THE internal wrangling in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State is yet to abate, despite the fact that the party has produced its flag bearer in the August 2014 governorship race in the state, at the party’s primary election held in Osogbo, the state capital on Saturday, April 4, 2014.
An impeccable source disclosed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that the reason for the fresh disenchantment among the PDP topshots in the Home of the Living Spring is not unconnected with the non-satisfactory conduct of the primary election which produced Senator Iyiola Omisore.
Since the engineer turned politician was declared the winner of the controversial poll by the chairman of Osun 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election, Mr. Adamu Aliero, ENCOMIUM Weekly was informed that other contestants including first governor of the state, Senator Isiaka Adeleke and Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi were said to have concluded to call it quits with the party if fresh primary election is not conducted.
“I don’t think there could be an end to the crisis in Osun Peoples Democratic Party any more. Since the exit of Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the governor of the state, in 2010, the party has been moving from one problem to the other, especially on issues concerning the leadership of the party. Former Chief of Staff to Oyinlola, Mr. Peter Babalola, a.k.a Peter Power, now Peter Action is already in All Progressives Congress (APC). He now serves as Chairman, Civil Service Commission under Governor Aregbesola.
“Since Senator Omisore hijacked the control of the party in 2013, former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, who was also vying for the party’s governorship ticket later dumped the party for Labour Party (LP). I learnt he defected towards the end of 2013. But in January this year, he publicly declared his ambition to run for the state gubernatorial race on the platform of Labour Party. His exit has been a major blow to PDP in Osun. And with the recent development, I don’t think PDP will be anywhere to be found in 2015 in the state let alone winning the August 2014 guber poll. I believe those in the APC will be happy now as PDP’s misfortune will be an opportunity to consolidate their winning strategy.”
However, Senator Adeleke reportedly boycotted the primary election, alleging threat to life by Omisore’s loyalists who we were told had earlier warned him to stay off the election venue to avoid being attacked.
According to the report in one of the dailies, the Ede, Osun born politician still maintained he would only participate wherever the party is ready to conduct a credible primary election.
Senator Akinlabi was also reported to have rejected the outcome of the election that produced Omisore as the party’s governorship candidate in the August 2014 election in the state.
On Monday, April 7, 2014, ENCOMIUM Weekly got across to the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Biola Ajao on the alleged imbroglio, and he denied any crack in the party as a result of the outcome of its guber primary election.
He, however, admitted that Senator Adeleke boycotted the election, the issue he said the party will soon take care of.
“That’s not true. There is no crack in Osun PDP due to party guber primary election. The winner, Senator Iyiola Omisore emerged in a free and fair election. He was democratically elected. Other aspirants have accepted the result and even congratulated Omisore. One of them, Hon. Wole Oke has sent a congratulatory message to Omisore. There is no problem at all.”
Asked to comment on Senator Adeleke, who was reported to have boycotted the election over alleged threat to life, he reacted, “Unfortunately, Adeleke didn’t even finish the race. He boycotted the election but the party will know what to do. PDP is one big family, and we can take care of any issue.”
Probed further to shed light on the former SSG, Alhaji Akinbade, who was also said to have left the party in anger as a result of his alleged feud with Omisore. He quickly reacted, “There is no need to talk about the people who are no longer in the party. Somebody that has left the party has left. So, why do we need to be talking about them again? We’re concerned about those who are in the party and we’re working on reconciliatory move that will bring everybody together as one big family. We have started already. As a matter of fact, reconciliation procedures started right there at the venue of the primary election. So, there is no cause for alarm. PDP is the party to beat in the next election in Osun State.”
– TADE ASIFAT and DANIEL FAYEMI