TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESS BY STAKEHOLDERS OF PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN OYO STATE ON PRECARIOUS STATUS OF OYO PDP HELD IN IBADAN ON TUESDAY 26 APRIL 2022
Gentlemen of the Press
At the end of the Emergency Meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), of Thursday, April 29, 2021, it was further cautioned that party members at all levels must be wary of agents of distractions and division in the party. So, as concerned PDP Members and Stakeholders, who share in the Party’s vision and mission of a new Nigeria founded on the sub-structure of a new re-branded PDP, we hereby, through this Press Conference, try to assist in our observance, for compliance and enforcement for Codes of Conduct for PDP, in order to establish appropriate behavioural patterns of relationships among Party members, and ethical conduct before, during and after Intra and Inter Party Elections in Oyo State. These can translate into adherence to all Electoral Laws at the Party Levels.
It is established that, one of the major political objectives of the PDP, which is to provide good governance that ensures probity and participatory democracy, and which guarantees human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons resident within the state, has not been fulfilled, in spite of all proposed interventions by stakeholders of the Party. Some of the expected achievements from the Governor, by members and elders of the Oyo State PDP that worked assiduously for him to be elected on the platforms of PDP, he has grossly disappointed them on, particularly, economy, insecurity, education, agriculture, healthcare, rule of law, entrenchment of democracy, etc. Engr. Seyi Makinde never wanted to relate at the PDP platforms for deliberations and suggestions on how to move Oyo State forward, to the credit of the state. He rather decided to run the state and the party singularly, particularly to discredit the party and all the well-meaning people that offered their unreserved supports and labour.
The scandal deliberately smeared on the party leaders and members was that they were all aggrieved because he did not open the treasury for them! Meanwhile, before he joined PDP three years ago, and since he has been the Governor of Oyo State, how many of such party members or leaders’ corpses had been picked from the streets of Oyo State or beyond? How many of them wrote S.O.S for financial support to him?
The most disturbing political and social problems in Nigeria anchor on poverty and low access to economic opportunities, which ultimately affect improvement in the well-being of the people. In that wise therefore, it is highly embarrassing to the Oyo State branch of the party that, in the midst of abject poverty, series of economic scandals have been attributed to the Governor and state government, and which are yet to be logically cleared. Whatever economic policy that the Governor has been making use of in his administration, such has not focused on creating a market-based economy driven by small and medium scale businesses; made accessible to the people, the basic needs of life nor aided him in pursuit of a strong, virile, and diversified economy that is built on stopping or reducing rural urban migration, due to investments in modern agricultural facilities, methods, and training. Meanwhile the Governor’s excessive borrowings keeps getting really huge, and all these are contrary to the major vision of supporting his candidature in the first place.
Another major political objective of the Party expected in Oyo State is, using political power for securing the State. Many members and elders of the Party are at present, also feeling quite unsafe in the state, as there had been various attacks on some members of the Party, ether at events venues or at their residences. Whereas, the National PDP frowns at any form of recruitment, engaging, sponsoring, encouraging or funding thugs or terrorists in whatever form, The Party stakeholders therefore, do express dissatisfaction with the efforts of the Governor. Not promoting the established political stability within the Party nor fostering unity and integration among the Members, and also not safeguarding our core values in PDP are other significant deliberate attempts of the Governor, to undermine the Party in Oyo State.
It has even been a public mockery on the Party that for almost the entire three-year tenure of the Governor, his Deputy, a man much older than him for that matter, has been treated with much disdain and relegation, all which have been major concerns, displeasure, and sadness to the Stakeholders in Oyo State PDP. Unfortunately, HE, the Governor has no iota of respect for wise counsels and suggestions from State Members and Leaders of the Party, meaning, the Governor has never been ready to promote and nurture democratic ideals and traditions of the Party on a sustainable basis.
These can be corroborated by various Reconciliatory Teams that PDP National had set up at various times, solely to address all the internal problems of the Party, in Oyo State.
