel election if the NWC postpones or recognises the Fayose faction, Arapaja said: “How can they (NWC) recognise the other side because they are just making noise?
“We all know the antecedents of Fayose their leader normally, a person with normal home training will not behave like that, castigating those who are older than you, always abusing this and that, those that are following him are even more decent than him, to be candid. How can you be following somebody like that?
“Well, like my governor (Makinde) said, those making noise are irritants. The face of the party is in one place. He (Fayose) also acknowledged Governor Seyi Makinde as the only PDP governor in the Southwest and by extension the leader of the party in Southwest but he was just trying to make himself the father of the fathers.
“For instance, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo visited Ooni of Ife, he prostrated for him even though Obasanjo could give birth to the Ooni. Prostrating for Ooni doesn’t reduce Obasanjo’s age or bring him down as an elder statesman that he is.
“So the face of PDP in Southwest is Governor Seyi Makinde, that is what God wants.
“So I don’t want to speak for the NWC but the leader of the party is in one place and the majority of the members of the party are in one place.
“If he doesn’t believe in what the party is doing, he should not be regarded as part of the party.
“Now he’s being rewarded for what he is doing. His passport has been released for him to travel. All they want to do is to polarise and destroy PDP and then move on to APC. So it is better they should just go now.”
He however noted if given the opportunity to lead the party, his main task would be to re-unite the PDP in the state and region while also restoring it to its winning ways.
Asked if he would be willing to work with the Fayose camp, the ex-Deputy Governor said: “As I said before, reconciliation is the bedrock. It is good to reconcile if we have the same objective.
“If truly one is part of a house, one should not be part of those that seek the destruction of that house.
“So if they are sincere and they want to reconcile because that’s the only way we can move and they will also recognise the ordained leader of the party.
“He (Fayose) has been a governor before and the leader of the party. So what is the matter now that Governor Seyi Makinde is the leader?
“Governor Makinde is the leader of the party in Oyo state and Southwest, that has been the tradition.
“This is someone who wants to be respected but does not respect anyone. He abuses Obasanjo, Bode George and anybody as if no one is older than him. He is not somebody I fancy at all. He even said he can stop Seyi Makinde.
“When God says yes, no one can say no. He has no moral, no etiquette, he has nothing.”