Scores of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyal to the Ahmed Makarfi faction of PDP in Kwara state yesterday took over the state secretariat of the party in Ilorin.
Party members and supporters were led by their factional chair, Prince Sunday Fagbemi.
Speaking with reporters at the party secretariat located along Asa dam road, Ilorin, amidst drumming and singing, Prince Fagbemi, said the reopening of the secretariat became necessary as preparations for council election in the state had commenced.
He said that “our mission here today is to take effective charge of the secretariat to ensure smooth running of activities of our party. For some time now, you will observe that the secretariat had been put under lock and key; this is not good enough and does not portray us in good light.
“We would not want to preside over the funeral of our baby; PDP is our baby. “The people that claimed to be in charge of the affairs of the party because we thought the people at the helms of affairs from the national as a result of what happened on the 10th of May; we were all witnesses to it where they were shooting sporadically at the Stella Obasanjo site, and when seven members of the Congress Committee that was constituted by the Modu Sheriff came, five of them wrote that these people did not participate in the congress; that we are the duly elected executive members of the congress in the state.
“Our petition went up there and the Appeal Committee upheld that we are the right people and so we are against the sit-tight syndrome of these people. There must be a reason and now we have just gotten to the root of the matter. You will see that they are fraternising with other party thereby planning to thwart our collective efforts to replace the ruling government in the state.
“We have exercised retrain enough and there is an extent to which I can restrain the people. I must give leadership. The Appeal Report has upheld our position and there was supposed to be a pronouncement from the national body of our parry but for what is happening there now. Indeed, even if it was Sheriff that were to be in the national today, he would have pronounced us as the authentic executive.”
Prince Fagbemi also said that his leadership had written to the Kwara state Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) requesting for guidelines and time table for conduct of the local government poll.
He added that he would soon commence visit to 16 local government areas of the state to assess well being of members.
The party leader, who restated support of the Kwara PDP for the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee, said that, “we constitute more. Than 80 per cent of PDP membership in the state.
“I also thank every member present here and those that are unavoidably absent for your support given to me and my executives. I want to assure you that we will not disappoint you”.
On the PDP debacle in Ondo state, Prince Fagbemi called for reconstitution of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in view of the political development in Ondo state.
The PDP chairman described it as unfortunate, a situation where bona fide PDP governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) was replaced with Jimoh Ibrahim by INEC in alleged disregard of an Akure High Court order restraining it from such act.
He said that “other sins of INEC as presently constituted include the governorship election in Edo state and many inconclusive elections. This INEC has, by its conduct in Edo and Ondo states, demonstrated its inability to be an unbiased umpire.”