Oyo Stategovernor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has cautioned former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, against making unguarded statements and spreading falsehood against his person over the just-concluded South-West Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, zonal congress held in Osogbo.
This came against the backdrop of Fayose and a zonal chairmanship candidate, Dr. Eddy Eniola Olafeso, who had earlier promised to abide by the outcome of the congress, being quoted in the media in the past few days, making contrary statements.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Governor Makinde, admonished the former governor and other leaders of the PDP on the need to stand by the truth, be men of their words and give the necessary support to the new zonal chairman of the party, Amb. Taofeek Arapaja.
Makinde said, “We implore all stakeholders in the South-West PDP to accept the outcome of the Osogbo congress in good faith and join hands with other leaders to build a virile party that is ready to return the glory of the PDP in the zone.”
Noting that that Governor Makinde had already regarded the Osogbo zonal congress as a family matter, having declared that there would be neither a victor nor a vanquished, the statement warned Fayose and others not to take that liberty to blackmail him.
Adisa maintained that Governor Makinde remains open to the idea of collaborating and cooperating with all leaders of the PDP to rebuild the party in the South-West zone, with a view to turning it into a winning party again.
The statement was coming on the heels of press interviews allegedly granted by Fayose and Olafeso, where some distorted versions of the outcome of the Osogbo congress was relayed.
Insisting that it was unfair for any stakeholder to go on national television to attack Makinde and impugn the integrity of the peaceful and transparent congress, Adisa said that the allegations by Fayose, and especially his reference to Governor Makinde as being “quiet, but deadly,” were “baseless, made in bad faith and should be discountenanced by all well-meaning individuals.”
The CPS also averred that it appears that those raising unfounded issues against the congress might be smarting from “failing in an art they thought they had perfected.”
Insisting that the orchestrated media blitzkrieg against Makinde is a misguided and untoward development, the statement added that those involved should desist from trying to tarnish the governor’s image.
Adisa wondered why the former governor of Ekiti State, Olafeso and others are trying to impugn the integrity of the peaceful, transparent and fair congress, by citing developments unconnected with the congress, noting that the claim that some members of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, followed Governor Makinde to Osogbo was spurious and puerile.
Insisting that Makinde is a peace-loving man, who should not be accused of something he knew nothing about, Adisa stated that any individual could have found his/her way to Osogbo and claim to have been in the governor’s convoy, but that such claim should not be taken as sacred.
He further wondered why, despite the claims by Fayose and Olafeso, there was not a single case of violence or arrest of anyone loyal to Makinde at the congress; adding that if some individuals decided to explore their freedom of movement and expression by travelling to Osogbo for sight-seeing and then made a video, which is deemed offensive, Fayose should have reported to the appropriate authorities, instead of seeking to defame the character of Governor Makinde.
He said, “The South-West PDP zonal congress held in Osogbo has come and gone and there is no doubt that it will go down the history lane as one of the most peaceful PDP congresses in the zone.
“The peaceful conduct of that congress, one must say, followed the body language and actions of the leader of the party in the zone, Governor Makinde, a man renowned for being a peaceful politician.
“Despite the desperation and provocations from the Fayose camp, the governor maintained his calm and guided the zone to a peaceful congress that has now produced worthy leaders for the party.
“The governor made it clear from the outset that the congress was about rebuilding and strengthening the South-West PDP and he worked hard to ensure that the party puts its best forward, as, according to him, whatever happened in that congress had ramifications for the national polity.
“Governor Makinde had equally described the congress as a family affair, promising to work with anyone who emerged winner, with the climax of the Monday, April 12, 2021, event being the eventual acceptance of Governor Makinde as the leader of the South-West PDP by Fayose.
“One is, therefore, surprised that less than 48 hours after that acceptance and the commitment to work with Governor Makinde to build the party, the former governor is masterminding an assault against Makinde over the peaceful congress, which the latter made clear that there would be ‘no victor, no vanquished’.
“One can see the ungodly pattern Makinde’s critics are following, by trying to build a false narrative around the congress with a view to rubbishing it.
“It should, therefore, not come as a surprise to the public that the same camp that claimed that it had conceded defeat and was ready to work with Arapaja, is now engaging in media warfare against the governor.
“On the morning of Wednesday, Olafeso was on national TV to lay the foundation for what would be a sustained effort to tarnish the image of the governor. By evening of the same day, the cycle was completed by Fayose, who also appeared on the same medium.
“This has proven that false alarm and deliberate falsehood are being deployed to rubbish an otherwise peaceful congress.
“While we would not like to join issues with Fayose and those who contested against Ambassador Arapaja, over the outcome of the congress, we would like to caution that no one should attempt to impugn the personality of Governor Makinde, a peace-loving individual, who has never got anything by violence. The peaceful conduct of his campaign while running for office as governor of Oyo State is an attestation to this fact.
“Therefore, going on air to say that Governor Makinde is “quiet but deadly” is not only unstatesmanlike, it is also unguarded, malicious and wicked.
“We make bold to say that while those who lost the election at the congress are allowed to rue their loss, despite the assurance by Governor Makinde that there will be no winner or loser, it is expedient that they guard their utterances and avoid any descent into the gutter.”