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Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday, said there was no disagreement between him and a former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George.
Fayose, who stated this in Akure, Ondo State capital, during a meeting of the leaders of the party from the South-West, also said there was no grudge between him and his Ondo State counterpart, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, over the sharing of national political positions of the PDP.
The Ekiti governor said what was paramount to him was how to unite leaders and members of the party in the region, in the interest of the people.
“For me and Governor Mimiko, we are one and the same on party issues. Do not mind what the newspapers are saying. As for our leaders, Chief Bode George, you can see me sitting next to him on the high table; all what you read in newspapers are just sensationalism to sell them (papers).
“We are bound to agree whether it’s convenient for us or not when it is in the collective interest of the Yoruba race and the party. Chief Bode George will forever remain our leader in the PDP. We are ready to speak as one indivisible members of the same PDP,” he said.
At another meeting of zonal executive of the party in the South-West in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, those at the meeting said they constituted the true representatives of the party in the zone.
The more than two hours parley, convened by the South-West national vice chairman of the party, Chief Makunjuola Ogundipe, was attended by PDP stakeholders drawn from all the six states in the zone.
They described the parallel meeting held in Akure, the Ondo State capital by another set of PDP leaders as unconstitutional and of no effect.
At the Akure meeting, Fayose reiterated his commitment to the unity of the party in the zone and Nigeria, with a pledge not to do anything that would jeopardise the chance of the party in future election.
“I want this great party to regain its leadership position and to remain solid,” he said.
Fayose, who openly embraced Chief George before the commencement of the meeting, said he would not stop criticising the ruling administration in the country until the dividend of democracy was delivered, as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari and his party.
Speaking on the occasion, Mimiko said the meeting became imperative in order to put the PDP house in order and unite all the leaders ahead 2019 general election in the country.
He added that the meeting became important when “it seems the party in the South-West was drifting and there were cacophony of voices. This is the time for the South-West to speak as one in the interest of the region, our people and our heritage.”
The governor stated further that “this is the time to get our acts together and take our rightful position in the politics of the country. There is no alternative to our unity in the South-West.
“There is no doubt about it that Nigerians are waiting. If we mess it up, a new party will emerge and become the darling of this country. We need to realise our position today. If the purpose of politics is to serve the greatest interest of the people, this is the time to come together in the South-West.
“I want to thank my brother, Governor Ayo Fayose. Both of us have resolved that in the interest of Yoruba nation, we are coming together,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PDP leaders have agreed to equitably distribute the positions allotted to the zone amongst the six member states of the zone.
The positions are national secretary, national publicity secretary, national auditor and zonal executive committee.
The leaders of the party unanimously took the decision after the meeting held at the International Culture and Events Centre (The Dome), Akure.
The leaders, however, criticised the present administration in the country over its inability to contain the economic challenges with attendant dwindling fortunes that had reversed almost all the economic gains recorded under the last administration of PDP.
In the communique of the meeting, which was read by former Minister of Youths and Sports, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, the leaders resolved” “that the time is ripe for all members of the PDP in the South-West to forge a common front and pursue a common agenda towards occupying their destined leadership position in Nigeria.
“That despite the challenges confronting the PDP, the South-West caucus has agreed to unite and confront the challenges that is facing the Yoruba race in Nigeria.
“That members of the PDP have agreed to rise up beyond personal interests to confront crucial national issues that affect us as a race, especially the thriving menace of the Fulani herdsmen.
“That the meeting notes with dismay, the poor state of the national economy and feel terribly sad that the current ruling party has not demonstrated the capacity to contain the economic challenges with attendant dwindling fortunes that has reversed almost all the economic gains recorded under the PDP.”
The leaders also welcomed a former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, back to its fold.
PDP leaders at the Akure meeting included Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Jimi Agbaje, former leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola-Akande; Chief Saka Balogun, Debo Anisulowo and Chief Jumoke Akinjide.
Others were Adeseye Ogunlewe, Adesiyan Jelili, Doyin Okupe, Senator Remi Okunrinboye, Professor Tahoeed Adedoja, Eddy Adefeso. Jide Adeniji, Tajudeen Oladipo, Bisi Jinadu and Bashir Awotorebo, among others.
The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, CP Abudul-Majid Ali, has said that one of the abductors of Senator Iyabo Anisulowo was arrested at the Muritala International Airport, Lagos, while attempting to flee to Dubai.
The CP, who appreciated all other top security agents in the state for the synergy that existed among them while the rescue operation lasted, said thus far two suspects have been arrested.
Speaking on the arrest of the two suspects in connection with the heinous act, the CP promised that they (suspects) would be properly investigated and charged to court accordingly.
The CP, who made the disclosure at the Government House, told Governor Amosun that the kingpin was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, while fleeing to Dubai, adding that another person was also arrested in connection to the crime.
Ali said, "I want to thank the Brigade Commander, the state Director of the Security Service as well as the the IG for all the support. We have moved virtually all our technical equipment from Abuja to Ogun State.
"We traverses over three states and we continued to look for them, luckily, they gave up. The pressure was much on them. The helicopter patrol was another different thing entirely. We are grateful to the people of the state because they have confidence in the security agencies.
" I want to tell you that for the first time, the synergy that we set up here was so marvelous that we shall continue to relate with ourselves on daily basis. We are grateful that Mama is back to us alive.
"We have the assurance that nobody will come to Ogun State and try anything with us. We have made some arrest. The kingpin has been arrested while trying to flee to Dubai.
Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, stormed the corporate head office of Sterling Bank Plc in Lagos.
The EFCC officials were said to have interrogated the bank MD, Mr. Yemi Adeola, over the operations of the lending institution for about two hours.
However, sources from within the bank described the visit as a routine exercise that did not warrant any unnecessary attention.
The EFCC’s visit to Sterling bank is coming on the heels of a visit to Fidelity Bank Lagos head office on Tuesday by the officials of the compliance unit of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of the investigations into a $115m transaction made in the run-up to presidential elections last year.
Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo, has been detained by the EFCC since Wednesday, last week.
On Tuesday, the agency claimed that it had secured a court order that empowered it to detain the Fidelity Bank boss while investigation progressed.