From YINKA FABOWALE, Ibadan
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kick-started practical moves at restoring peace to troubled chapters of the party in the six South-West states, with the inauguration of a six-man peace and reconciliation committee for each of the states in Ibadan yesterday.
Chairman of the Zonal Caretaker Committee of the party, Chief Isola Filani, said the panels, which comprised a former deputy governor, minister, State Assembly Speaker, ambassadors and notable leaders of the party drawn from across the region had the full mandate to unite warring factions in their respective states of jurisdiction, while expressing the hope that total reconciliation was achievable.
Filani, who said the committees had only between three days and a week within which to work, explained that the party had already done the spade-work in collecting memoranda from aggrieved stakeholders. He added that they were only going to tie up loose ends based on the existing template and terms of reference for reconciliation, as the PDP could not afford to waste further time.
The party chieftain said members were carefully chosen so that the party could tap from their wealth of political experience, goodwill and integrity so as to rebuild the party for future electoral challenges. Grieving over the dismal fortunes of the party in the region, the PDP chieftain noted that the party lost three states in the region- Ondo Ekiti and Osun to “judicial tsunami” and the other two-state, Ogun and Oyo due to internal wrangling during the 2011 general elections.
Filani enjoined the committees to listen and be fair and just to all the feuding groups in the intra-party crisis and recommend the cure for the perceived differences. He particularly urged them to take due regard of the peculiarities of their various charges, adding: “If total reconciliation can be assured, no problem.
They should study the political atmosphere in each state and look into the possibility of the party being reconciled.As a mark of honour for the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Olufunmilayo Olayinka and the slain chieftain of the PDP in the state, whose burial comes up this week, the zonal leadership postponed the inauguration of the reconciliation committee for the state.
Filani explained that his committee did not want to appear non-concerned about the happenings in the state, hence the decision to hold on till after the burial of the two important dignitaries. The Zonal Caretaker Committee chairman recalled that the loss of the zone to the rival Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) through legal technicalities as was the case in Osun and Ekiti States and through internal bickerings in Oyo and Ogun States should not be allowed to happen again.
However, only the Chairmen and the Secretaries were in attendance for yesterday’s exercise conducted at the zonal office of the party at Bodija, Ibadan. The Ogun State committee has Francis Fadahunsi and Banji Odesanmi as Chairman and Secretary respectively. Oyo has Yomi Finnih and Lanre Orimoloye. Osun’s committee is headed by Mrs Mobolaji Osomo and Olawumi Eyuba while Toye Olofintuyi and Doherty are for Ondo with Niyi Adegbenro and Razaq Adekola to take charge of Ekiti when the time comes.