Taking a cue from National PDP, the political objective of the Party in the state would have been, to offer equal opportunities to hold political offices, and protect, defend and safeguard the interests of all members in the state, including the minorities. The Party is also expected to promote geopolitical balancing in the state, as a fundamental principle of power sharing, in line with the principle of state character. However, the Governor was mainly concerned on rewarding his former political party, SDP, and members of the party. This is not only anti-party action, but, display of poor leadership actions.
Appointments of anyone outside PDP would have been justified, if there are no qualified and competent alternatives in PDP, and if those appointed by Engr. Makinde had performed up to or beyond expectations, in their various positions of responsibilities.
As it is now in Oyo State, the Governor has re-introduced the past mistakes, which are- politics of winners take all, and losers loses all, as well as, politics of exclusion, and cash and carry. Contrary to the PDP ideal that, the Party shall strive through dialogue to ensure the entrenchment of true justice for all in our body polity and for the emergence of a credible leadership that will give purpose and direction to Nigeria, unprecedented disturbances and decamping by many members, including those who have been PDP members since inception, because of unbearable autocracy and anti-party actions of the Governor, who joined the Party, barely three years ago, is another unfortunate occurrence in the Oyo State PDP. The same platform that gave all necessary, and in fact more than necessary, and needed support, finances, and loss of lives of some members, while actively participating, to ensure emergence of Engr. Seyi Makinde, as current Governor of the state. Only one Block, which is that of Barrister Hazeem Gbolarumi, is left in the Party at Oyo State! That same Party was solidly united, such that it could pave way for the Governor, about three years ago. The nomination and candidature of Engr. Oluseyi Makinde, as well as, his emergence as the current Governor of Oyo State was not a decision or action of an individual in Oyo State PDP but, a deep, collective efforts and labour, which even, involved coalitions.
The PDP, in pursuit of its goals believe that a level playing ground is a sine qua non to a free and fair electoral process. So, why is it in the interest of the Governor, not only to severely split the Party that presented him as a candidate in 2019, but to also constitute himself as the agent of nominating candidates, including people from other political parties, and who ordinarily would not have been able to win any ticket in the parties they belong to? Loyalty and commitment to the Party So, why did thousands of members belong to PDP, if they have to Come to the Umbrella for several years, even, up to decades, only to watch as an individual who joined the Party barely three years ago distribute nominations to those he wants? What exactly then is the meaning of PDP Slogan, Power to the people? How will PDP be still committed to, The principle of Participatory Democracy?
All the afore-listed actions of the Governor are clearly measurable, not traits or qualities that are constant and imperative for development of the state and advancement of the ideals of PDP nor demonstrate keen understanding and need for transparent governance. These are also not qualities that an elected official should possess, to be able to lead various cadres.
In accordance with the principles of PDP National, we remain unshaken, and our pledge to ensure countering any personal actions of the Governor to jeopardise credible PDP candidates in Oyo State remains undaunted. Our commitment as seriously-concerned Stakeholders in Oyo State PDP, is to ensure free and fair processes, which are unlike that of Engr. Makinde, being the distributor of nominations to candidates in Oyo State PDP, especially, those in other political parties, at the expense of the bonafide PDP Members! This has been the modus operandi of Engr. Makinde, since the inception in office as the Governor, when he immediately disposed the Party Leaders, so that they would not be able to call him to order. We have commenced to strive in reconciling all the forces alienated by recent political events in the state, and also try to heal divisions and destruction of our harmony caused by the recent ruthless imposition of power in the Oyo State PDP. National is therefore, enjoined to ensure that the Party does not lose to another Party, due to present situation of things, as elimination of grassroots support is completely threatened. PDP was founded in 1998 (24 years ago), so, Sense of history and its lessons are left to conclude our story!
Long Live PDP Long Live Oyo State Long Live Nigeria
Barr Hazeem Gbolarunmi
Former Deputy Governor of Oyo State
The National Chairman PDP
The National Secretary PDP
The Deputy National Chairman (South) PDP
The National Organizing Secretary PDP
The National Vice Chairman Southwest PDP
The Southwest Zonal Chairman PDP