Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti, says he will challenge Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo, if he tampers with the leadership structure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The ex-governor issued the warning on Wednesday, when he led PDP delegates to Abeokuta, capital of Ogun.
The delegates, who were all PDP chairmen at state level, included Deji Doherty (Lagos), Sunday Olatunde Akanfe (Osun), and Bisi Kolawole (Ekiti).
The former governor said Makinde has no power to interfere in the local politics at the various south-west states, despite being a zonal leader of the party.
He said the chapter of the party in each state should be governed by its local leaders.
According to Fayose, the Oyo governor ordered the sack of PDP zonal executives in the south-west and replaced with a caretaker committee, adding that an attempt to change the leadership in Ekiti will be challenged.
“There has been a reasonable cold war of who and who becomes the executive of the zone. Governor Makinde has demanded that the zonal executives be sacked and a caretaker be fostered on the zone which the party did,” he said.
“But, since the caretaker committee came into being, he has not allowed them to function because he produced the chairman.
“Beyond that, the fact that there is a sitting governor does not say I should go to another man’s state. Nobody should come to my state; if you come to my state, I will face you squarely. I will continue to respect him because he is my brother. I love him so much and I was part of his emergence.”
At the end of the meeting, a communique was issued by the party chairmen in Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, as well as Sikirullahi Ogundele, PDP chairman in Ogun.
It was resolved that local politics should be encouraged and decisions made at the level should be respected.
The leaders said the current template for selecting zonal executives in south-west should be maintained, adding that a new formula will not be accepted.
“It must also be noted that the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde is not in question,” the communique read.
“It must be noted that each state has its own leaders as politics is local and its leadership structure must be respected, but no state is ruled or governed by another.
“It has been established and a decision is taken that the existing zoning formula in the zone for the zonal executives of the party should not be tampered with.
“Our position is that any other formulae for the zone in the South West will not be acceptable to us.
“We seize this opportunity to let the National Working Committee know that it is nothing but free, fair, transparent and no violent congress is what is acceptable to us and we are ready to comply with all legitimate processes to determine the outcome of the zonal congress.
“The Eddy Olafeso-led zonal executives only spent two years from November 2017 till date. [They] should be allowed to complete the very credible job they’ve commenced in the South-West. The team must be allowed to complete its tenure.
“We reject any style of leadership that does not respect democratic norms. Everybody must be carried along for the same of equity and fairness.
“All we are saying is that we must give peace a chance and allow the South-West take its rightful position in the PDP and Nigeria.”