A meeting of the Southwestern People’s Democratic Party (PDP), intended to unite party members on the side of Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, was interrupted due to the absence of Fayose and his supporters.
Although many of the party leaders identified as the spearhead of the crisis were absent, those present said the meeting was postponed due to logistical reasons.
Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, who has been involved to broker peace between the key figures, was on hand to address leaders who and elders who were at the meeting.
Fielding question from reporters after a brief meeting with the leaders, Wike said he was in the state to visit his friend and in-law, Governor Seyi Makinde, while also being on the ground to inspect some ongoing projects in the state.
According to Wike, all the leaders and stakeholders had agreed since Wednesday night to shelve the meeting due to the absence of some other leaders due to logistics reasons.
He said he was around because he had already promised Governor Makinde of a visit but merely decided to respect some leaders from the region who were also in the state initially for a meeting.
He added the leaders also decided to postpone the meeting to a later date so as not to do a job that would be requiring another urgent meeting thereafter.
When asked on how soon peace should be expected back in the region, Wike said it would be presumptuous to give a definite timeframe due to the fact that all interest must be carried along and secure their commitment.
“We should not be in a hurry. Peace takes a lot of talking to people and you know in politics, you need to talk to people for people to understand.
“It is not something you see that because you met today, and because you are meeting tomorrow, everything must be resolved on that particular thing.
“Politics is of interest and so you need to make sure that everybody is fully involved. So, let us not be in a hurry to see when do you think.
“But, what is important is that the Southwest PDP is our belief and our hope that the way they have been is the way they will continue to be.”
Asked over the phone about his principal’s absence, Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka said the former governor could not attend the meeting because his loyalists had also resolved to shun Thursday’s meeting.
“The former governor is not coming there. His people said they are not coming and he cannot come there alone,” Olayinka said.
Notable absentees at the meeting were Ladi Adebutu, Eddy Olafeso, Bisi Olopoeyan, Deji Doherty, Femi Babalola among others.
Some of the party leaders present at the meeting include a former Governor of Ekiti state, Segun Oni; Ondo PDP Governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede and Senator Abiodun Olujimi among others.