The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has accused Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State of causing confusion in the party.
It said the governor was behind the plan to hold the South-West zone congress in Akure, Ondo State on Saturday despite the court order which asked the party to suspend the exercise.
The PDP National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Saturday.
Oladipo said the party had decided to obey the order of Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos, which restrained the party from going ahead with its zonal congress.
Apart from Akure, another faction of the party had planned to hold a separate zonal congress in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State on the same day before the court order was served on the party’s national leadership.
The judge had ruled on an ex parte application brought before him on Thursday by the incumbent PDP South-West Zonal Secretary, ‘Pegba Otemolu, and restrained the party from going ahead with the scheduled congress.
The judge said the order would subsist until the final determination of Otemolu’s main suit.
But a day later, Fayose had stormed the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, where he boasted that the congress would go ahead.
Oladipo said on Saturday that the National Legal Adviser of the party, Mr. Victory Kwon, had advised the party to obey the order of the court, which he said was served on him (Oladipo) and the party on Friday afternoon.
He also said that the National Chairman, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, who he said was not at the party secretariat on Friday when the order was served, had been notified.
Oladipo said, “Governor Fayose is not a member of the National Working Committee of the PDP, but he’s causing confusion with his utterances.
“We are not dabbling into his government and he has no right to tell us how to run the party here. We have an order of the court stopping the congress. The governor cannot overrule the court.
“He should behave like other governors who do not dabble into the running of the party at the national level. He should learn from Governor Olusegun Minimiko of Ondo State who respects the party and the President of the country.”
He added, “Those who want to claim they want to organise any conference are doing that on their own, not on behalf of the party.
“Whatever comes out of it will be null and void because we are not monitoring it just as the Independent National Electoral Commission has also been informed about the order of the court.”
Our correspondent gathered that INEC had been served with the court order and had directed its officers to stay away from fine congress.
But the governor said he was attending the congress as a loyal member of the party.
The governor, who spoke through his Media Aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said he was only invited to attend the congress.
He said, “The congress committee is in Akure and that’s why we are attending. Oladipo is an interested party. The governor is interested in the smooth-running of the party. The party is not run on the pages of newspapers.”
Despite the court order, the PDP held its South-West zonal congress on Saturday in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The development was contrary to the report that the national leadership of the party had cancelled the congress following an order of the Federal High Court, Lagos, restraining the party from holding the congress.
At the event held at the International Event Centre in Akure, a former Commissioner for Information, Mr. Eddy Olafeso emerged the National Vice Chairman of the zone.
In his remarks, the host of the congress, Mimiko, said, “The PDP has a bright future in this country, but our actions and inactions will determine the future of our party in Nigeria. We must therefore stand for integrity as a party with history of integrity and progressivism.
“The truth which we stand for will vindicate us in PDP in the South-West region. Governor Ayo Fayose and I are working for the progress of the party in the South-West and we shall continue to do that.”
Also speaking, Fayose said there was a need for unity to reign among the members of the party in the South-West.
Fayose said, “I love our elderly people, but the elders should play the roles of advisers and allow the young generation to take over. This is in line with my stand against Buhari who is too old to rule Nigeria.”
The chairman of the electoral committee, Mr. Celestine Omehia, said the panel had gotten the approval of the National Chairman of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, to go ahead with the congress..”.