The only governor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West and Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, on Thursday said he would not allow the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP to bribe the judiciary as they used to do.
Makinde asked the PDP NWC to warn the National Legal Adviser of the party to ensure rancour-free zonal congresses in the South-West.
Governor Makinde, who stated this while briefing newsmen at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, said the South-West zone of the party was ready for its zonal congresses, adding that party leaders in the zone were already working towards having a united front.
He said it was unthinkable to see a PDP as the plaintiff and the defendant in a case deliberately filed to truncate the peace of the party.
The governor said: “I specifically put on notice that the National Legal Adviser of PDP has not done well. When the issue of the party structure in Lagos came up, I met him personally and advised him that, look, we have alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in this country, especially when it's an internal affair of the PDP.
“And he said, no, we are going to defeat them in court, but I was of the opinion that if we defeat them in court, what exactly are you going to get out of it? Now, he has started the same antics with the South-West zonal congress. How can you file a case and then instruct legal representation for the plaintiff and the defendants? I don’t think that is acceptable. So, we expect the National Working Committee of the party to deal with that decisively.
“I came here to brief you, first, on the meeting of the South-West caucus of the PDP that was held here two days ago and also to discuss briefly the happenings within the PDP National Working Committee as it relates to upcoming South-West zonal congress of the party."
Speaking on the Zonal
Caucus meeting held in Ibadan on Tuesday, Governor Makinde said the meeting resolved to ensure peace within its fold.
“At the meeting, we reaffirmed the zoning arrangement for the positions of the South-West zonal executives, and also each state, by now, has been able to put together a unity list, which we intend to take to the congress proper.
"But yesterday, I heard of disturbing news that our National Working Committee is planning to postpone the South-West zonal congress because some people went to court to complain about the location for the conduction of the congress.
“There are three things that are coming out of the court move. One, I want to say that the PDP has moved from allowing within its fold, reactionary elements to hold sway. Maybe in the past, it was possible for elements within PDP to collude with the National Working Committee to file cases where they are the plaintiffs and defendants. And they also try to corrupt the judicial system in Nigeria. That will not be allowed because this is a PDP that is getting ready to take the mantle of leadership in this country. We want to provide leadership that is above board for the country and we cannot be seen within PDP to do something that will compromise any aspect of governance in Nigeria."
He added: "Finally, we are ready in the South-West PDP to have a congress that will produce the zonal executives that are acceptable to the majority of the people of the South-West.
“As the only serving PDP governor in South-West Nigeria and a very interested party in the growth and development of our party, we do not foresee a parallel congress. That is why we are putting members of the National Working Committee of the party on notice that they must do what is right in this instance and I believe they will do what is right."
The governor further stated that the South-West should be allowed to conduct its congress around the same time the other zones would be conducting theirs.
He continued, "So, we will explore all avenues that are legitimate to get everyone to do what is right for our party, including the National Working Committee of the party.
“The engagement is ongoing with the leadership of the party at the national level. If the rest of the country is having their zonal congress, I don’t see anything that will be different with the South-West.
"But if they are toeing the path of ‘arrangee’, that would mean they are taking the PDP back to an era that we should have forgotten about in this country."