It was a rousing welcome for the chairman of the Kwara State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyiola Oyedepo in Ilorin on Saturday following the affirmation of his chairmanship by the National leadership of the party.
Oyedepo who has been having a running battle with his arch rival and former factional chairman, Prince Sunday Fagbemi over the party’s chairmanship was authenticated by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) last week.
But Fagbemi refused to comment on the issue last night when National Pilot sought his reaction adding that he “will address a press conference regarding the issue later in the week”.
Pressed further whether he is ready to work with Oyedepo, the former factional chair said “No comment”.
The PDP at its 77th NEC meeting held on Thursday in Abuja, ratified the outcome of the November 14th congress that produced Oyedepo held at Arca Santa hall, Ilorin.
He was subsequently received at the Ilorin International airport by some handful of members who led him into a waiting motorcade that drove him to the party secretariat at Asa Dam road.
The boys brigade band and other joyous party faithful were on hand to receive him amidst dancing and singing of various victory songs.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye spoke on the issue while appearing on Channels Television programme, “Politics Today” last week, adding that there is no problem in Kwara PDP.
“The crisis has been resolved in Kwara, I can confidently say that and no member of the party beats drums of war any longer”, he submitted.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s secretariat shortly after his arrival, Oyedepo noted that it is by the grace of God that party has been able to survive the crisis period which has lasted for two years and eight months and still be the party to beat in Kwara especially in the light of the last local government election.
He said the party is however grateful to God that no life was lost during the crisis.
He noted that the party has lived for too long on the crisis but this is the time to build and promised to visit aggrieved leaders who may still have reservations about the outcome of the congress in the next one week.
According to him, the outcome of the congress was designed to terminate the deep hostility within the party and assured that after the National Convention slated for the 9th and 10th of December, the party will hit the ground running.
Oyedepo warned that the party should not be carried away by the euphoria of the moment adding that his victory of the party come 2019 that will determine his place in the political history of the state.
He said “during the time of the deep hostilities, we engage ourselves in fisticuffs both within and outside the state, violence of unimaginable proportions, illegal seizing and occupation of the party’s secretariat, wasteful spending, unnecessary risky journeys and all forms of media attacks.
“This is not the time to recriminate about the immediate ignoble past so as to live with the pains of the era of crisis. We need to forgive the past even if we cannot forget it… but because we are in the threshold of history…this is the time to build.
“The outcome of the congress was balanced that the two divides in our party are well represented in the executive. If the leaders of the two rooms were locked up in one room to share the positions, we could not achieve what the congress achieved for us.