former member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Michael Okunlade has emerged the Chairman of a faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He emerged during a parallel congress well attended by the aggrieved members of the party, held at Jogor Centre, Ibadan.
As at the time of filing this report, a congress by another faction of the party led by Governor Seyi Makinde is currently ongoing at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
The aggrieved members leading the faction include: a former House of Representative Leader, Mulikat Adeola Akande, Hon Ajibola Muraina, Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, Alhaji Olopoeyan, Alhaji Gbolarumi, Mr Femi Babalola, Asiwaju Yemi Aderibigbe, Alhaji Gani Dosu, Engineer Kayode Popoola, Hon Demola Omotosho, Princess Aderonke Adedoja and Dr Aborode among others.
Other state officers that were elected unopposed at the Jogor center venue were Hon Matthew Abioye (Deputy Chairman), Mr Abiodun Oyesola (State Secretary), Pa Olawuwo ( Vice Chairman Oyo South), Akeem Ariola (Financial Secretary), Mogaji Bola Akinyemi (Publicity Secretary) and Asiwaju Adekola Adeoye re-elected (Youth leader) of the party.
Okunlade, in his acceptance speech promised to pacify all members and work towards the development of the party, calling on all party faithful to support the new executive so as to take over the state’s administration comes 2023.
He also promised never to let down the teeming members of the party in the state in his acceptance speech after his election.
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The former state lawmaker said the disagreement of the party members with Governor Makinde is for the best interest of the party assuring that the party would continue to wax stronger and stronger in the state.
He described himself as one of the victims of the misgivings of governor Makinde.
He said “Let me start by thanking you leaders, elders and members of our great party. We have made history today. With what we have done today, we have rescued our party from “Mr. Take it all.”
“We fought for the voiceless among us. We defended our party from oppressors. With this, we have began to rebuild our party. We have started a new dawn in Oyo state chapter of our party.
“We are all aware why we arrived at this stage. Like you, I am one of the victims of the misgivings of Governor Makinde. We struggled for him during the electioneering campaign but we are his arch enemies today. The governor met us in the party but decided to send us away from our home. Will you allow that? Will you allow that? Will you allow that to happen?
“We are here today because you refused to be oppressed. I thank you for your steadfastness and endurance. We thank you for your commitment to PDP and we also thank you for your support.
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“On this note, I promise never to let you down. I promise to abide by the Constitution of our great party. I promise to listen and work with you.
“If you notice anything, please call my attention to it. Don’t hesitate to visit our Secretariat whenever you notice we are derailing.
“My office is open to all members, especially when you have suggestions or recommendations for betterment of our party.
“PDP will continue to wax stronger and stronger in Oyo state, regardless of the shinanigans of those who believe they are in power.
“However, I must say this for prosperity. When forceful becomes an institution, truth looks like rebellion. We stand nothing to gain to lie against our governor who is a symbol of our party in Oyo state. We stand nothing to gain by destroying what we have laboured for, having being in opposition for eight years.
“During the electionnering campaign, Gov. Seyi promised to be fair to all of us in the state. He promised to continue to correct whatever mistakes he makes while discharging his duty as a governor.
“He promised safety of lives and property of the people of the state. He promised to dismantle any form of thuggery and hooliganism in the state. He promised us internal democracy. He promised that we won’t regret our support for him. He eloquently stated this all the time and we believed him.
“Today, he has derailed from the promises he made. We feel used, betrayed and dumped by him. Yes, we are aggrieved, not only because lack of government patronage but because our leaders here are matured and seasoned politicians who understand the intrigues of governance.
“We are also aggrieved because he doesn’t have respect for internal democracy. No respect for our leaders and he keeps blackmaling them, giving erroneous impression of whose they are. He believes that his money brought him to power and that is why everything starts and ends on his table.
“Unfortunately we called his attention to all these realities but he sees us as rebel. We are being blackmailed for saying the truth. He dismantled the structure we built over the years.
“We cannot move around freely now. Even when we were in opposition during Ajimobi’s era, nobody was harassed. There was religious tolerance and we were free to move around. But today, reverse is the case.
“But we believe in God. We know he will stand by us and fight our course.”