‘I am the authentic flag bearer’ – GNI insists
THE crisis that ensued after the Monday, December 8, 2014 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in Ogun State is yet to be resolved, if the information at ENCOMIUM Weekly’s disposal is anything to rely on.
According to sources, since the emergence of Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI) from Ogun West as the winner of the controversial election, other contestants, including former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, former Minister for Mines and Power, Alhaji Sarafadeen Ishola, former chairman Abeokuta South Local Government, Prince Yanju Lipede, among others, are bitter and have condemned the exercise in its totality.
A close source also revealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that some of the aggrieved aspirants, including Bankole took their protest to the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party in Abuja, where an in-house election was held to decide which of the zones that will produce the next governorship candidate out of Ogun West and Ogun Central senatorial districts where all the aspirants hail from.
The source said the national caucus held the special election in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, supervised by the party top notchers, including President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President, David Mark, Deputy Speaker, Ikedi Ihedioha and Chief Tony Anenih.
The nine special delegates, we were told, were Hon. Bankole, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD), Buruji Kashamu, Jubril Martins Kuye, Senator Lekan Mustapha, Senator Osolake, Hon. Lola Abiola-Edewor, Hon. Wale Ogunbanjo and Hon. Abiodun Akoroyon.
We learnt eight of the nine delegates voted that Ogun Central should produce the next governor on the platform of the party, while only Kashamu voted Ogun West with Gboyega Nasir Isiaka as his candidate.
On the contrary, however, Hon. Bankole and Sarafadeen Ishola were nominated to represent Ogun Central.
The result of the secret poll, we gathered, favoured Bankole as he got five of the nine votes while Ishola only got one. Three of the delegates were said to have abstained.
The outcome of the election, we were told, was rejected by some of the delegates. This, we gathered, led to the invitation of Kashamu and OGD to submit their lists of nominees.
Kashamu, we gathered, insisted that it’s the turn of Ogun West to govern the state; hence his decision to present Isiaka as his only candidate from the zone while OGD nominated Bankole, Ishola and Isiaka.
However, the NEC is yet to take a decision on the choice of who will represent the party in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Ogun State as the issue is still being deliberated.
But according to the source, it was resolved that a communiqué will be issued through the party’s National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu and forwarded to the party’s state chairman, Engineer Dayo Bayo any moment from now as INEC is expected to close all entries on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
“The battle for the governorship ticket in PDP is still on. The primary election held on Monday, December 8, 2014 was rejected by other aspirants based on suspicion that it was staged managed by Buruji Kashamu in favour of his candidate, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka. Although, the matter has been waded into by the National Executive Council of the party, there seems no end in sight soon.
“However, whether or not others like it, Kashamu’s choice is what will be finally approved by NEC because the election was conducted in the first place and the winner is still the same Isiaka. Kashamu has submitted his name in Abuja.
“They are only insisting, there can’t be anytime to organize another primary election they are clamouring for.
“I learnt they have compensated Hon. Bankole with House of Representatives ticket but he is still insisting he wants to be governor. And the reason PDP doesn’t want to give him the ticket is that the party wants a candidate that his popularity cuts across, and in particular someone that can break Amosun’s votes in Ogun Central, but Bankole couldn’t do that because, ordinarily when he contested in 2011 for House of Representatives ticket, he couldn’t even win his ward.
“If at all, the party now resolves to give the ticket to Ogun Central, it can’t be Bankole at all, it’s going to be Sarafadeen Ishola, who was once the Secretary to the State Government. That was under OGD. So, the situation is very clear that no matter Bankole’s struggle, he can’t get the ticket.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly reached out to OGD’s spokesperson, Steve Oliyide on the alleged crisis, and he reacted, “Such is expected but I don’t think there is any crisis whatsoever. But left to me, I have no power to speak on behalf of the party. I can only speak on behalf of my boss, OGD. Even OGD himself can’t speak for the party. But the situation of things right now is that if anybody has declared himself the authentic flag-bearer of the party in the 2015 guber poll, it’s only a rumour. No one can say he has been declared winner until the whole thing is ratified by the party’s National Executive Council which I learnt will be done before this week runs out.”
On the speculation that OGD has endorsed Bankole as his sole candidate, and that’s what is fueling the crisis between him and Kashamu, he said, “There is nothing like that. OGD is like a father with many children. All of the aspirants like OGD and he stands as a father to them all. He can’t pick one and leave the rest. Even GNI is OGD’s boy. So, what are we saying? All what the man stands for is transparency and due process in determining whoever emerges the party’s standard bearer in the forthcoming guber election in Ogun State.”
Meanwhile, GNI has been reported to have insisted that the mandate given to him by party delegates in the governorship primary conducted on Monday, December 8, 2014, remains popular, legitimate and sacrosanct.
GNI, who allegedly reacted to the alleged claims by the former Speaker, Hon. Bankole that the governorship primary election in the state is yet to hold, argued that the primary that produced him followed due process and was conducted in observance of the rule of law.
“The mandate I am holding is popular, legitimate and sacrosanct,” he was quoted to have said.
Isiaka, therefore, implored all party faithful, friends, associates, general public and the media to disregard any information contrary to what he said.