Activities towards the South-West Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled to hold in Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Monday, took off on a shaky note as a logistical challenge stalled the screening of aspirants.
The screening of aspirants for different positions had been slated for Saturday at a hotel in Osogbo.
Some of the aspirants, especially those from the camp of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, were seen at the screening venue.
A former Oyo State deputy governor, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja, contesting the position of vice-chairman, and Seyi Bamidele, contesting the position of Zonal Youth Leader – both from the Makinde camp – were sighted at the venue. But the screening could not proceed as planned because some members of the congress committee failed to turn up.
The committee chairman, Senator Dino Melaye, had not arrived at the venue when a shift in the screening date was announced.
The screening was eventually shifted till Sunday morning.
Speaking with Sunday PUNCH at the venue, a member of the PDP South-West Caretaker Committee, Alhaji Kazeem Adio, said Melaye directed that the exercise be postponed till Sunday (today).
“The screening was postponed because of a logistical challenge. The chairman said we should reconvene by 8 am tomorrow (Sunday) for the screening,” Adio said.
He insisted that the shift in the date for screening of aspirants would not affect the congress, saying all hands would be on deck to ensure a peaceful exercise.
“Apart from the screening committee, there is a Petition and Grievance Resolution Committee before the congress. The two committees will be on the ground tomorrow (Sunday), and if there is any disagreement, it will be resolved tomorrow,” he said.
Meanwhile, the camps loyal to Makinde and a former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, Saturday traded accusations over alleged plans to invade the congress venue with hoodlums.
Bamidele, from the Makinde camp, during an interview, alleged that the Fayose camp planned to bring hoodlums to the venue and disrupt the congress.
Bamidele called on security agencies to ensure adequate protection for lives and property during the exercise, saying the camp had enough delegates to win all positions at the congress.
However, Bamiji Oladele, the Director of Publicity of the Sunday Bisi-led faction of Osun PDP executives, said it was Makinde’s camp that was planning mayhem.
“We are sure we have all it takes to win at the congress. Anyone that is alleging that (use of hoodlums), you should check the person very well,” he said.