By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde on Saturday declared that with the way the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was able to organise itself and unite for the state congress, it has the capacity to unite Nigeria.
The governor, who stated this at the congress held at the Open Court of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, said if given the opportunity to govern the country in 2023, the PDP will end the divisive tendencies in the country and place it on the path of unity and oneness.
Makinde, equally used the occasion, to call on all members of the party to rally round the new state executives to better reposition the party, adding that the party remains open to accommodating everyone aggrieved.
He said: “Today is very symbolic. I congratulate the executives that we have just elected today.”
“It is historical because this is the first time that we are coming for an elective Congress and the situation is carnival-like. Now, I am sensing the same thing for our National Convention. They should watch out, PDP will unite Nigeria.”
“Today, we don’t have much to say. The only thing I will say is that those who said they are aggrieved can see what has happened here today.
“PDP belongs to all of us. They must come back and get integrated into the fold and we will accommodate them.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Oyo State PDP Congress Committee and Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commended Makinde for his sterling leadership, which, according to him, has ensured the sustainability of the PDP in the state.
“I salute the sterling leadership of my brother and friend in Oyo State, Governor Makinde, who has engendered the manifestation of parity in one fellowship and sustainability of PDP in the state.
“I respectfully acknowledge all the executive leaders of the party here. Your contributions and sacrifices are highly appreciated. I also appreciate the support and solidarity of our teeming supporters.”
“My team and I are in Oyo State at the behest of the National Working Committee of our party to conduct the party Congress. And I am assuring you of a very transparent, free and fair process,” Ugwuanyi said.
Meanwhile, as Governor Makinde’s faction produced Dayo Ogungbenro as a factional chairman, another chairman from a faction of aggrieved members of the party emerged at a parallel congress.
While Dayo Ogungbenro emerged as the state Chairman of Governor Makinde’s led congress with a total vote of three thousand one hundred and ten, Michael Okunlade also emerged as the Chairman of the aggrieved faction of the party, at their congress held at Jogor Events Contre, Ibadan.
Okunlade in his acceptance speech, lamented that Governor Makinde had sidelined them in the affairs of the state, adding that attention of the governor had been drawn to their grievances but he has refused to acknowledge their demands.
However, no fewer than five people were reportedly injured while about fifty vehicles parked outside the Jogor centre, the venue factional Congress of the party were damaged in an attack by gunmen alleged to be members of the Oyo State Park Management System.
It was gathered that the hoodlums stormed the venue from the back gate and were heard shooting sporadically into the air, hacking anyone they come across.
The hoodlums were said to be brandishing cutlass, axes, guns as well as other dangerous weapons.