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Makinde, Fayose face-off: The final straw

By Doyin Okupe

The die is cast and barring a Divine intervention, an amicable settlement between Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and Ekiti state former governor, Ayo Fayose, is an impossibility.

Several attempts have been made by leaders and elders at the zonal level. Efforts were also made directly by the national secretariat and indirectly by the indefatigable former Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s led reconciliation committee. All to know avail.

This in itself is a strange phenomenon. The doctrine I learnt in my 40yrs sojourn in politics is that … no matter the problem between two or more groups, as long as the problem is strictly political, it is reasolvable through consultation, negotiation and compromise.

The working tools of an astute politician are: oratory, ability to communicate and convince others effectively, negotiating skill, readiness to arrive at a compromise, wisdom, tact,flexibility, patience and a benevolent spirit.

NOT confrontation and rigidity or obduracy. Strangely in Yoruba land, even issues of infidelity and adultery, which are very touchy and extremely trying, are discussed and settled between husbands, wives and offending partners!!!

Governor Seyi Makinde and Ayo Fayose are contending the leadership of the party in the southwest. A position which neither of them is qualified to hold, but for abberent development in our polity.

It was former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who because he did not want his administration to be bogged down with petty issues from the states, empowered the state governors to be leaders of the party in their respective states and zones. This was a privilege enjoyed by Fayose to the fullest in his time. And until the proviso is annulled governor Makinde ought to have the honour of being the official leader of the party in the Southwest currently.

This “proviso” though an obvious absurdity, still stands. I call it an absurdity because it will be unthinkable for example, for Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu to say he is leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos official or unofficial. But let’s rest this argument here.

As for governor Makinde, his attempts to destabilise established state party structures in order to establish his control and leadership, is wrong and this has created unnecessary enemies for him within the zone even among those who were not opposed to his leadership.
In tomorrow’s congress there will be no real winners.

The outcome of tomorrow’s congress will cause a permanent schism in the southwest PDP which may seriously affect the future of the party adversely in the zone in the nearest future.

We as a people always refuse to learn from history. The dichotomy and lack of concensus in Yoruba land today can be traced to the sowing of the seed of discord during the Obafemi Awolowo/ Ladoke Akintola conflict.

But those who fail to learn from history will themselves become lessons in history. And as the saying goes “those who the gods must destroy, will firstly be made mad.”


Doyin Okupe is former senior special assistant to the president on Media and publicity.

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