With a humble speech on Monday, the enfant terrible of South-West politics and former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, submitted to the leadership and fatherhood of Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Taking almost everyone, except, perhaps, his own insiders by surprise at the zonal congress taking place at WOCDIF Event Centre, Osogbo, capital of Osun, Fayose said: “Governor Seyi Makinde is our leader. Our supporters and lovers should not continue to put hedge in between us. Either way this election goes, I will accept.
“Even though Arapaja has abused me so much, I will be the first person to visit him in Ibadan.
“Nobody has offended me and if I have offended anybody, I sincerely apologise. Seyi Makinde remains our father come what may”, he added.
In response, Makinde, told delegates: “This is a family affair. It is an attempt to reposition our party in the Southwest. It has ramifications for our party nationally.
“Whatever the outcome is, we will take it in the spirit of a family contest. We don’t want to defeat ourselves; we want to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“At the end of this exercise, there will be no victor, no vanquished. As the only Governor of the party in the zone, whoever emerges, I will work with them to reposition the party. I thank you for the peaceful conduct.”
Analysts think Fayose may have read the handwriting on the wall, haven seen many delegates to the South-West congress turn up in an Ankara uniform in solidarity with Makinde.
Both men have been at daggers-drawn over the leadership of the geopolitical zone, forcing the shift of the congress and election to Osogbo from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, earlier billed for it.
Fayose’s move sealed the ambition of former Ondo State Commissioner, Eddy Olafeso, who now has to wait for for Ambassador Taifeek Arapaja to head the PDP in that zone. Makinde backs the former ambassador.